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topic 6350

Conductivity & density of conductive metals



I wish to know the conductivity & density of electrolytic grade Copper & Silver.

Mahesh Khandelwal
- Vrindaban, U.P., India


Some questions, like how to get started on something or personal experiences in dealing with an unusual problem, are very well suited to this public forum, Mahesh. Questions about the quantitative properties of materials are poorly suited because you have to look them up for confirmation in the end anyway.

So let's assume your question is of the first typesmiley, and answer it by saying "try ASM's Metals Handbook". Good luck and thanks for visiting.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Dear author,

My friend and I are both engineering students and we are having a slight disagreement, I was hoping that you can solve it..... what has the highest conductivity in the electrical standpoint...i.e., the greatest number of free floating of electrons.... laboratory copper, gold, silver, or aluminum.... Thanks for your help...

Simon Raymond
- Radcliff, Kentucky, USA


Silver. But copper is so very close and is so much less expensive that it's the universal choice for conductors.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


I would like to state a correction of a previous answer. Aluminum actually has the lowest density resistivity -being the best conductor over Copper and Silver! 67.50-Alum., 141.57-Copper,154.31-Silver,388.53-Gold.#'s are g/cm^3 nano-ohm-meters. That is why power companies use aluminum for high voltage power cables that are strung from tower to tower. It is light and a very good conductor and inexpensive too.

Brian P. Scott
- Sacramento, California


I have to take exception to the last answer. Aluminum has the lowest density resistivity but that does not make it the best conductor over Copper and Silver! Electrical conductivity is a measure of a material's ability to conduct an electric current. Conductivity is defined as a ratio of the current density to an electric field strength. Silver has the highest "electrical conductivity" of any metal! Followed by copper then aluminum.

Ted Cambron
- Brecksville, Ohio USA

April 25, 2009

I have to agree with the previous post, and the reason power companies use it for their highlines is because not only is copper too expensive, but much heavier.

Zach Grant
- Vale, SD, US

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