Metallic Bonding Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Metallic bonding involves metals sticking together. It is important to many of your everyday tasks and tools you use. In this lesson, you will learn what metals are, how metallic bonding happens, and why metallic bonding is important to us.

What's Metal?

Have you ever balled up a piece of aluminum foil, or squeezed an aluminum soda can? You were able to do that because foil and aluminum are made of metal, which is very flexible.

Metals are shiny substances that are found naturally on Earth. They are also opaque, which means you cannot see through them. Some common metals include iron, copper, gold, silver, aluminum and tin. Metals range from being very hard, like iron, to softer, like aluminum, in their solid forms. When the same type of metal or different kinds of metals are combined, they can easily form various shapes.

Buckets can easily be shaped with metals.
Metal Bucket

Features of Metal

Metal is a very flexible substance in many ways. It is a great conductor of heat, which means that heat can move through it easily. However, it is also strong. So, it takes lots of heat to melt metal, and it has a very high boiling point. This makes it durable to use for pots, pans, jewelry, grills, stoves and building homes. Firetrucks are also designed with lots of metal because of its strength.

Metal is also a great conductor of electricity. Therefore, the metal copper is used to create wires that electricity travels through to provide power to electronics and buildings.

Have you ever tried to flatten a baked birthday cake? If you try, it will break into pieces. However, metal is different. It is malleable, which means that it can be shaped and flattened without breaking apart. Sort of like smashing an aluminum soda can that can flatten without breaking.

Aluminum is also ductile, which means that it can be melted down and shaped into long, skinny wires without breaking. That is why metal is used to make paper clips, wires inside plugs and wires in toys.

Ductile metal used to make wire
Ductile Metal Wire

Let's take a closer look at what makes metals so flexible and easy to stick together to form a bond.

What's Metallic Bonding?

Metallic bonding is when metals stick together or form a bond. Metals are unique substances because they stick together much easier than other natural materials. Metals are made of tiny building blocks called atoms, which can be seen under a microscope. There is a scientific reason that the atoms of metals bond so easily.

The electrons in atoms share easily to form metallic bonds.

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