The table below summarises the general properties of most metals and non-metals.
|Electrical conductivity||Good conductors of electricity||Bad conductors of electricity (electrical insulators)|
|Thermal conductivity||Good conductors of heat||Bad conductors of heat (thermal insulators)|
|Bonding||Metallic bonding between metals||Covalent bonding between non-metals|
|Type of oxide||Basic oxides||Acidic oxides|
|Melting and boiling point||Generally high||Generally low|
|Density||Generally high||Generally low|
|State at room temperature||Solid (except mercury)||Different states (solid, liquid and gas)|
|Malleability and ductility||Malleable and ductile||Brittle|
The following definitions describe some of the different physical characteristics of substances.
However, there are always exceptions and some metals and non-metals may exhibit unusual properties.
For example, mercury is a metal that has a low boiling point and is a liquid at room temperature. On the other hand, the non-metal graphite has a high boiling point and is a good conductor of electricity, which are properties usually found in metals.