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Materials Technology

Assignment No. 1

Part 1

(i) Metallic Bond

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Its is known that the atomic structure of any element is made up of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by electrons revolving at different distances. Metallic elements contain only one, two or three electrons in the outer shell and in this case the strength of the bond is relatively weak between the outer electrons and the nucleus.

(ii) Ionic Bond

This type of bond occurs between metallic and non-metallic elements. It is known that in non-metallic elements the outer shell contains a larger number of electrons than the metals. For example the outer shell of a chlorine atom contains seven electrons and there is a strong driving force to attract an electron to make a stable group of eight. When sodium with one valence electron and chlorine with seven electrons react, the sodium gives up its electron to form a stable outer shell of eight electrons for the chlorine. This is known as an ionic bond because Na+ and Cl are formed and are mutually attracted owing to their opposite charges.

(iii) Covalent Bond

The main feature of this bond is that the electrons are strongly held and equally shared by the participating atoms. This type of bond is very often found in ceramics. The most common example of a covalent bond is the diamond crystal where each carbon atom is in the centre of the tetrahedron, sharing each of its four electrons with the adjoining electrons.

(iv) Van Der Waals Bond

This type of bond occurs to some extent in all materials, but is important in the polymer group of materials. The molecules are made up of a backbone or skeleton of covalently bonded carbon atoms attached to the other carbon bonds at the sides. These bonds are very strong and rupture under extreme conditions. Failure of the material occurs between the carbon atom and the other element atom.


A metal in its molten state will solidify as the temperature falls, this is a process where the atoms change from a disordered or amorphous condition to an ordered or crystalline structure.

Pure metals solidify at a fixed temperature, in most cases there is some degree of undercooling of the liguid prior to solidifying. This is due to the lack of nucleating sites. Once a nucleating site is established it provides a solid/ liquid interface for the growth of the crystals.


(i) Body centred cubic

This is the least economical packing of atoms in a metal, some of the metals in this lattice group include vanadium, ferrite and chromium.

(ii) Face centred cubic

The most economical packing is achieved by the face centred cubic lattice, metals with this lattice structure include gold, silver and lead.

(iii) Close packed hexagonal

By orientating the fcc unit it can be seen that three of the atoms in contact also make up part of the hexagonal close packed lattice. Metals with this lattice structure include magnesium, zinc and nickel.

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