Properties of metals
Most metals have high melting points, so they are in the solid state at room temperature (except for mercury). In addition, most metals are:
- malleable, so they can be beaten or pressed into shape
- ductile, so they can be made into wires
- good conductors of heat and electricity
Water is made up of simple molecules. However, in metals, large numbers of metal ions are organised in a regular arrangement to make a giant structure.
The diagram shows a simple model of metallic structure. The metal ions are shown as tiny spheres, packed closely together in a regular pattern.
The ions in the structure are held together by strong metallic bonds. These bonds are not explained by this model.