<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Metals, metalloids and non-metals

The elements in the Periodic Table can also be divided according to whether they are metals , metalloids or non-metals . On the right hand side of the Periodic Table you can draw a 'zigzag' line (This line starts with Boron ( B ) and goes down to Polonium ( Po ). This line separates all the elements that are metals from those that are non-metals. Metals are found on the left of the line, and non-metals are those on the right. Along the line you find the metalloids. You should notice that there are more metals then non-metals. Metals, metalloids and non-metals all have their own specific properties.

Metals

Examples of metals include copper ( Cu ), zinc ( Zn ), gold ( Au ) and silver ( Ag ). On the Periodic Table, the metals are on the left of the zig-zag line. There are a large number of elements that are metals. The following are some of the properties of metals:

  • Thermal conductors Metals are good conductors of heat. This makes them useful in cooking utensils such as pots and pans.
  • Electrical conductors Metals are good conductors of electricity. Metals can be used in electrical conducting wires.
  • Shiny metallic lustre Metals have a characteristic shiny appearance and so are often used to make jewellery.
  • Malleable This means that they can be bent into shape without breaking.
  • Ductile Metals (such as copper) can be stretched into thin wires, which can then be used to conduct electricity.
  • Melting point Metals usually have a high melting point and can therefore be used to make cooking pots and other equipment that needs to become very hot, without being damaged.

You can see how the properties of metals make them very useful in certain applications.

Group work : looking at metals

  1. Collect a number of metal items from your home or school. Some examples are listed below:
    • hammer
    • wire
    • cooking pots
    • jewellery
    • nails
    • coins
  2. In groups of 3-4, combine your collection of metal objects.
  3. What is the function of each of these objects?
  4. Discuss why you think metal was used to make each object. You should consider the properties of metals when you answer this question.

Non-metals

In contrast to metals, non-metals are poor thermal conductors, good electrical insulators (meaning that they do not conduct electrical charge) and are neither malleable nor ductile. The non-metals are found on the right hand side of the Periodic Table, and include elements such as sulphur ( S ), phosphorus ( P ), nitrogen ( N ) and oxygen ( O ).

Metalloids

Metalloids or semi-metals have mostly non-metallic properties. One of their distinguishing characteristics is that their conductivity increases as their temperature increases. This is the opposite of what happens in metals. The metalloids include elements such as silicon ( Si ) and germanium ( Ge ). Notice where these elements are positioned in the Periodic Table.

You should now be able to take any material and determine whether it is a metal, non-metal or metalloid simply by using its properties.

Electrical conductors, semi-conductors and insulators

An electrical conductor is a substance that allows an electrical current to pass through it. Electrical conductors are usually metals. Copper is one of the best electrical conductors, and this is why it is used to make conducting wire. In reality, silver actually has an even higher electrical conductivity than copper, but because silver is so expensive, it is not practical to use it for electrical wiring because such large amounts are needed. In the overhead power lines that we see above us, aluminium is used. The aluminium usually surrounds a steel core which adds tensile strength to the metal so that it doesn't break when it is stretched across distances. Occasionally gold is used to make wire, not because it is a particularly good conductor, but because it is very resistant to surface corrosion. Corrosion is when a material starts to deteriorate at the surface because of its reactions with the surroundings, for example oxygen and water in the air.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
What makes metals better to use as wires than non-metals? (please link to bonding type)??? HELP
Yash Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play




Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry grade 10 [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Jun 13, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11303/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Chemistry grade 10 [caps]' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask