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How Metal Elements Differ From Nonmetal Elements?

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Metals and Non-metals are the different forms of materials that are present on earth. Elements further can be subdivided into Metals and Non-Metals depending on their Physical and Chemical Properties. Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity, while Non-Metals are considered insulators. Examples of Metals are Iron, Copper, and Aluminum, while Examples of Non-Metals are Phosphorous, Sulfur, etc. In this article, we will go through a detailed understanding of Metals and Non-Metals elements, the Properties of Metals and Non-Metals, and the Difference between Metal and Non-Metal Elements.

What is Metal Element?

Technically, Metals are the elements that generate positive ions and gas metallic bonds. In the periodic table, most of the elements are Metal Elements. This includes iron, silver, gold, and many more elements. The Metal Elements are hard in behavior and are mostly used in the applications of making machinery, agriculture equipment, automobiles, airplanes, etc. The atoms in Metal Elements are arranged in the crystal structure. These elements can easily conduct heat and electricity power. Metal Elements have a high boiling point and also high melting point as well. Below are the properties of Metal which are divided into Physical and Chemical Properties. 

Properties of Metal Elements

1. Physical Properties

Physical Properties are the features of behavior. It states how Metal Elements interact with the environment in terms of appearance and conductivity.

  1. Metal Elements are Shiny or Lustrous in Nature.
  2. Metal Elements are considered good conductors of heat and electricity power.
  3. Metal Elements are having high melting and boiling point. 
  4. Metal Elements are in Solid Form at room temperature. Only the exception is mercury.
  5. Metal Elements are Ductile in Nature.

2. Chemical Properties

Chemical Properties are the features of chemical bonding. It defines how the Metal Elements act in the chemical process of bonding.

  1. Metal Elements are Easily Corrodible which means they are easily destroyed using chemical reactions.
  2. Metal Elements have the ability to lose electrons. 
  3. Metal Elements have the ability to form basic oxides. 
  4. Metal Elements consist of low electronegativities. 
  5. Metal Elements are considered Good Reducing agents. 

What is Non-Metal Element?

As compared to Metal Elements, there are very few elements that are Non-Metal Elements in Periodic Table. Examples of Non-Metal Elements are sulphur, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. Non-Metal Elements are rare in nature as compared to Metal elements. Unlike Metal Elements, Non-Metal Elements don’t have the property to form positive ions, nor do they produce any metabolic bonds. Non-Metal Elements are mostly in solid or gaseous form. Non-Metal Elements are considered good insulators of heat and electricity power. This element lacks Metallic properties. 

Properties of Non-Metal Elements

1. Physical Properties

  1. Non-Metals are poor conductors of electricity and heat power.
  2. Non-Metals are Non-Ductile metals.
  3. Non-Metals are considered Brittle solids.
  4. Non-Metals are present in the forms of solids, and liquids and are also gaseous in nature.
  5. Non-Metals are not sonorous in nature.

2. Chemical Properties 

  1. Non-Metals except Graphite and Gas carbon are poor conductors of nonmetals. 
  2. The density of nonmetals is low. 
  3. Non-Metals except chlorine do not react with water. 
  4. Non-Metals react more with metals compared to nonmetals. 
  5. The reactions of each nonmetal are different than others. 

Similarities Between Metals and Non-Metals

Below there are some of the points that state the Similarities between Metals and Non-Metal Elements: 

  1. Metal and Non-Metals are made up of atoms, and also they are similar in structure.
  2. Metal and Non-Metals have the tendency to react with compounds.
  3. Metal and Non-Metals can occur in solid and liquid forms.
  4. Metal and Non-Metals have valence electrons in their outermost energy level. 
  5. Metal and Non-Metals have specific properties that can be used to identify them uniquely.

Difference Between Metals and Non-Metals


Metal Element

Non-Metal Element

Definition Metals that are shiny, ductile, and malleable are known as metal elements.   Elements that are dull, brittle, and non-malleable are known are non-metal elements. 
Physical State All the metals except mercury are solid at room temperature.  Non-metals do exist in multiple states. 
Conductivity Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity.  Non-metals are poor conductors of heat and electricity. 
Luster Metals are shiny (lustrous) in nature.  Non-metals are dull in appearance. 
Melting and Boiling Points The melting and boiling points of metal element is high.  The melting and boiling points of metal element is low. 
Reactivity Metals are reactive more with acids.  Non-metals are more reactive than metals. 
Corrosion Metals corrode over a period of time.  Non-metals do not corrode over a period of time. 
Examples A few examples of metals include Gold, silver, iron, copper, and aluminum. A few examples of non-metals include oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, sulphur.


In conclusion, Metal Elements and Non-Metal Elements have their own unique Physical and Chemical properties. Along with the unique properties, there are many similarities between the Elements like atomic structure, the tendency to react to other compounds, and many more. We went through various differences between these elements, and understanding these differences is important for understanding the behavior of various elements in different applications, like electronics, and material science. 


Q1. What is the number of metals that are present in the periodic table?

Ans. There is a total of 92 metals present in the periodic table.

Q2. Which is the most expensive metal found on Earth?

Ans. Rhodium is the most expensive metal found on Earth.

Q3. Which metal is considered as most abundant metal on Earth?

Ans. Aluminum  considered as most abundant metal on Earth

Q4. How are metal and nonmetal elements used in different applications?

Ans. Metals are mostly used in applications like construction, electronics, transportation, and other industrial and manufacturing applications, whereas non-metal elements are used in chemical manufacturing, and in the production of plastics and other materials.

Q5. Specify the reason. Why are metals more reactive than nonmetals?

Ans. In comparison to nonmetals, metals have a lower tendency towards electronegativity, which means that positive ions are more likely to form when electrons are lost. In comparison to nonmetals, which have a higher electronegativity and a greater tendency to gain electrons and form negative ions, this makes them more reactive.

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Last Updated : 10 Mar, 2023
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