Introduction to Heavy Metals and Transitional Metals


The elements like Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Silver (Ag), Gold (Au), Zinc (Zn), Mercury (Hg), Tin (Sn) are generally considered as heavy metals. Metals having density more than 5 gram/cc are known as heavy metals.

Properties of heavy metals:

  • Heavy metals are hard and has high melting point and boiling point.
  • They have high specific gravity (relative density).
  • Heavy metals combined with one another to form important alloys.
  • These metals have more than one oxidation state (variable valency). For example: Fe++ and Fe+++, Cu2++ and Cu++ etc.
  • These metals generally give colored compound. For example: Ferric salts are light green in color, Ferric salts are brownish in color while Copper salts are blue in color.
  • They are good conductor of heat and electricity.

D-block or transition elements:

The elements which lies between S block and P block elements in Modern Periodic element are called D-block or transitional elements. These elements have partially filled sub-shells and has common oxidation state.

General characteristics of Transitional elements:

  • They are hard, strong and has high boiling and melting points.
  • They are good conductor of heat and electricity.
  • They are ductile materials (can be transformed into thin sheets).
  • They form alloy with one another and with other metallic elements.
  • They form interstitial compound with the non metals like carbon, boron, nitrogen, hydrogen, etc.
  • They are highly soluble in mineral acids.
  • They exibit variable oxidation state
  • Their ions and compounds are colored.
  • The general electronic configuration of these metals is (n-1)d1-10ns1-2.

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