Metals and Non-Metals Class 10 Notes

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Metals and Non-Metals Class 10

Class 10 Science syllabus covers multifaceted topics concerned with the basics of varied branches of Science, such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. From life processes to living organisms and from electricity to sustainable management of natural resources, students get to know about the prominent foundational concepts in the vast Science stream. One such topic you will get to study in Class 10 Science is Metals and Non-Metals. This detailed chapter explores the key characteristics of metals and non-metals, related processes, amongst others. This blog has collated the study notes for Metals and Non-metals Class 10 to help you understand the major pointers and concepts covered in this chapter.

What are Metals and Non-metals?

Continuing chapter 1 in Class 9th, i.e. Matter in our surroundings, this chapter focuses on the study of the classification of matter as well as metals and non-metals. The basis of the classification of metals and non-metals are the physical and chemical properties of elements. Let’s understand these physical and chemical properties as described in Metals and Non-Metals chapter in Class 10 Science:

Physical Properties of Metals & Non-Metals

First and foremost, we begin the classification, by comparing the appearance and scientifically called the physical properties of the elements. The different characteristics are due to the different structures of molecules that form the entire material. The physical properties given in the Class 10 chapter on Metals and Non-metals are:


Take a look at the physical properties of Metals:

  1. Lustre: Metals possess a unique characteristic that makes their surfaces shining bright, in the pure state. This property of metals is called metallic lustre that makes the surfaces of iron, aluminium, and copper shine when rubbed with sandpaper. 
  2. Hardness: Metals are hard due to the tight packing of atoms close to each other in the crystal structure. This property of metals is called hardness which allows iron and copper to retain their shape and not get cut by a knife.
  3. Malleability: Metals, when hit by a hammer multiple times, change their shape, and form sheet-like shapes. This property of metals is called Malleability that allows copper to be beaten into sheets.
  4. Ductility: Metals are used in wiring different electrical appliances and also in the home electrical system. The Class 10 chapter on Metals and Non-metals also elucidates that this property which makes any metal attracted to wires is referred to as ductility. 
  5. Conductivity: Metals are used in the electrical system due to their property of conduction, which allows heat and electricity to pass through them. This characteristic of conductivity varies as per the number of electrons present in the last shell as they transport the electrical energy and thus determine conductivity.
  6. Density: The majority of metals have a high density.
  7. Colour: The majority of the metals are grey in colour. Gold and copper, on the other hand, are exceptions.
  8. Strength: The majority of metals are robust and have a high tensile strength. As a result, large constructions are built of metals such as copper (Cu) and iron (Fe). (With the exception of sodium (Na) and potassium (K), which are soft metals.)
  9. Sound: Because metals produce a ringing sound, they are said to be sonorous. Metallic sound is another name for the sound of metals. This is why metal wires are utilised in the manufacture of musical instruments.
  10. Melting and Boiling Point: Metals have high melting and boiling points in general. (Except for the metals sodium and potassium, which have low melting and boiling points.)


Take a look at the physical properties of Non-Metals:

  1. Hardness: Nonmetals are typically soft rather than hard. The diamond, on the other hand, is an exception; it is the hardest naturally occurring material.
  2. State: Non metals can exist as solids, liquids, or gases.
  3. Lustre: Non metals have an unappealing look. Diamond and iodine are the only exceptions.
  4. Sonority: Non-metals are not sonorous, which means they do not create a characteristic sound when struck.
  5. Conduction: Non metals conduct heat and electricity poorly. Graphite, a carbon allotrope, is an exception and an excellent conductor of electricity.
  6. Malleability and Ductility: Non-metals are brittle.
  7. Melting and Boiling Point: Non metals have low melting and boiling points in general.
  8. Density: Most of the non-metals have low density.

