The metals that conduct electricity the best are silver, copper and aluminum. Both copper and aluminum are used extensively in electrical wiring. Silver, though it conducts electricity better than either of the other two, is too expensive for common usage.Continue Reading
Known since antiquity, silver is a brilliant metal whose chemical symbol is Ag, after argentum. It not only conducts electricity better than other metals but also conducts heat better. It also has the lowest contact resistance.
Copper is the second best conductor of electricity. Also known since ancient times, copper is a bright reddish metal that can also be drawn into thin wires. It's been used to conduct electricity since the early part of the 19th century.
Aluminum, a strong, soft but lightweight metal, is also an excellent conductor of electricity. It conducts electricity 61 percent as well as copper even though it's less dense. However, aluminum wiring isn't used much in residential electrical systems because of problems that had little to do with the qualities of the metal, but how it was installed. Much aluminum wiring was installed after World War II, when copper wire was scarce. The demand resulted in substandard installation, which resulted in circuit failures and fires.Learn more about Electricity
There is no metal that does not conduct electricity entirely, but there are some metals that are less effective conductors than others. Metal atoms have electrons in their outer shells that are not tied to any particular atom and can flow freely within the metal when electricity is applied.Full Answer >
There are no non-conductive metals; all metals conduct electricity, though some do this more effectively than others. Thanks to the molecular structure of metals, they are all relatively effective conductors, though silver is the most conductive metal known to man.Full Answer >
Bloom Energy's solid oxide fuel cell uses high temperatures to convert hydrocarbon fuel and air into electricity without combustion, corrosive acids, molten materials or precious metals. The electrolyte is a solid, ceramic material which functions as a catalyst in reacting the oxygen in heated air coming in through the cathode with hydrocarbon fuels such as ethanol, methane or natural gas coming in through the anode to generate electricity and produce the steam and heat necessary to maintain the process.Full Answer >
In general, metals make good electrical conductors while nonmetallic solids are good insulators, or materials that don't conduct electricity well. Electrolyte solutions, such as salt water, are also good conductors of electricity.Full Answer >