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Malleability - Research Article from World of Chemistry

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 1 page of information about Malleability.
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Malleability is one of several general physical properties of metals and metallic compounds. Chemically, elements can be classified as metals, metalloids, or non-metals based, in part, upon these physical properties. Malleability is the ease with which a metal can be hammered, forged, pressed, or rolled into thin sheets. Different metals vary in malleability. For example, lead is highly malleable and can be hammered flat easily.Iron requires considerably more effort to pound into a sheet and is therefore less malleable. Yet, both are metals. In contrast, non- metallic elements, such as carbon or sulfur, shatter into pieces when hammered. Malleability is a valuable property because it allows metals to be shaped into useful forms. Pure gold is the most malleable metal.Silver, aluminum, lead, tin, and copper are also very malleable. Heating usually increases malleability. For instance, zinc, at standard temperatures is brittle, but becomes malleable at temperatures between 248°F (120°C) and 302°F (150°C). Also, impurities can adversely affect the malleability of metals, making them less pliable.

While some metals can have radically different properties overall (gold and calcium, for example), by definition all metals share some physical properties which help define their chemical identities. These include: high electrical conductivity (the ability to carry an electric charge), high thermal conductivity (the ability to transfer heat), varying degrees of luster (the ability to reflect light), ductility (the ability to be stretched into a wire), and malleability. Like other metallic properties, malleability is due to the loosely held electrons in a metal, which allow the metal atoms to slide past one another without experiencing the strongly repulsive forces that would shatter them.

This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Malleability from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.