What is an electrical conductor? An electrical conductor is generally a metallic material that freely conducts electrical current. The best conductor is silver, followed by copper, and then aluminum. Copper is used in virtually all electronic equipment due to its low resistivity, relatively low cost, corrosion resistance, solderability and ease of handling. Aluminum is often used for heavy utility wiring, but aluminum connections require special attention to prevent corrosion.
Small conductors such as fine magnet wire may be rated for only a few milliamperes, while large bus bars may be rated for thousands of amps. Current rating is generally limited to temperature rise because conductors tend to run warm at their full current rating. Conductors have an ampacity or current rating—AWG#12 wire that is commonly used in building wiring is rated at 20amps.
Stranded wires consist of multiple fine strands to make the conductor flexible. Electronic components for PCB’s generally have solid conductor leads, while interconnecting wires and cables are generally stranded conductors.
This series continue with: