Q:

When is a metal referred to as malleable?

A:

Quick Answer

A metal is referred to as malleable if it can be hammered, beaten or pressed into a thin sheet without it fracturing. This is one of the characteristic physical properties of metals that allow them to be shaped into curved objects or shapes. The most malleable material is gold.

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Full Answer

There are many other physical properties used to distinguish metals from nonmetals, such as luster, ductility and electrical and thermal conductivity. Metals have a shiny or lustrous appearance, are ductile and also are good thermal and electrical conductors.

Comparing the physical properties of metals to nonmetals, the latter are brittle, non-ductile and not malleable. If a nonmetal is a solid, it is often dull in appearance. At room temperature, metals are in solid form, whereas nonmetals can be in one of the three phases, which are solid, gaseous or liquid.

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