What’s the Best Conductor of Electricity?


You probably remember your primary school days, experimenting with electricity in the classroom, testing out different materials, from wood, to metal, to citrus fruit, even! So it may come as no surprise that metal is one of the most highly conductive materials. That having been said, what’s the best conductor of electricity in the metal family? Is aluminum conductive? How about steel or copper? The title of “most conductive metal” goes to pure silver. That said, silver also has a low heat resistance and high cost. The next best conductors for electricity commonly used in industrial settings are copper, gold, and aluminum. Stainless steel on the other hand is the worst metallic electrical conductor. Read on to learn more about perks of each type of metal listed above!



Silver and Gold! If you’ve ever watched the old-timey animated Rudolph film, you’ll be familiar with this old Burl Ives jingle. But silver and gold are worth more than their use in currency or jewelry. While silver is scarcely used in industrial settings due to its cost prohibitive nature and ease of tarnishing, not to mention its relatively low heat tolerance among metals, it is in fact the best metallic conductor of electricity.


Gold is a great conductor of electricity, but like silver, it’s quite expensive. Often, it’s used in applications like microchips, where very little is required. Why? Gold offers high resistance to corrosion and oxidation. 


You’ve probably seen copper wire before. It’s one of the most commonly-used metals to conduct electricity. That’s because it’s malleable and therefore easy to wrap and solder, not to mention highly conductive and readily available. 


Does aluminum conduct electricity? We get this question often, and the answer is “Yes!” That said, it’s about 60% as conductive as copper by volume. By weight, though, it’s doubly as conductive. This makes it great in certain applications. 

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