5 Metallic Bond Examples: Explanation and Detailed Facts


In this article, we are going to see about metallic bonding, its characteristics and facts along with some metallic bond examples in detail.

The metallic bond can be described as the attractive force present between negatively charged mobile electrons and positively charged metallic ions. This force of attraction is used to hold the metal atoms together in the metallic crystal. Metallic bond examples are:

In one of the geometrical arrangements like body central cubic arrangement, hexagonal close-packed or face central cubic close-packed arrangements, metal consists of positive ions. Negatively charged delocalized electrons hold positively charged ions together in the crystal lattice. Hence, positive and negative charges get balanced.

According to electron cloud theory, the metallic bond is electrostatic forces of attraction between positively charged metal ions embedded in a sea of negatively charged mobile electrons. As shown in a figure.

metallic bond example
Figure 1: Metallic bonding

Image Credits : wikimedia

Characteristics of metallic bond

  • Metals can conduct heat through them. When one end of the metal is heated, mobile electrons absorb heat energy and move rapidly towards another end hence metal shows thermal conductivity.
  • Metals are also good conductors of electricity as free electrons are present which carries current.
  • Metals are opaque and they also have metallic clusters.
  • Metals are ductile and malleable.
  • Metals show the property of luster, as mobile electrons absorb and emit visible light radiations.
  • The metallic bond occurs in the solid state of matter.
  • Metals required high temperatures to cleave bonds between them, hence having high melting points and boiling points.

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Metallic bond Examples

Sodium (Na)

A sodium atom has one electron in its valence shell. When more than one sodium atom get arranged in a crystal lattice (bcc), Electrons present in the outermost shell share interstitial space with another sodium atom, molecular orbital get formed. The valence electrons which are present in the outermost shell of the atom get distributed in the space lattice of the metal. This is a metallic bond example.

 The positively charged Sodium metal ions and negatively charged electrons get bonded together forming metallic bonds.

Figure 2: Sodium metal ions

Image Credits : chemistrylearner

Aluminium (Al)

The aluminium atom has three electrons in its valence shell. When Aluminium atoms get arranged in a crystal lattice (fcc), electrons present in the outermost shell shares interstitial space with other aluminium atoms and molecular orbitals get formed. These electrons are delocalized in space lattice.  As the number of valence electrons increases the more free electrons get available. This is a metallic bond example. The metallic bond formed between positively charged aluminium metal ions and electrons.

Figure 3: Aluminium metal ions

Image Credits: chemistrylearner

Magnesium (Mg)

The magnesium atom has two valence electrons. When magnesium atoms get arranged in a crystal lattice (hcp), electrons present in the valence shell shares space with other Magnesium atoms and molecular orbitals get formed. The electrons which are present in the valence shell are free to move in the crystal. The metallic bond formed between positively charged Magnesium metal ions (2+) and electrons. hence it is a metallic bond example.

Figure 4: Magnesium metal ions

Image Credits: chemistrylearner

Copper (Cu)

One electron is present in the outermost shell of the copper atom. When more than one copper atom gets arranged in a crystal lattice (fcc), Electrons present in the outermost shell share interstitial space with another copper atom, molecular orbital get formed. The electrons present in the valence shell get distributed in the interstitial space of the metal crystal. They are free to move. This is a metallic bond example. As the metallic bond formed between Copper metal ions and electrons.

Iron (Fe)

The iron atom has eight electrons in its electron shell. When Iron atoms get arranged in a crystal lattice (bcc and fcc), electrons present in the outermost shell shares interstitial space with other iron atoms and molecular orbitals get formed. The delocalization of these electrons takes place in interstitial space.  The more electrons which are not associated with atoms get available as the number of valence electrons increases. This is a metallic bond example. The metallic bond formed between positively charged iron metal ions and electrons.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Question 1. What is metallic bonding?

Answer: Metallic bonding can be defined as

The attractive force is present between negatively charged mobile electrons and positively charged metallic ions. This force of attraction is used to hold the metal atoms together in the metallic crystal.

Question 2 . Are metallic bonds soluble in water?

Answer: The water solubility of metallic bonds

Metallic bonds are not soluble in water but some alkali metals Sodium and Potassium are soluble in water.

Question 3. Are metallic bonds are strong bonds?

Answer: Yes, Metallic bonds are not weak bonds.

As metals require high temperatures to melt and boil. A large amount of energy is needed to cleave the bonds between metal atoms, hence they are considered strong bonds.

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Question 4. What is the difference between a Metallic and Covalent bond?

Answer: The difference between Metallic and Covalent bonds are as follows:

Metallic bondCovalent bond
The attractive force is present between negatively charged mobile electrons and positively charged metallic ions.The covalent bond is formed when two atoms get stabilized by sharing their electrons.
The metallic bond is a non-directional bond.The covalent bond is directional.
The metallic bond formed in Solid-state.A covalent bond is formed in solid, liquid and gases state.
Metallic bonds have a high conductivity of heat and electricity.Covalent bonds have low conductivity of heat and electricity.
Metallic bonds have properties like ductility and malleability.Covalent bonds do not have properties like ductility and malleability.

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Smruti Bhosale

I am Smruti Bhosale. I am from Mumbai. I have Master's degree in Inorganic chemistry from Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Mumbai. I always have a passion for writing and to inspire as many willing minds through my words. Chemistry is a subject that is used by everyone in their normal lives. I want to explain the subject in the most understandable and simplest way possible. I am a creative, hard working person and passionate about learning new things. I like to read books.

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