Top 4 Most Conductive Metals

By Adam Ioannidis

Different metals have different properties – some are more unique than others but most of them define a particular metal – making it ideal for certain applications. Today we’re going to be talking about conductivity. Conductivity is a big one – especially in the modern world where our society relies so heavily on electricity. 

What’s even better, is that you’ll be able to find most of the following metals in scrap objects around your home – which will be handy if you’re looking to sell scrap metal. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at four of the most conductive metals in the world and talk a bit about them. 

1.     Silver

This one may surprise you, but it’s the truth – silver is the most conductive metal on the planet. The simple answer as to why is because it has only one valence electron that is able to move around freely due to the low level of resistance silver has. So, why do we rarely hear about silver being used for conductive applications? There are a couple of reasons.

For starters, it’s an expensive metal – and, secondly, it is not very resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, meaning its exterior will deteriorate over time – ultimately affecting the quality of its conductivity. It is also not very strong.

So, whilst silver is the most conductive metal – when you take into account its deterioration rate and cost, it’s not very practical for the bulk of wiring applications. That being said, it is still used in certain batteries, for electrical contacts, on circuit boards and for soldering – so you’ll still be able to find some around your house if you’re looking to sell scrap metal.

2.     Copper

Like silver, copper only has a single valence electron and is also highly conductive – just not quite as conductive as silver. That being said, copper’s other characteristics make it a far more suitable option when it comes to many widespread electronic applications. In fact, it is the most popular option for metal wiring and is considered to be 64% more conductive than aluminium.

The lack of iron in the copper also means it has incredible anti-corrosive properties. Combine that with its high ductility and it is easy to understand why copper is the preferred metal for electrical wiring. You should have no trouble finding scrap copper to sell around the house – especially if you’re looking to get rid of old electrical hardware or components.

3.     Gold

Gold takes a bit from the former metals – it is highly conductive, ductile and extremely resistant to corrosion. However, being a precious metal like silver, it is also expensive to use and thus not very practical for everyday applications. Interestingly enough, its level of conductivity has been said to outlast both silver and copper’s since gold’s corrosion resistance is so good that it never tarnishes.

This means that its conductivity efficiency will never waver – unlike silver’s or even copper’s (which will diminish even a small amount over time since corrosion is inevitable at some point). Gold is often used in electrical contacts and connectors as well as gold bonding wire and electroplating chemicals.

4.     Aluminium

Though not as conductive as copper, aluminium is actually a favoured metal for certain wiring applications. Aluminium is ductile and malleable like copper but has a greater strength to weight ratio (it is three times lighter than copper) – making it the preferred material for power lines, for example. However, for small everyday wiring solutions, copper is still the preferred metal of choice.

Are you looking to sell scrap metal in Melbourne?

Whether you’ve got some e-waste that may have some silver in the components or are looking to get rid of some outdated copper wires – Metal Men Recycling is the best destination for you to sell your scrap metal in Melbourne. Located in Pakenham, our vast recycling plant is equipped with a weighbridge and state-of-the-art sorting facilities. We also offer drop-off and pick-up bin services if your site or office requires a large clean-up.

We buy a wide variety of scrap metal including ferrous and non-ferrous types. Our experts can also help you determine exactly what does and doesn’t qualify for the recycling process if you are unsure.

So, if you have any spare scrap metal lying around at home, come on down to Metal Men Recycling and get paid for making a difference to the environment. Give us a call on 03 5941 6677 or contact us by filling out our online enquiry form today.

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Find us at: 18 Drovers Place, Pakenham VIC 3810