Metals form an integral part of industrial chemistry, and it's impossible to imagine a world without them. To understand the internal structure of metals, we need to know more about metallic bonding. As the name suggests, it is a bond between atoms of the same metals. In its essence, it involves the sharing of electrons among the lattice of metal atoms. In a metal, the electromagnetic interaction between delocalized electrons, called conduction electrons, and the metal nuclei is called metallic bonding.
Metallic Bonding Properties
Owing to their internal metallic bonding, metals possess various properties. Here are some of the properties possessed by metals.
Solid metals have various properties, such as conductance of heat and electricity, high melting and boiling points, and structural solidity. Malleability (ability to be flattened without breaking), ductility (ability to be drawn into wires), metallic luster, and opaqueness are some of the other prominent features of metals. Metals conduct heat and electricity owing to the presence of free electrons in them, that act as charge carriers. That is why electrical conductivity of metals plays a crucial role in determining which metals are best suited to be used in circuits. Similarly, owing to strong or weak metallic bonding, metals have higher boiling and melting points. In general, the higher the number of delocalized electrons and more closely the atoms are packed in a metal, the higher will be the melting and boiling point. Similarly, owing to the presence of delocalized electrons, metals are able to roll over its own layers when pressed, which imparts them properties like malleability and ductility.
Metallic Bonding Examples
Since it is only seen in metals, metals and metal alloys are examples of metallic bonding. Most metals have only one or two valence electrons, and their ionization energies are very low, i.e., the valence electrons are not very tightly bound to the atom and they can be easily shifted from one atom to another. The ease with which mobile electrons move in a crystal lattice determines the nature of the bond―ionic, covalent, or metallic.
Metallic bonding is one of the various forms of chemical bonds studied in chemistry. This was some brief information on this form of bonding, which is the main reason for various physical properties of metals.