|Metals are malleable. This means that they can be hammered or pressed into different shapes without breaking. They are also ductile, which means that they can be drawn out into thin wires without breaking. |
In each case, we are changing the shape of the metal without cracking or breaking it. This is possible because the metallic bonds are strong but not directed between particular ions.
If we bend a piece a metal, layers of metal ions can slide over one another. This process is called slip. The metal ions that have moved can reform attractions with delocalised electrons in their new positions. The shape of the metal has changed but the metallic bonds are still present and the material does not break.
On page 6, we will see how dislocations increase malleability and ductility.