Metallic bonding is the electrostatic attraction between the positive ions and the sea of electrons.
Metallic bonding speaks to the the "sharing" of the free electrons (sometimes called delocalized electrons) in a metal structure on the atomic level. It might be better characterized as the dynamic interaction between the atomic nuclei of the metal and those electrons that are not "locked into" the atomic structure of the matrix in which the metal atoms are situated. There are some quantum mechanical implications, but this is the basic sense of what metallic bonding is. Also, do not confuse metallic bonding with covalent bonding, as they are dissimilar, particularly in their explanations of the way the materials with each of those kinds of bonds act. A link can be found below.
The bond formed between metal atoms due to mobile or free electrons
Metallic bonding constitutes the electrostatic attractive forces between the delocalized electrons, called conduction electrons, gathered in an electron cloud, and the positively charged metal ions. Understood as the sharing of "free" electrons among a lattice of positively charged ions (cations), metallic bonding is sometimes compared with that of molten salts; however, this simplistic view holds true for very few metals. In a more quantum-mechanical view, the conduction electrons divide their density equally over all atoms that function as neutral (non-charged) entities. Metallic bonding accounts for many physical properties of metals, such as strength, malleability, ductility, thermal and electrical conductivity,opacity, and luster.
The very heart of bonding is the attraction of positive and negative charges. There are three standard types of bonding among metallic and nonmetallicÊatoms. Non metallic atoms that can bond to other non metallic atoms is called covalent bonding. Non metallic atoms that can bond to metallic atoms is called ionic bonding. And lastly, metallic atoms that can bond to other metallic atoms is called metallic bonding.
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