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Sodium chloride (NaCl) is an ionic compound. It is an important component in saline solutions and is used for a variety of medical purposes including to treat sweating, to clean wounds, and to clear sinuses.
NaCl has many chemical properties that make it useful as a medical substance and in the manufacturing of drug products. It is a common ingredient in the production of saline solutions and has been used as a lubricant and diluent in capsules, direct-compression tablet formulations, and to control drug release from microcapsules.
It has a high melting point and is a good conductor of electricity in its aqueous state. It is a common ingredient in road salts for use during winter. It is also used for the preparation of isotonic saline solution, which is the most commonly prescribed type of saline.
The ionic form of a metal or non-metal is usually determined by whether it gains or loses an electron from the outer shell to form a positive or negative charge. Sodium and other group I metals tend to lose an electron to form the Na+ ion, while non-metals gain an electron to form the Cl- ion.
This reaction is called an ionic bond. Sodium and chloride have a strong ionic bond because they both lose electrons to form the Na+ ion.
Sodium and chloride ions have a cubic lattice structure that is closely coordinated. Each Na+ ion is surrounded by six Cl- ions. This makes it possible for NaCl to have a radius of 0.52, meaning that the center of the crystal is exactly in the middle of an octahedron. This is the reason for its crystalline appearance and why it is so important in saline solutions.