While studying the Class 10 notes on Metals and Non-metals, you must also go through the following physical properties of Non-metals. This can be understood by different experiments between metals and non-metals to understand whether physical properties differentiate them from each other. Here are some examples to help you comprehend the same:

  • Mercury is the only metal which does not remain solid at room temperature.
  • As a non-metal, Iodine is lustrous which is a physical property of metals.
  • Carbon as a non-metal can be present in varied forms and its forms are referred to as allotrope such as diamond which is the hardest natural substance and has a higher melting as well as boiling point.
  • Graphite, as an allotrope of Carbon, is actually a conductor of electricity.
  • Alkali Metals are also soft in texture and can be easily cut with a knife.

Thus, through this comparison, it can be concluded that non-metals have varied forms and don’t have particular shapes unless it’s Iodine and Carbon. The chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10 also highlights that a clearer difference between Metals and Non-metals can be presented through their varied chemical properties.

Chemical Properties of Metals and Non-Metals

The chemical properties of metals and non-metals can be explained through the analyses of the reactions of metals with distinct elements. The following sections elucidate the major reactivity experiments conducted in the chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10:

Reactions of Metals when Burnt in Air

Metals burn in oxygen to form different compounds of metal and oxygen. As per the chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10, metals combine with oxygen to form metal oxide. 

metal + oxygen -> metal oxide

2Cu + O2→ 2CuO
(Copper) (Copper(II) oxide)
4Al + 3O2→ 2Al2O3
(Aluminium) (Aluminium oxide)

The metal oxides formed are insoluble in water, but some dissolve in water to form alkalis.

Reactions of Metals with Water

While going through the chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10, you will get to explore the reactivity of metals with water. Metals react with H2O to form a metal oxide, releasing hydrogen gas. 

Metal+ Water→Metal oxide + Hydrogen

2K(s) + 2H2O(l) → 2KOH(aq) + H2(g) + heat energy
2Na(s) + 2H2O(l) → 2NaOH(aq) + H2(g) + heat energy
2Al(s) + 3H2O(g) → Al2O3(s) + 3H2(g)
3Fe(s) + 4H2O(g) → Fe3O4(s) + 4H2(g)

Note: Other metals, on the other hand, either do not react with water or react extremely slowly. Steam has no effect on lead, copper, silver, or gold. As a result, the order of reactivity of various metals towards water may be expressed as:

K > Na > Ca > Mg > Ae > Zn > Fe > Pb > Cu > Ag > Au

Reaction with Acids

Metals react with the acid to give salt and hydrogen gas.

Metal + Dilute acid → Salt + Hydrogen


2Na + 2HCl → 2NaCl + H

Mg + 2HCl → MgCl2 + H

Remember: When metal is treated with nitric acid (HNO3), no hydrogen (H2) gas is produced. Nitric acid is a powerful oxidising agent that oxidises the hydrogen gas (H2) released into the water (H2O) and reduces itself to certain nitrogen oxides such as nitrous oxide (N2O)3, nitric oxide (NO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Note: Noble metals include copper, gold, and silver. These are not affected by water or dilute acids. The sequence of metal reactivity towards dilute hydrochloric acid or sulphuric acid is as follows:

K > Na > Ca > Mg > Al > Zn > Fe > Cu > Hg > Ag

Reactions of Metals with the Solution of Other Salts

When metals react with a solution of another metal salt, the more reactive metal easily displaces the less reactive element from the solution. Take a look at how this reaction works as elaborated in Metals and Non-metals in Class 10:

Metal A + Salt solution of B → Salt solution of A + Metal B




In the above reaction, metal A is more reactive than metal B. Thus, the reactivity of different metals depends upon the various chemical properties.

Reactivity Series of Metals 

The Reactivity Series refers to the order of metal intensity or reactivity. Moving from top to bottom in the provided reactivity series, the reactivity of components diminishes. Copper, gold, and silver are near the bottom of the reactivity series and hence the least reactive. These metals are referred to as Noble metals. Potassium is at the top of the series and hence the most reactive element. Thus, the reactivity of different metals depends upon the various chemical properties. Here is the reactivity series mentioned in the chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10:

Reactivity Series
Reactivity Series

Chemical Properties of Non Metals

The following sections elucidate the major reactivity experiments conducted on non-metals to explain the chemical properties of non-metals.

Reaction of Non Metals with Oxygen

In simple and easy language, when non-metals react with oxygen, they produce the corresponding oxide. Hence, 

Non-metal + Oxygen → Non-metallic oxide

Example: When carbon interacts with oxygen, carbon dioxide is produced along with heat.

C + O2 → CO2  + Heat

Carbon monoxide is produced when carbon is burned in an insufficiently oxygenated environment. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide inhalation can be deadly.

2C + O2 → 2CO + Heat

Reaction of Non-Metal with Chlorine

When non-metals react with chlorine gas, they produce the corresponding chloride.

Non-metal + Chlorine → Non-metal chloride

Example: When hydrogen reacts with chlorine, it produces hydrogen chloride, while phosphorus produces phosphorus trichloride.

H+  Cl→ 2HCl

Reaction of Non-Metals with Hydrogen

Covalent hydrides are formed when non-metals react with hydrogen.

Non-metal + Hydrogen → Covalent Hydride

Example: Sulphur combines with hydrogen to form a covalent hydride is called Hydrogen sulphide.

H+  S   →  H2 S

How Do Metals & Non-Metals React?

Metals and non-metals can react with different salts and solutions to form different compounds.  The reaction of metals and non-metals can occur when either of them has free electrons in its valence shell. The free electrons reach the valence shell of the element that needs to attain noble gas configuration. Here is a table elucidating the electronic configuration of some elements:

Electronic Configuration of Elements
Electronic Configuration of Elements

The new compound formed by the transfer of an electron from a metal to a non-metal is called an Ionic compound. As per the topic of Metals and Non-metals in Class 10, these ionic compounds have positively charged cation and negatively charged anion. 

Here are the major properties of ionic compounds:

  1. Physical Properties: Ionic compounds are hard due to the extensive forces of attraction between their atoms. These compounds are brittle, which means they break very easily when pressure is applied. 
  2. Melting And Boiling Points: Due to the high forces of attraction between different atoms, it requires a tremendous amount of energy to break the bonds. Thus, it can be concluded that the ionic compounds generally have high melting points as well as boiling points.
  3. Conduction: A solution of an ionic compound in water has fee ions, namely cations and anions, that enable it to conduct electricity through the solution.


The earth’s crust contains almost all the metals, with some found in seawater as soluble salts. The elements that occur naturally in the earth’s crust are called minerals and metals need to be extracted profitably from them. The process of the profitable extraction of metals from different ores involves various steps of extraction and refining. The occurrence of metals and non-metals is very contrasting in the earth’s crust. Some are found in ores of minerals, and some are found in seawater in an insoluble form. The metals can react with the surrounding, forming different compounds, which can decrease their effectiveness. Here is a summary of the extraction of pure metal from ores is given in the chapter on Metals and Non-metals in Class 10 Science:

Extraction of Metals from Ores
Extraction of Metals from Ores


Everyone must have observed an iron material getting covered by a reddish substance when it was left for many days in the rain. The reddish substance is rust, and the process that leads to the formation of rust is called corrosion. When metals are left in moisture, they react to form substances like rust, which lower the usage and quality of metal. The topic of Metals and Non-metals in Class 10 also describes different methods to prevent corrosion. There are various working ways by which we can prevent corrosion of metals like Galvanisation, in which we cover metals with a thin layer of zinc. Alloying is a process where the properties of metals are enhanced and used for a variety of purposes.

Extraction of Metals

Metals are classified into three groups based on their reactivity: the most reactive, the medium reactive, and the least reactive. The three primary processes in extracting a metal from its ore are as follows:

  1. Concentration or Enrichment of Ores
  2. Conversion of Concentrated Ore into Crude Metal
  3. Refining of impure or crude metal.

