# Can we picture metallic bonding as an equilibrium between electrons and cations?

Can we picture metallic bonding as an equilibrium between electrons and cations?

Suppose:

$$\ce{Al^3+ + 3e- <=> Al}$$

• I mean isn't $\ce{Al^3+}$ stable, why would it need the extra electrons since its outer shell is stable? – Asker123 Mar 29 '15 at 16:56
• Related although not a direct duplicate. chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/25003/… – bon Mar 29 '15 at 16:56

In metals, electrons are non-localized, forming a "sea" of electrons, rather than having them localized, as in the $\ce{Na+Cl-}$ lattice of crystalline salt. See Metallic bonding for a more complete description.