When it comes to different metals, the subject can become confusing. Many alloys have different names or descriptions. So, actually understanding how many metallic elements, different metals, or alloys there are is difficult to simply quantify.

First (easiest) things first

We'll start with the easiest bit first and look at the metallic elements. There are five kinds of metals on the Periodic Table, and they're arranged on the left side. Alkaline Earth Metals, Alkali Metals, Transition Metals, Actinides, and Lanthanides. Metals make up 70 out of the total 94 elements (that naturally appear on earth) on the Periodic Table.

An element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements cannot be broken down into simpler substances by any chemical reaction.

There are now 118 known elements. To clear up the confusion as to whether there are 94 or 118 elements, the first 94 occur naturally on Earth, and the remaining 24 are synthetic elements produced in nuclear reactions - therefore you often see conflicting figures as to how many different elements there are.

About eight percent of the Earth's crust is aluminium, making it the most abundant metal on this planet. However, it is always found combined with various other elements, never by itself in a pure state. Two of the most frequently encountered aluminium compounds are alum and aluminium oxide.

Always one who has to be different 🙄

Metals have a range of common properties that link them together and these main metallic properties include the facts that metals are solid at room temperature (except for mercury), they are shiny, with a metallic lustre and most metals have a high melting point and are good conductors of heat.

Most are good electrical conductors, have low ionization energies and have low electronegativities. They are malleable – able to be pounded into sheets, are ductile – can be pulled into wires and have high-density values (exceptions: lithium, potassium, and sodium) which is why most metals sink in water. Most metals however corrode in air or seawater and atoms of metals lose electrons in reactions. In other words, they form a cation.

We might not be able to help you with your chemistry homework, but if you would like to discuss any of our metallic products then just get in touch. But please note, we no longer stock Sodium Teaspoons!