CONCEPTS

What is a metallic link?

We explain what a metallic bond is, what are its different properties and some examples of this chemical bond.

  1. What is a metallic link?

Metal bonds are, as the name implies, a type of chemical bond that occurs only between atoms of the same metallic element . Thanks to this type of bond, metals achieve extremely compact, solid and resistant molecular structures, since the nuclei of their atoms meet at such an extreme, that they share their valence electrons.

In the case of metallic bonds, what happens with electrons is that they leave their usual orbits around the atomic nucleus when it joins with another, and remain around both as a kind of cloud. In this way the positive and negative charges maintain their attraction, firmly holding the atomic assembly and reaching significant margins of hardness, compaction and durability , which are typical of bar metals.

We can say, then, that the metallic bond is a very strong and primary atomic bond , exclusive of atoms of the same species, but that it has nothing to do with the shapes of the alloy , which are nothing more than ways to physically mix two or more metals , or a metal with other elements to combine its properties.

Nor should these types of links be confused with ionic bonds (metal-nonmetal) or covalent (nonmetal-nonmetal), although they share certain functional features with the latter, since the atoms involved exchange the electrons of their latter orbital layer ( valence layer ).

  1. Properties of a metallic bond

Many of the typical properties of metals, such as their strength, hardness, and even their malleability and ductility are due to metallic bonds . The good conduction of heat and electricity from metals, in fact, is due to the particular arrangement of cloud electrons around the nuclei, allowing their mobility throughout the whole . Even the luster of metals is due to this, because this type of bond repels almost all the light energy that impacts them, that is, it shines.

Atoms linked by metal bonds are usually also organized into hexagonal, cubic, or concrete geometric structures . The only exception is that of mercury, which despite being a metal is liquid at room temperature and forms perfectly round and shiny drops.

  1. Examples of metallic bonding

Metallic bonds are frequent in the world of metals, so any pure metallic element is a perfect example. That is, any pure grain of: silver (Ag), gold (Au), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn), copper ( Cu ), platinum (Pt), aluminum ( Al), gallium (Ga), titanium (Ti), palladium (Pd), lead ( Pb ), iridium (Ir) or cobalt (Co), as long as it is not mixed with other metals and elements, it will be held together by bonds metallic.

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