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Friday, 3 April 2020

Facts about Metals, Nonmetals and Metalloids

Facts about Metals, Non Metals and Metalloids

The elements which lose electrons in chemical reaction are called metals.

A metal is an electropositive element which is hard, lustrous, malleable, ductile with tensile strength, and a good conductor of heat and electricity.

Metals form basic or amphoteric oxides.

Metals can be hammered into very thin sheets. This property is called malleability.

Cold and silver are among the best malleable metals.

The property of metals capable of being drawn into wires is known as ductility.

Gold is the most ductile of all the metals.

Metals can be stretched to some degree without fracturing. This is a measure of their tensile strength.

Some metals like tungsten have very high tensile strength.

Metals and Ores

1. Potassium - Sylvine
2. Sodium - Rock salt
3. Calcium - Lime stone, Gypsum. Dolomite
4. Magnesium - Magnesite
5. Aluminium - Bauxite, Cryolite
6. Chromium - Chromite
7. Manganese - Pyrolusite, Rhodochrosite
8. Zinc - blende, Calamine
9. Copper - Chalcocite, Malachite, Cuprite, Azurite
10. Mercury - Cinnabar
11. Silver - Argentite, Horn silver
12. Titanium - Rutile, Ilmanite
13. Thorium - Monozite
14. Uranium - Pitch blende
15. Iron - Haematite, Magnetite
16. Lead - Galena, Litharge

Metallurgy is the process of extracting metal, in a pure state on a large scale from its ore by physical and chemical means.

Minerals are the naturally occurring chemical substances in the earth's crust, which are obtained by mining.

Ore is the mineral from which the metal is conveniently and economically extracted

Ore has definite composition (formula)

Gangue is the impurity present in the ore. Generally gangue is silica.

A substance added to ore to remove impurities is called flux.

There are two types of flux: Acidic flux and Basic flux.

Acidic flux is added to remove basic impurity.

Basic flux is added to remove acidic impurity.

Acidic flux is silica.

Basic flux is quick lime.

In the extraction of iron, calcium carbonate acts as a flux.

Combination of gangue with flux in ores forms a fusible material called Slag.
Gangue + flux --> Slag

Sulphide ores are purified by Froth-floatation process.

Tinstone, Pyrolusite etc are purified by magnetic separation.

Calcination is the process of heating the ore below its melting point in absence of air to remove volatile impurities like, arsenic.

Roasting is heating the ore below its melting point in air to oxidise the impurities.

Liquation is used to refine metals having a low melting point.
eg: Lead and tin.

The method used for refining metals containing volatile impurities is oxidation.

Distillation is used to refine volatile metals like mercury and zinc which contain non-volatile impurities.

Electro - refining is an economical and effective method for purifying metals.
eg: Cu, Al

Hardest metal - chromium

Vermilion, a scarlet pigment used in art deco-ration is made from the mercury ore, Cinnabar (Mercury sulphide).

Gold and platinum occur exclusively in free state.

Most of the metals occur in the form of oxides, sulphides, carbonates, sulphates, chlorides and silicates.

Metals extracted from sea-water are magnesium and sodium. Metals generally accumulated in living organisms - Vanedium, Potassium.

Most abundant metal present in developed animals - Calcium.

Major metals present in chloroplast are magnesium, manganese, copper and iron.

The second most abundant metal in earth crust is Iron.

The metal related to arthritis is potassium.

The metal present in Insulin is zinc.

Zinc is concentrated on the eyes of human beings.

The lightest metal - Lithium

Liquid metal at room temperature is mercury.

Liquid non-metal at room temperature is bromine.

The non-metal, which shows electric conductivity - Graphite (Carbon)

The most harmful metal to human beings is Lead.

Metals kept under kerosene are sodium, potassium, caesium etc.

Tin is the only metal which has maximum number of stable isotopes (10).

Some elements behave chemically both as met-als and non-metals. Such elements are called metalloids.
eg: Boron, Silicon. Germanium etc.

The first known super conductor is mercury.

Lithosphere is the solid phase of the earth and is made of different types of rocks.

Lithosphere is the major source of metals.

The first metal to be used by man is copper.

Core is the central portion of earth.

Metallic core contains valuable metals like manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, iridium, platinum, gold etc.

Most abundant metal present in blood is potassium.

A non-metal is an electronegative element which occurs as solids, liquids and gases. They are generally poor conductors of heat and electricity.

