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Metals and their Properties

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Categories of metal

Metals can be broken down into two main categories: ferrous


metals and non-ferrous metals.
Ferrous metals all have certain properties:
they contain iron
they will corrode unless protected
they are attracted by magnets.

Non-ferrous metals also have


certain unique properties:
they do not contain iron
they are not magnetic
they are mostly pure metals.

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Metalwork

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Examples of metals

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Examples of metals

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Where do they come from?

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PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
OF
METALS

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Properties of metals

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Physical State:

Metals are solids at room temperature with


the exception of mercury and gallium, which
are liquids at room temperature.

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1.Lustre: Metals have the quality of
reflecting light from its surface and can be
polished e.g., gold, silver and copper.

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2.Malleability: Metals have the ability to
withstand hammering and can be made into
thin sheets known as foils.

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3.Ductility: Metals can be drawn into wires.
100 gm of silver can be drawn into a thin
wire about 200 meters long.

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4. Hardness: All metals are hard except
sodium and potassium, which are soft and
can be cut with a knife.

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5. Valency: Metals have 1 to 3 electrons in
the outermost shell of their atoms.

6. Electropositive Character: Metals are


elements that have a tendency to lose
electrons and form cations. They normally
do not accept electrons.

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7. Conduction: Metals are good conductors
because they have free electrons. Silver and
copper are the two best conductors of heat
and electricity. Lead is the poorest
conductor of heat. Bismuth, mercury and
iron are also poor conductors.

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8.Density: Metals have high density and are
very heavy. Iridium and osmium have the
highest densities where as lithium has the
lowest density

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9. Melting and Boiling point: Metals have
high melting and boiling point. Tungsten has
the highest melting point where as silver has
low boiling point. Sodium and potassium
have low melting points.

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GENERAL
CHEMICAL
PROPERTIES
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1. Metals when burned in the presence
of oxygen, they combine with oxygen to
form metallic oxides which are basic in
nature.
Metal + Oxygen (from air) Metal Oxide
For example
2 Mg + O2 2 MgO (Magnesium
Oxide)

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2. Different metals react differently with water.
Sodium reacts violently with water forming
sodium hydroxide and hydrogran. Magnesium
reacts mildly with water but vigorously with
steam. Zinc and iron react mildly with steam.
Copper, gold and silver do not react with water at
all. Most metals, on reacting with water produce
hydroxide.
2Na + H2O 2NaOH + H2

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Do you remember the phrase
“Bad Boys Rape Our Young
Girls But Violeta Gave
Willingly” ?

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REACTIVITY SERIES OF METALS

People Say Little Children Make A Zebra I’ll


Constantly Sniffing Giraffes
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3. Metals differ in their reactivity
with acids. Most metals react
with acids to produce salts and
hydrogen.
Metal + acid Salt + Hydrogen
Mg + 2HCl MgCl2 + H2

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4. Metals replace other metals. When
an iron nail is placed in a test tube
containing copper sulfate. The nail is
coated with a layer of copper while the
blue copper sulfate solution has turned
greenish. The green solution is a
solution of iron sulfate.
Fe + CuSO4 Cu + FeSO4

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5. Most metals corrode when they are
exposed to atmosphere. For example,
the iron gets rusty after sometime if it is
not painted. Titanium is highly resistant to
corrosion.

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