Learn the Interesting Facts About Physical and Chemical Properties of Metals and Non-metals


It is possible to come across metals and nonmetals in our surroundings. The two primary elements are metals and nonmetals, and determining whether an element is a metal or a nonmetal is essential before dealing with it. 

Nonmetals like phosphorus and sulphur are better than metals like copper or aluminium when transmitting heat and electricity. The physical features of materials are used to categorise them in the way outlined above.


What are metals made of?

Most of the elements in the periodic table are metals, and this category includes alkali metals, transition metals, lanthanides, actinides, and alkali metals. A zig-zag line goes from Carbon to Radon and again on the periodic table to differentiate between metals and nonmetals. The elements between the two are phosphorus, selenium, and iodine.

Nonmetals include these elements and the elements adjacent to them in the periodic table. Semimetals and metalloids are names used to describe elements found to the left of the line in the periodic table of elements. A mixture of metals and nonmetals will be present in these materials.

This is where the non-metals are situated on the periodic table above metals. Unlike metals, non-metals do not possess the properties of being brilliant, malleable or ductile, nor do they possess the properties of great conductors of electricity. 

One technique to distinguish between metals and non-metals is to look at the properties of non-metals.

The physical and chemical properties of non-metals are much more diversified than those of metals, with fewer similarities. Non-metals may be solids or gases at ambient temperature, depending on the non-metal.


What are Non-metals exactly?

Non-metallic elements make up a minor percentage of the elements in the periodic table, and they are situated on the right-hand side of the chart. Phosphorus, phosphorus-containing elements (including all halogens), noble gases (including selenium and nitrogen), sulphur, carbon, and hydrogen are all non-metal elements.

Non-metals may be found on the periodic table to the left of the halogens and the right of the metalloids. In addition to being non-metals, noble gases and halogens also fall within the category of non-metallic elements.

Here are the chemical properties of Metals and Nonmetals


Metals Have Specific Characteristics:

Some physical characteristics of metals are given below.

  • Shiny (lustrous) in nature
  • Metal is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat.
  • The density and melting point is high.
  • Mouldable (Malleable) (Malleable)
  • Ductile
  • At ambient temperature, it is in solid form except for mercury.
  • Opaque
  • Chemical Properties of Metals


Some chemical characteristics of metals are mentioned below.

  • Easily corrodible
  • Can lose electrons
  • Form basic oxides
  • Have low electronegativities
  • Good reducing agents


Non-Metal Physical Characteristics.

Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Nonmetals

The following are some of the physical characteristics of non-metals.

  • Electricity and heat are poorly conducted via these materials.
  • Metals that are not ductile
  • Brittle solids
  • At room temperature, it’s possible to have solids, liquids, or gases.
  • These are not sonorous in any way.
  • Transparent


What Should You Know About Chemical Properties of Non-Metals?

The following section discusses some of the chemical properties of non-metals.

  • There are normally between 4 and 8 electrons in the outer shell.
  • The process of gaining or losing valence electrons is a rather straightforward one.
  • As soon as they come into contact with oxygen, they release acidic oxides.
  • Elements have a high potential for electron depletion.
  • Oxidising agents of the highest quality.
  • Metals and non-metals may be separated by their physical properties (allotropes), and they are all different in shape and features. Allotropes are elements that you may find in a variety of physical states.
  • Diamond and graphite are examples of carbon allotropes, both of which are non-metals.
  • Allotropes of iron include austenite (the most stable) and ferrite (the most malleable).


Take a look at the table below to understand the differences between metals and non-metals better.


Metals and Non-Metallic Materials: Differences.

Reactivity series is an essential tool for chemists, and it helps us better grasp the features of metals and the differences between them.


Metals Non-metals
Except for mercury, all of these are solids at normal temperatures. All three states have them.
The exception is sodium, which is very difficult. Except for the diamond, all of them are supple.
These may be moulded and twisted. The fragile nature of these may shatter pieces.
These are shiny. These are non-lustrous except iodine.
Electropositive in nature. Electronegative in nature.
Have high densities. Have low densities.


What exactly does the word “non-metal” mean?

It is also known as a non-metal element since it does not have the properties of metal. Non-metal is a chemical element that does not have the characteristics of metal. Hydrogen, helium, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, neon, radon, and various other elements and compounds are among the gases that may exist.


What is meant by the term “metal” in this context?

Metals are a general phrase that you may use. Those are the elements that account for the vast bulk of the elements on the periodic table. In general, such components have the following characteristics: they can carry both heat and electricity, and they can be easily shaped into various forms and configurations.


What are some of the non-potential metal’s applications?

Oxygen is a non-metallic element that plants and animals need to breathe to thrive. It is essential for the continuance of human lives on our planet. Fuel combustion happens in various settings, including homes, factories, and vehicles, used in various activities.


Which non-metallic element is essential for the survival of the human race?

Oxygen is a non-metallic element that is essential for human existence, and all living creatures breathe it during the process of respiration, including humans.


Was there a specific kind of non-metal used as a source of energy?

Liquid hydrogen is a nonmetallic substance that is used in the construction of rockets. These two hydrogen and oxygen tanks are completely independent and combine and burn to spark the rocket’s ignition mechanism. Since hydrogen has a high calorific value, it is used in this process to generate energy.



Hope you have understood the fundamentals of the physical and chemical properties of metals and non-metals. To find out more about this and other related topics, you must first register with Vedantu and then download the Vedantu mobile application on your smartphone to get started.


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