Difference Between Metals and Non-Metals

Metal and non-metal are the elements present around us. It is improtant to know whether a particular element is a metal or non-metal. The material can be divided metal or non-metal. Here this article give the information about the main key difference between metal and non-metal to better understand this topic.

What are the Metals?


Metals are the majority element in the periodic table are metals. This includes alkali metals, traditional metals, alkaline earth metals, and metal separated by non-metal on a periodic table through a zigzag line starting from carbon, till radon. The elements between the two are phosphorous, selenium, and iodine.


What are the non-metals?


Very few elements in the periodic tables are non-metals. These are present on the right-hand side in the periodic table. Elements that come under non-metals are sulfur, carbon, phosphorous, hydrogen, oxygen, selenium, nitrogen, and Nobel gases.

The main key difference between metals and non-metals:

  • Metal is generally found in solid-state but nonmetals exist in all the 3 states of matter.
  • Metal shows the property of malleability while nonmetals are nonmailable.
  • Metal is considered to be electropositive in nature due to their to donate electrons, while nonmetals are electronegative as they generally accept electrons.
  • The bond formed between metals is said to be metallic bonding, while the bond formed between two nonmetals is a covalent bond.
  • Metal is generally those substances that have a shiny surface and thus are lustrous, whereas nonmetal appearance and thus falls under the category of non-lustrous substance.
  • Metal holds the left side position on the periodic table while nonmetals are usually found on the right side in the periodic table.
  • Metal possesses high tensile strength as there exists strong attraction between molecules, however, due to weak intermolecular force, the tensile strength of non-metals is low.
  • Usually, metal is referred to as cations while non-metal as anions.
  • Metal is said to be good reducing agents, non-metals are referred to as a good oxidizing agent.
  • Metal posses very high density in comparison to non-metals.
  • All metals are lustrous, Non-metal are non-lustrous.
  • Metal exhibit high melting and boiling point except for mercury, as against the melting and boiling point of non-metals are generally low except carbon and silicon.
  • Metal shows the property of ductility as can be easily drawn into wires on applying force, while non-metals are not ductile but carbon is a non-metal that exhibits ductility.
  • All metal is solid at room temperature except mercury, which is liquid at room temperature, non-metal exists as solid, liquid, and gas, silicon is a solid, bromine is a liquid and oxygen is a gas.
  • Metals are malleable, while non-metals are non-malleable.
  • Metals have a high melting point, while non-metal are non-ductile.
  • Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity, while non-metals are poor conductors of heat and elctricity.
  • Metal have high densities expect lithium, sodium, and potassium, Non-metal have low density.

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