If you work in engineering and manufacturing then you’re going to need to know more about the best conductors and semiconductor of electricity. Metallic bonding causes metals to conduct electricity. What makes a material able to conduct electricity is the number of valence electrons in an atom.
There are several factors that affect electrical conductivity such as temperature, impurities, and crystal structure and phases. The electromagnetic fields and frequency are other elements that come into play. Furthermore, how a material has been processed will also affect how well it can conduct electricity.
Most conductors have one, two, or three valence electrons. A semiconductor is a material with four valence electrons. You should know that the shape and size of a substance impact its conductivity. Learn more about what are the best conductors so you can create and produce the goods and products necessary to run your business.
One of the best conductors is silver in its pure form. Silver has one valence electron. The reason that it’s a top conductor is that it has a higher number of movable atoms (free electrons). What makes a material a good conductor is the ability of the electricity passing through to move the electrons. You’ll discover greater conductivity when the metal has more free electrons. Since it’s so expensive it’s usually only used for specialized equipment requirements. Changing the temperature of silver or any other conductor for that matter alters its conductivity. However, it breaks down at low temperatures.
Another top conductor to add to your list is copper. Copper also has one valence electron. It’s cheaper than silver but a bit less conductive. It’s commonly used as an effective conductor in household appliances. Electromagnet cores are usually wrapped with copper and you’ll notice that most wires are copper-plated. You may find it useful if you need a large amount of conductive material since it’s easy to wrap into a wire.
Gold has one valence electron. It also doesn’t tarnish when it’s exposed to the air. Gold is also a good electric conductor you should know about and use. The downside is that it’s quite expensive for everyday and common use so many shy away from choosing it. The specific properties of it make it functional when you require specific purposes and uses.
While Aluminum has three valence electrons, it’s an excellent conductor too. However, keep in mind that although it conducts electricity it doesn’t do so as well as copper. In electrical connections, aluminum will form an electrically resistant oxide surface. Unfortunately, this can cause the connection to overheat and cause problems. High-voltage transmission lines use aluminum, but they’re encased in steel for supplementary protection.
These are some of the best conductors and Semiconductor options and materials out there. Although these are at the top of the list there are many others that follow such as zinc, nickel, brass, and bronze. Iron, platinum, and steel are some others that follow right along and can offer you some of the conductivity you’re looking for.