• Written By Pavithra VG

# Uses of Metals and Non-metals: Properties, Examples and Uses

Uses of Metal and Non-Metals: Metals and non-metals are the two primary categories of elements in the periodic table. Each of these components has different qualities and may be found in a variety of places, including buildings, bridges, roads, electric wires, automobiles, mobile phones, laptop computers, and aeroplanes. These substances can also be found in the oxygen and carbon dioxide we breathe.

Metals and non-metals are two types of elements that may be found in our environment. As a result, it’s essential to determine if a given element is metal or non-metal. Metals and non-metals are the two types of materials. Metals, such as aluminium and copper, have high thermal and electrical conductivity, but non-metals, such as sulphur and phosphorus metal, are insulators. The qualities of these components are used to differentiate them.

## What are Metals?

Metals are the elements that conduct heat and electricity and are malleable and ductile.

Examples: Iron, aluminium, copper, silver, gold, platinum, zinc, tin, lead, mercury, etc.

Learn Chemical Properties Of Metals

### Physical Properties of Metals

Following are the few important physical properties of metals:

1. Metals are generally solid at room temperature. Mercury is an exception which is a liquid at room temperature.
2. Metals have the lustrous appearance, i.e., they have shining surfaces.
3. Metals are malleable, i.e., metals can be beaten into thin sheets. Gold and silver are the most malleable metals.
4. Metals are ductile, i.e., metals can be drawn into wires. Gold is the most ductile metal.
5. Metals are generally hard. But sodium and potassium are exceptionally soft metals.
6. Metals generally have high density. Iridium and osmium have very high densities.
7. Due to the strong metallic bond, metals have high melting and boiling points. But the melting point of gallium and caesium is low.
8. Metals are good conductors of heat, i.e., metals have high thermal conductivity. Silver is the best conductor of heat.
9. Due to the presence of free electrons, metals allow electricity to pass through them, i.e., metals are good conductors of electricity.
10. Metals are sonorous, i.e., they produce sound when struck with hard substance.
11. Metals are usually silver or grey in colour. Copper is reddish-brown in colour, while gold has a golden yellow appearance.

### Uses of Metals

Metals are widely used in our daily life for several purposes. The cooking utensils, electric fans, sewing machines, cars, buses, trucks, ships, and aeroplanes are all made of metals or mixtures of metals called alloys. Uses of some metals are as follows:

### Uses of Iron

1. It is used in the construction of machinery and machine tools.
2. It is used as a structural component of the building.
3. It is used in making alloys like stainless steel.

### Uses of Copper

1. It is used in making electrical wires.
2. It is used in making utensils, steam pipes, etc.

### Uses of Aluminium

1. It is used to prepare household items and equipment.
2. Aluminium and its alloys are extensively used in making bodies of automobiles and aircraft.
3. Aluminium wires are widely used in electrical work.
4. Aluminium foil is used as a wrapping material and is used in packing medicines.

### Uses of Zinc

1. It is used to galvanise iron to protect it from rusting.
2. It is used for making containers of dry cells.

### Uses of Gold

1. It is used in making jewellery.

### Uses of Silver

1. It is used in making jewellery.
2. Silver foils are used for decorating sweets.

### Uses of Mercury

1. It is used in thermometers and barometers.

### Uses of Platinum

1. It is used in making crucibles and electrodes for laboratory and industrial use.

1. It is used in making car and inverter batteries.
2. Lead pipes are used for transporting corrosive chemicals in chemical plants.

### Uses of Chromium and Nickel

1. Chromium and nickel metals are used for electroplating and in the manufacture of stainless steel.

### Uses of Titanium and Zirconium

1. Titanium and Zirconium metals are used in atomic energy (nuclear energy) and space science projects.
2. Zirconium metal is used in making bulletproof alloy steel.

### What are Non-metals?

Non-metals are the elements that do not conduct heat or electricity and are neither malleable nor ductile but are brittle.

### Physical Properties of Non-metals

Following are the few important physical properties of non-metals:

1. Non-metals are generally solid or gas at room temperature. Bromine is an exception which is a liquid at room temperature.
2. Non-metals have a non-lustrous appearance, except iodine.
3. These are malleable. But solid non-metals are brittle.
4. These are non-ductile.
5. These are generally soft, except diamond, an allotrope of carbon, which is the hardest substance.
6. These generally have low density.
7. Non-metals have high melting and boiling points due to weak intermolecular forces.
8. Non-metals are bad conductors of heat.
9. Non-metals are bad conductors of electricity except graphite, which is a good conductor of electricity.
10. Non-metals are non-sonorous.
11. Most of the non-metals like hydrogen and oxygen are colourless. The rest of the non-metals shows different colours like sulphur is yellow; phosphorus is white or red; graphite is black, selenium and iodine are greyish white, etc.

