Comparing Different Metals Conductivity Vs Copper
Different metals conduct electricity at different rates. While that statement seems blatantly obvious, the rates at which they differ is far from obvious. The one that sticks in my mind is that although brass is composed of 70% copper and 30% zinc, it conducts only 28% the amount of electricity that copper conducts. In other words, by simply not alloying it with zinc, and instead just making a solid copper part 70% of the original size, it would still conduct 250% of the amount of electricity as the original part. As a result, I can't understand why one wouldn't make, say a distribution block, out of straight copper instead of brass. Even if it uses the same amount of copper as would be used in the zinc (therefore saving the material cost of zinc and alloying labor cost), the performance increase is HUGE. And who wouldn't want a substantial performance boost in their circuit? I can't wrap my head around it... But here's a quick little chart to show how well most common metals compare to copper. Just click on it to enlarge.