Are covalent compounds good conductors of heat?

Covalent compounds are the most common type of chemical compound found in our daily lives.

What are Conductors:

Conductors are materials that allow electricity to flow freely through them. They are made up of small particles called atoms, and each atom contains a nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons. The atoms in a conductor are held together by covalent bonds, which are strong chemical bonds that involve the sharing of electrons between two atoms.

Why are Covalent Compounds Bad Conductors of Heat?

Covalent compounds are bad conductors of heat for two reasons.

Firstly, covalent bonds sufficiently hold the atoms together. This means that there is very little to no free movement of electrons, which is what carries the heat energy throughout a material. As a result, there is very little movement of the electrons within the material and heat energy cannot be transferred quickly enough to allow for efficient conduction.

Secondly, covalent compounds bonds don’t break down when heated. This means that there will be no dissipation of heating energy through vibration or thermal expansion, and the heat will be concentrated in one area. This can cause the material to overheat and potentially damage or destroy it.

Poor Conductor of Heat:

Heat is a form of energy, and in covalent compounds its shared electrons are stuck in the middle of the molecules rather than being able to move around. This prevents the heat from being able to move as freely as it would in other compounds, making covalent compounds poor conductors of heat.

This is why, for example, metal pots and pans are better at conducting heat than ceramic ones – the metal has more free electrons that can carry the heat away.


For example, water is a covalent compound but so is table salt! However, while these types of compounds may be useful to us, they can also be bad conductors of heat because their molecules don’t move around very much. This means that when you add something like salt or sugar to your food it will take more time for the heat from your stove to spread through it and cook it properly.

On the other hand, ionic compounds are great conductors of heat because their molecules move around a lot more. This is why salt and sugar dissolve so quickly in water – their ions quickly move around and spread the heat evenly. So if you’re looking to cook your food quickly, it’s best to use an ionic compound like salt or sugar.

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