### Uses of Non-metals

The non-metals show different types of properties, and on the basis of their properties, they show different uses in various fields. The uses of some non-metals are as follows.

### Uses of Hydrogen

1. It is used in the hydrogenation of vegetable oils.
2. It is used in the synthesis of ammonia.
3. It is used as rocket fuel in liquid form.
4. It is used in the manufacture of nitric acid and nitrogenous fertilisers.

### Uses Of Oxygen

1. It is used in the respiration and combustion processes.
2. It is used for welding purposes.
3. It is used in hospitals in liquid form to help patients in breathing.

### Uses of Nitrogen

1. It is used in the manufacture of ammonia and other industrial chemicals containing nitrogen.
2. It is used in preparing nitrogenous fertilisers.
3. It is used to provide an inert atmosphere whenever necessary.
4. It is used in a gas-filled thermometer to measure high temperatures.

### Uses of Carbon

1. An allotrope of carbon, i.e., graphite, is used in making an electrode for electrolysis and batteries.
2. An allotrope of carbon, i.e., diamond, is used in jewellery.
3. An allotrope of carbon, i.e., coke, is used as a fuel.
4. It is used as a reducing agent in metallurgy.
5. It is used as activated charcoal for absorbing poisonous gases.
6. It is used as a black pigment in printer’s ink.
7. It is used as filler in automobiles tyres.

### Uses of Sulphur

1. It is used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid.
2. It is used in making gun powder.
3. It is used in the vulcanisation of rubber.

### Uses of Chlorine

1. It is used in the manufacture of bleaching powder.
2. It is used in the manufacture of dyes, drugs and many organic compounds like chloroform, DDT, etc.
3. It is used in sterilising drinking water.

### Uses of Alloy

An alloy is a homogeneous mixture of two or more metals, or a metal and a non-metal. Following are the uses of some alloys:

1. Brass $$({\rm{Copper}}\, + {\rm{Zinc}})$$ is used for making utensils and decorations.
2. Bronze $$({\rm{copper}}\, + {\rm{Tin}})$$ in making coins, medals, bells, and utensils.
3. German silver $$({\rm{Copper}}\, + {\rm{Zinc + Nickel}})$$ is used in making utensils and heating coils.
4. Gunmetal $$({\rm{Copper}}\, + {\rm{Tin + Zinc + Lead}})$$ is used in making guns, barrels, gears, and bearings.
5. Duralumin $$({\rm{Aluminium}}\, + {\rm{Copper}})$$ is used for making utensils.
6. Solder $$({\rm{Lead}}\, + {\rm{Tin}})$$ is used for soldering.
7. Steel $$({\rm{Iron}}\, + {\rm{Carbon}})$$ is used in the construction of roads, making railways tracks, buildings, and other infrastructure.
8. Stainless steel $$({\rm{Iron}}\, + {\rm{Carbon}}\,{\rm{ + }}\,{\rm{Chromium}}\,{\rm{ + }}\,{\rm{Nickel}})$$ is used for making cutlery, utensils, and surgical instruments.

### Summary

Every material in our environment is made up of elements. We know about 118 elements, 94 of which occur naturally and 24 of which are synthetic. These elements are classed as metals, non-metals, and metalloids based on their physical and chemical characteristics.

In this article, you have understood what metals and non-metals are? Examples of them and their properties in detail. You can also recall uses of metals like iron, aluminium, gold, silver, lead, mercury, zinc, zirconium, nickel, etc. Apart from this, you have also learnt the uses of non-metals like hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, chlorine, oxygen, and alloys like brass, bronze, steel, etc.

### Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Uses of Metals and Non-Metals

Q.1. What is metal and non-metal?
Ans: Metals are the elements that conduct heat and electricity and are malleable and ductile.
Examples: Iron, aluminium, copper, silver, gold, etc.
Non-metals are the elements that do not conduct heat or electricity and are neither malleable nor ductile but are brittle.
Example: Nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, etc.

Q.2. What are the uses of metal and non-metal?
Ans: The cooking utensils, electric appliances, machines, vehicles, ships and aeroplanes, alloys, batteries, thermometers, coils are made from metals.
The non-metal like hydrogen is used in the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, synthesis of ammonia, as rocket fuels in liquid form, etc. Nitrogen is used in the manufacture of ammonia, other industrial chemicals containing nitrogen, nitrogenous fertilisers, etc.

Q.3. What are five examples of non-metals?
Ans: Five examples of non-metals are hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus.

Q.4. Which is the liquid metal used in the thermometer?
Ans: The liquid metal used in the thermometer is mercury $$({\rm{Hg}})$$.

Q.5. Write any four differences between metals and non-metals.
Ans: Four most basic differences between metals and non-metals are as follows:

Practice Metals & Non Metals Questions with Hints & Solutions