Metals and Nonmetals

Chemical Properties of Metals and Nonmetals

Metals and Nonmetals are an important part of our lives. We can’t survive without nonmetals like oxygen, and our survival would be tough without the existence of metals. What’s the chemical science behind these substances? Let’s find out more about the chemical properties of metals and nonmetals.

Suggested Videos

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow

Chemical Properties of Metals

Metals vs Nonmetals

The chemical properties of Metals and Nonmetals are described below. Let us start with the chemical properties of metals.

  • The density of metals is usually high.
  • Metals are malleable and ductile.
  • Metals form an alloy with other metals or non – metals.
  • Some metals react with air and corrode. For e.g. Iron.
  • Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. Lead is an exception.
  • Generally, metals are in a solid state at room temperature. Except for Mercury. Mercury is in a liquid state.
  • Many metals produce metal oxide by burning in the oxygen of the air. Highly reactive metals react violently when they’re burnt in oxygen.
  • Metals like sodium and potassium are stored in oil as they react with air in seconds. They’re highly reactive metals.
  • Less reactive metals like gold, silver, platinum, etc do not tarnish easily. They stay shiny and lustrous.
  • Metals produce metal oxide and hydrogen gas while reacting with water.
  • Soluble metal oxides dissolve in water and create metal hydroxide.
  • Not all metals react with water. However, highly reactive metals like sodium and potassium react with water violently and an exothermic reaction takes places where the hydrogen immediately catches fire.
  • Salt and hydrogen are produced when a metal reacts with an acid.
  • Generally, a metal displaces a less reactive metal in a metal salt solution.

Did you know? Sodium is the most reactive metal. Learn more about Occurrence of Metals here.

Download Chemical Properties of Metals and Nonmetals Cheat Sheet PDF

Chemical Properties of Nonmetals

In the chemical properties of metals and nonmetals, we will now see the chemical properties of nonmetals

  • Nonmetals are poor conductors of heat and electricity. Graphite and Gas carbon are exceptions.
  • Unlike metals, nonmetals aren’t malleable and ductile.
  • Nonmetals react more with metals than with nonmetals.
  • Usually, nonmetals react with other nonmetals in high temperature.
  • Most nonmetals do not react with air in room temperature.
  • White phosphorus is the only nonmetal that reacts with air to form its oxide by burning.
  • Usually, nonmetals do not react with water. Except for Chlorine, chlorine dissolves in water to form an acidic solution.
  • Nonmetals have a low density.
  • They do not form alloys. However, nonmetals like carbon, silicon and phosphorous.
  • Nonmetals exist in all states of matter at room temperature.
  • Different nonmetals have different reactions.
  • Chlorine is the most reactive metal in the halogen family i.e. Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I), and Fluorine (F). The reactivity order of the halogen family is Cl > Br > I.
  • Therefore, Chlorine (Cl) can displace Bromine (Br) and Iodine (I) from solutions of bromides (NaBr) and Iodides (NaI).
  • Ionic solids are formed when nonmetals with high electronegativity react with alkali and alkaline earth metals.


Solved Examples for You

Q: Which of the following metal is a poor conductor of heat and electricity?

  1. Lead
  2. Gold
  3. Iron
  4. Zinc

Ans: The correct answer is option ‘a’. Lead is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Read more about Lead here.

Share with friends
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

No thanks.