Testing for the Physical Properties of Metals
Testing for the Chemical Properties of Metals
Rusting and Protection from Rusting
Physical Science Home Page
Visual Chemistry Home Page
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The Structure of Metals
The properties of metals can be explained by looking at the way their atoms are arranged.
Metals are crystalline solids, their atoms are packed tightly together in a regular pattern. There are three main types of arrangement on the metal.
Body Centred Cubic (BCC)
An atom at each vertex and one in the centre of the cube.
Face Centred Cubic (FCC)
An atom at each vertex and in the centre of each face.
Hexagonal Close Packing (HCP)
A Closer Look at Metals
The atoms in metal structures release electrons.
These released electrons are responsible for holding the metal atoms together. They create 'mobile sea' of electrons which allow the metal to conduct electricity.
Metals are elements that are found on the left hand side of the periodic table. The following links are to the Visual Chemistry section (they open in a new tab or window):
The Periodic Table
Metal or Non-metal?
Group I : The Alkali Metals
The Metal Hydroxide
Group II : The Alkali Earth Metals
Properties of Metals
They are shiny solids (except mercury)
Generally high melting and boiling points.
Strong in compression and tension.
Good conductors of heat and electricity.
The strength of metals
The strength of metals and other physical properties can be explained by looking at the way the atoms are tightly packed together.
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