The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:
Everything around us is either metal or non-metal. Substances like aluminium, copper and iron are called metals whereas substances like wood, glass, cork, etc. are non-metals. But, what differentiates metals from non-metals? It is their physical and chemical properties. Let’s learn more about the properties of both the materials: metals and non-metals.
The physical properties of metals and non-metals are starkly different. Metals have the following properties which non-metals do not exhibit:
Have you noticed different metallic substances can be moulded into different shapes?
A metal pan with a metal handle used for cooking heats up immediately, but the same pan with a plastic or wood handle does not. This happens because metals show good conductivity, whereas non-metals like wood and plastic are non-conductors of heat and electricity.
Another property that is shown by metals is ductility.
Have you ever tried banging utensils made up of metals like copper or aluminium? They make a ringing sound when struck hard. When you try something similar with two pieces of wood or a non-metal, they don’t create a ringing sound. Since metals produce ringing sounds, they are called as sonorous whereas non-metals are non-sonorous.
So, we can say that metals are malleable, ductile, sonorous, and good conductors of heat and electricity. Apart from these properties, some other physical properties of metals include:
Physical properties of metals are not exhibited by non-metals like wood, carbon, oxygen, boron, phosphorus, etc.
Not just physical but chemical properties of metals and non-metals can also help distinguishing between the two. Here are a few reactions that distinguish them:
1. Reaction with Oxygen
Rusting of iron is the reaction of iron with oxygen in the presence of moisture. All metals react with oxygen to form basic oxides, which, when dissolved in water form alkali/basic solutions. However, when non-metals undergo the same reaction, the non-metallic oxides are acidic and dissolve in water to give an acid.
2. Reaction with Water
While metals are seen to be reactive with water, non-metals are not so reactive with water. It is for this reason that non-metals are stored under water. The best example of this is the storage of phosphorus under water as it catches fire immediately when exposed to air.
3. Reaction with Acids
Metals follow the ‘Reactivity Series’ by which metals which are more reactive than hydrogen replace the element from dilute acids to produce their respective salt and water.
4. Reaction with Bases
Metals react with bases to give the respective salt and hydrogen gas. However, the same reaction is not seen with non-metals.
5. Displacement Reactions
Here is a reaction. What do you think is happening here?
CuSo4+ Zn –> ZnSo4 + Cu
Zinc being more reactive than copper has displaced it from its salt to form its salt. This kind of reaction is called a displacement reaction and is a chemical property that is characteristic of metals but not shown by non-metals.
From what we know so far, we realise how important metals and non-metals are to our daily lives.
While metals are used in making utensils, machinery, satellites, automobiles, water boilers, and many others, here are some uses of non-metals:
Elements that show malleability, ductility, electrical and heat conductivity, sonority, have lustre, and high tensile strength are called metals. Substances that do not show the properties mentioned above are called non-metals.
Some common examples of non metals include– wood, plastic, composites, polymers, glass, etc.
Common examples of metals include copper, aluminium, gold, silver, lead, among others.
Five properties of metals that differentiate them from non-metals include–
Si is the symbol for silicon, it is a metalloid. It is a better conductor of electricity than a non-metal, but not as good as a metal.
Metals are always found naturally in the environment, and there are two processes to get them. First, the metal is extracted from an ore and then refined to separate the metal from their oxides and made useful.
There is a lot more to understanding and identifying metals and non-metals. MSVgo offers a host of comprehensive and comprehensible video material and content for a sound understanding of the materials by which the world around you is made of. Visit now to know your physical world slightly better!
There are many more uses of both metals and non-metals than those mentioned above. However, how and where these two types of materials are used depends largely upon their physical and chemical properties. If you wish to delve deeper into Materials: Metals and Non-Metals, head over to MSVgo right away!