The steps involved in the extraction of metals  from ores are as follows:

Gangue → Roasting → Calcination → Reduction 

Metals and Non-Metals Class 10 NCERT PDF

Metals and Non-Metals Class 10 Notes PPT

Courtesy: Gurudatta Wagh

Important Questions and Answers 

Now that you are familiar with the major concepts covered in Metals and Non-metals in Class 10 Science, here are some important exam questions and answers for your revision.

Both calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) are heavier than water but still float over them. Why? 

Calcium and magnesium both float on the water’s surface because when these metals combine with water, hydrogen gas is produced. It takes the shape of bubbles that adhere to the metal surface. As a result, they float above it.

Ca(s) + 2H2O(l) → Ca(OH)2(aq) + H2(g)

How are metals in different forms like wires and sheets?

Metals have properties like Malleability and ductility that allow them to be beaten into sheets and drawn into wires.

Iodine has a shining surface. Is it metal?

Being an exception, Iodine is a non-metal possessing a lustrous surface.

What is rust?

Rust is a reddish-brown substance formed on the surface of iron when it reacts with moisture.

How does metal exist in nature?

Metals exist in different forms in the earth’s crust. Minerals ores are the sites from which we extract metals profitably.

How are ionic compounds formed?

Ionic compounds are formed by the sharing of an electron from a metal to a non-metal.

Mention the reason why ionic compounds have a high boiling and melting point?

The reason behind the high boiling and melting point in Ionic compounds is that they have strong forces of attraction between atoms that require immense energy to break. 

What is iron ore?

Iron ore is a site where iron exists in combined form in the earth’s crust.

How do we get aluminium from aluminium oxide?

Aluminium oxide can be obtained from electrolytic reduction.

What is corrosion?

Corrosion is the process in which a metal reacts with moisture, forming insoluble compounds like rust.

How can we prevent corrosion?

We can use processes like Galvanisation that cover metal surfaces and prevent the reaction of metal with moisture.

Metals and Non-Metals Class 10 Assignment Questions 

  1. Which gas is produced when dilute hydrochloric acid is added to a reactive metal? Write the chemical reaction when iron reacts with dilute H2SO4.
  2. What would you observe when zinc is added to a solution of iron (II) sulphate ? Write the chemical reaction that takes place.
  3. Write the electron dot structures for sodium, oxygen and magnesium.
  4. Show the formation of Na2O and MgO by the transfer of electrons.
  5. What are ions present in these compounds?
  6. Define the following terms:
    1. Mineral
    2. Ore
    3. Gangue
  7. Name two metals which are found in nature in the free state.
  8. What chemical process is used for obtaining a metal from its oxide.
  9. What are amphoteric oxides? Give two examples of amphoteric oxides ?
  10. Name two metals which will displace hydrogen from dilute acids and two metals which will not.
  11. In the electrolytic refining of a metal M, what would you take as the anode, the cathode and the electrolyte ?
  12. Give reasons for the followings:
    1. Platinum, gold and silver are used to make jewellery.
    2. Sodium, potassium and lithium are stored under oil.
    3. Aluminium is a highly reactive metal, yet it is used to make utensils for cooking.
    4. Carbonate and sulphide ores are usually converted into oxides during the process of extraction.
  13. You must have seen tarnished copper vessels being cleaned with lemon or tamarind juice. Explain why these sour substances are effective in cleaning the vessels.
  14. Differentiate between metal and non-metal on the basis of their chemical properties.
  15. Give reasons why copper is used to make hot water tanks and not steel (analloy of iron).

Hence, we hope that this blog helped you understand the major concepts explored in Metals and Non-metals Class 10. Confused about selecting the right stream after the 10th? Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you in making an informed decision at this incremental stage of your academic journey! Sign up for a free session with us today.

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