Copper’s Electrical Conductivity

The high electrical conductivity of copper has been vital to the development of the electrical industry in the past 100 years. Electrolytic copper has become the industry standard for electrical conductivity. The measure by which all other materials are rated is known as %IACS (percent International Annealed Copper Standard). A few comparative conductivity ratings are:

C110 electrolytic tough-pitch copper – 101% IACS
C102 oxygen-free copper – 101% IACS
C145 tellurium copper – 95% IACS
Aluminum EC – 62% IACS
Aluminum 6101 – 56% IACS
Stainless Steel 302 – 3% IACS

While high conductivity is the main characteristic that makes copper metals valuable to the electrical industry, there are also other characteristics, which make them valuable for electrical use. Resistance to corrosion makes it possible to use bare wire and bar bus bar without any covering. Copper’s high thermal conductivity enables it to dissipate heat generated in the transmission of electricity. Also, copper metals have superior wearing and bearing properties, which make them invaluable for electric contacts. And when a high-performance contact is required, the copper can be easily plated with silver