Non-metallic solids are usually soft and brittle.

Non-metals form acidic or neutral oxides.

Silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity.

The metal, silver is an excellent reflector.

Metals like gold and copper are mostly found in old igneous rocks.

Cobalt is useful in making rust resistant alloys.

Silver, platinum and gold are known as noble metals.

Iron rarely occurs in free state because it is very reactive.

Mercury flows so easily and rapidly that it is sometimes called quick silver.

Metal present in the bath soap is potassium.

Metals usually combine with oxygen to form basic oxides.

Some metals react with water. Sodium reacts violently even with cold water forming sodium hydroxide and hydrogen. Gold does not react even with steam.

Some metals react with acid and replace the hydrogen atom in their molecules. Gold, copper and silver are unaffected with hydrochloric acid.

Mercury is the metal having lowest melting point (-39°C).

When iron rusts, its weight increases.

Titanium is the metal of future.

Sparkling and colour after the blast of fire crack-er is due to the presence of strontium.

Properties of Metals

(1) Lustrous (means shining appearance)
(2) Electropositive
(3) Malleable -> Hammered into thin sheets -> Gold and silver
(4) Ductile -> Drawn into thin wires -> Gold
(5) Tensile strength -> Stretched without fracturing -> Tungsten
(6) Good conductor of heat and electricity

Enamels are mixtures of silicates, backed on to iron or steel object.

Iron coated with zinc is called galvanised iron and with tin is called tin plate.

Compounds of fluorine are used as cooling agents in refrigerators.

Fluorinated polymer, teflon, finds numerous uses as it is tough and fire resistant.

Rhombic sulphur is the most stable form of sulphur and exists at room temperature.

Phosphorus is used in the fertiliser industry.


An alloy is a homogeneous mixture of a metal with other metals and non-metals.

Alloys are generally made by mixing the metals in a molten state.

Electrium is an alloy of gold and silver.

Amalgam is an alloy in which one of the components is mercury.

Alloys are generally harder and more resistant to corrosion.

The properties of an alloy are different from those of the constituent metals.

Alloys are also called solid solutions.


1. Steel
Iron (Fe), Carbon (C)
Construction of ships, tanks, railway lines, bridges and machinery.
2. Aluminium Bronze
Aluminium (Al), Copper (Cu) 
to make coins, statues, ornaments
3. Invar
Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Carbon (C)
To make clock pendulum, scientific measuring instruments.
4. Bronze (Bell Metal)
Copper (Cu), Tin (Sn)
Statues, Ornaments, coins, cooking utensils, bells and medals.
5. Alnico
Aluminium (Al), Nickel (Ni), Cobalt (Co), Iron (Fe)
To make magnets
6. Nichrome
Nickel (Ni), Chromium (Cr), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn)
To make heating elements
7. Manganese
Steel Iron (Fe), Carbon (C), Manganese (Mn)
To make rock driller, plates, rails, protecting shields etc
8. Constantan
Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni)
To make electrical instruments
9. Brass
Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn)
Utensils, parts of machinery, wires, musical instruments, ornamental
10. Duralumin
Aluminium (Al), Copper (Cu), Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn)
Aircraft parts, light tools

11. Magnalium
Aluminium (Al), Magnesium (Mg)
External parts of troller, steamer etc
12. Phospher Bronze
Copper (Cu), Tin (Sn), Phosphorus (P)
Springs and suspension filament in electrical instruments
13. Silumin
Aluminium (Al), Silicon (Si)
Engine parts
14. Type Metal
Copper (Cu), Lead (Pb), Tin (Sn), Antimony (Sb)
To make types in printing
15. Chrome Vanadium Steel
Iron (Fe), Carbon (C), Chromium (Cr), Vanadium (V)
Axils of motor cars
16. Sterling Silver
Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag)
Silver coins
17. Coinage Silver
Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni)
18. Chrome Steel
Iron (Fe), Carbon (C), Chromium (Cr)
Springs, tools etc
19. Gun Metal
Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Tin (Sn)
Barrels of gun
20. Nickel Steel
Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Carbon (C)
Electric wire cables, automobile parts
21. German Silver
Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn)
Utensils, resistance wire etc
22. Stainless Steel
Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), Nickel (Ni), Carbon (C)
Cooking utensils, cutlery, surgical instruments
23. Solder
Lead (Ph), Tin (Sn)
Electrical connections, fuse wire

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