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Science

Metal structures and their properties

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The physical properties of different metals make them useful for different purposes. For example, aluminium conducts heat, which makes it a useful material for making saucepans and gold is shiny, which makes it an attractive material for jewellery.

Metal particles are held together by strong metallic bonds, which is why they have high melting and boiling points. The loose electrons in metals can all move together through the metal – creating an electric current.

Properties of metals

The physical properties of metals

MetalPropertyUse
AluminiumHeat conductorMake saucepans
CopperElectrical conductorMake electric wiring
GoldLustrous (shiny)Make jewellery
LeadDenseTo add weight when scuba diving
PlatinumHigh melting and boiling pointElectrodes of spark plugs
Steel
  • High tensile strength
  • Strong
  • Make ropes for anchoring an oil rig
  • Make bridges, buildings and cars
TungstenHardMake drill bits

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Back to The Periodic Table index

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