This page explains how bonding arises within the structure of a metal. It then links the structure of the metallic bond to the properties of metals such as conductivity and high tensile strength.
Metals are giant structures - that means there are large numbers of particles involved. The ions within the structure of the metal are arranged in an ordered or regular pattern. This means nice neat rows in everyday language. These ions are surrounded by a sea of delocalised electrons. The metal ions and the electron sea have opposing charges and therefore attract each other strongly.
This is shown in the two diagrams to the right, notice that they're pretty much the same except that one has a few electrons added to its electron sea for completeness.
Metals have only one, two or three electrons in their outer shell. They can't bond ionically as metals lose electrons to gain a full outer shell. Metals cannot bond covalenty as metal atoms cannot share enough electrons to gain a full outer shell. So how do metallic bonds form?
The metal atoms lose their outer shell electrons to become positively ions, giving them a full outer shell.
These electrons are free to move throughout the structure of the metal, we call them delocalised electrons.
Metallic Compounds have the following physical properties: