The table below summarises the general properties of most metals and non-metals.
|Electrical conductivity||Good conductors of electricity||Poor conductors of electricity (electrical insulators)|
|Thermal conductivity||Good conductors of heat||Poor 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 exceptions; some metals and non-metals may display properties that deviate from the norm.
For example, mercury is a metal that has a low boiling point and is a liquid at room temperature. On the other hand, graphite, a form of the non-metal carbon, has a high boiling point and is a good conductor of electricity—properties usually associated with metals.