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Sodium chloride is an ionic compound with a chemical formula of NaCl. It is found in seawater and rock salt and has a wide range of uses. For example, it is used as an ice melt agent and de-icing agent on roads in sub-freezing weather. In addition, it is used in the production of many chemicals.
The physical characteristics of sodium chloride include its crystalline structure and its ionic bonds. These characteristics help identify the substance and contribute to its identity.
Sodium chloride has a crystalline structure in which a large number of chloride ions are tightly packed. This crystal lattice is commonly described as 6:6-coordinated.
The larger chloride ions are arranged in a cubic array and the smaller ions fill the octahedral voids. A face-centered cubic lattice is also possible. Each Cl- ion is surrounded by six cations.
Sodium chloride is not a metal and therefore, does not react with ammonia. However, sodium does have a weak metallic bond. When it is exposed to air, it acquires an opaque grey color.
Sodium chloride is a crystalline substance that is easily soluble in water. At room temperature, it can be cut with a knife. Moreover, sodium is light in weight and brittle in nature.
Sodium is an alkali metal, meaning it has a low melting point. It is also highly reactive. As a result, sodium chloride can be decomposed to toxic fumes at high temperatures.
It is a very common ionic compound, which is used in the production of many chemicals. It is also a common ingredient in many foods and beverages.