What Are the Most Conductive Metals?

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The list of most conductive metals includes silver, copper and gold. The conductivity standard of metal is based on silver, which is the most conductive of all metals.

Conductivity is defined as the ease with which an electric charge or heat passes through a metal. A conductor gives little resistance to the flow of electric current or heat, which means that a conductor allows an electric charge to flow freely through it. Conversely, an insulator resists the flow of electricity. Ceramics, wood and plastics are considered insulators. Thermal conductivity refers to the ease with which heat passes through a conductor or insulator. Electrically conductive metals typically are also thermally conductive.

From most to least conductive, the top 10 metals are:

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Nickel
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Iron
  • Platinum

The conductivity of all metals is compared to that of silver. On a scale of zero to 100, where 100 represents the most conductive, silver ranks 100. In addition to being a strong electrical conductor, silver does not make sparks easily. It is used in electrical components like contacts and circuits. It is important to note that gold rates a 76 on the conductivity scale. Popular belief suggests that gold is a better conductor than silver, but facts prove this assumption to be false.