Manufacturing companies of machine parts and electrical applications use various grades of metals to meet the needs of a variety of industries. This requires a thorough knowledge of metals and their ability to conduct electricity. From aluminum and stainless steel to brass and copper, each metal and alloy has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some are more conductive than others. Others are more compliant to shape into any equipment you need. It helps to know the differences to select the right metals and components for your requirements.
Best Metal Conductors
Silver: One of the best conductors of electricity is silver, although that doesn’t make it the most popular for industrial use. Pure silver has its own drawbacks. It tarnishes with usage and exposure to humidity for instance. It distributes electricity unequally during the use of high-frequency currents. Silver is also expensive. Silver wires are not a cost-effective option such as aluminum or copper for large scale use.
Gold: Gold is a high conductor of electricity but is far costlier than silver, which restricts its use in machinery. Extremely thin gold wires and plating are used in microchips and in applications that require high resistance to oxidation and corrosion.
Copper: Copper is pliable, is a high conductor of electricity with a low resistance to joule heating. It is easy to work with copper. It can be twisted; it is easy to wrap or solder, transmits electricity uniformly and most importantly, copper is safe for producing electricity. It is easy to see why copper is used in household appliances, electrical equipment, motor generators, mobile phones, televisions and computers. Unlike silver, copper is inexpensive which is why electromagnetic cores are wrapped in copper wire. Copper is widely used in microelectronic conductors, microprocessors and electric circuits as well.
Brass: Alloys combine metals to diffuse some of the negative properties. Brass is made by combining 30% zinc to pure copper making it a good conductor of electricity, strengthened with magnetic properties. It is widely used in electrical components and connectors.
Aluminum: Although it has only 60% of the conductivity of copper, in terms of weight, just a pound of aluminum has the conductivity of two pounds of copper. As a result, it is extremely cost-efficient and is increasingly replacing copper in electrical applications. Aluminum is popularly used in electrical power cables and connectors, electrical outlets and other large scale electrical outlets.
Stainless Steel: Although stainless steel is not a great conductor of electricity, different grades of the metal is used in a wide range of electrical applications because of its impressive anti-rust properties. From wall-mounts to floor mounts and a whole assortment of structural assemblies of homes, offices and industries, stainless steel is one of the most visible alloys of present days.
Sees Inc. is a full-service steel fabrication company and ISO certified manufacturer providing a wide range of sheet metal fabrication and machinery services for virtually any industry. We are a single-source supplier that you can trust for all your machining needs, producing parts to your exact design specifications. As a fully-integrated company, we are capable of handling all stages of manufacturing in-house from conceptualization to manufacturing and delivery. We use cutting-edge technology to ensure accuracy and precision no matter what your needs. Call us to discuss how we can strengthen your business.