Metals are ductile, malleable and sonorous. The property of metals by which they can be pulled into wires is called ductility. Some metals, such as aluminum and copper, are extremely ductile. The property of metals that allows them to be beaten into sheets is called malleability. Tin and aluminum are examples of highly malleable metals. Additionally, metals produce sound when they are struck and are hard.
Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. This makes them very useful in electrical appliances. All metals are solids at room temperature, except mercury. Metals are lustrous and their surface shines when polished. They also have high melting and boiling points.
Metals produce hydrogen gas when they react with acids. Zinc is often used with concentrated sulphuric acid in the laboratory to produce hydrogen gas. Metals react with oxygen to form their corresponding metal oxides. Metal oxides dissolve in water to form acids.
Most metals corrode on exposure to atmospheric oxygen and moisture. Iron reacts with atmospheric oxygen in the presence of moisture to form a thin film of ferrous oxide. It is a dark brown color and is commonly called rust. Metals form positive ions in their solution. Alloys, such as steel, brass and bronze, are mixtures of base metals.