What are conductors and insulators? Examples, Meaning and Differences

What are conductors?

Conductor is a substance that has a small resistivity and conducts electric current easily. The presence of a large number of freely moving charged particles in a conductor is called a carrier. Under the action of an external electric field, the carriers move in a directional manner, forming an apparent current. Metals are the most common type of conductors. The valence electrons in the outermost layer of a metal atom easily break free from the nucleus and become free electrons, leaving the positive ions (atomic solids) to form regular dotted arrays. The concentration of free electrons in metals is large, so the electrical conductivity of metallic conductors is usually larger than that of other conductor materials. The resistivity of metallic conductors generally decreases with decreasing temperature. At very low temperatures, the resistivity of some metals and alloys disappears and they are transformed into “superconductors”.

Examples of conductive materials

Silver: It is considered the best conductor of electricity but is usually only used in certain situations due to its high cost.

Hardened copper: This is the most excellent conducting material. While it does not have the same electrical conductivity as silver, its low cost means it is used in wiring systems for most machinery and appliances.

Gold: Like silver, it is used as a conductor in specific applications such as mobile phones or watches. Steel and aluminum: They are characterized by low cost and high conductivity. They are often used in industrial fields.

Bronze: It has similar properties to silver and gold, which means it is highly conductive, but costly to use regularly.

Hydrogen: Excellent gas with high electrical conductivity. However, when it goes through the ionization process, it tends to have some chemical instability.

Mercury: Although not used very often due to its high toxicity, this material can be in a gaseous, liquid or solid state, depending on the temperature at which it is placed. Salt solutions: Salt solutions are perfect conductors due to the ionization of salt in the aqueous medium.

Graphite: This organic material consists of carbon chains used in conducting electrical circuits.

What are insulators?

insulators are also known as dielectrics. They have a very high resistivity. Definition of insulator: An object that does not readily conduct electricity is called an insulator. Insulators and conductors, there is no absolute boundary. Insulators can be transformed into conductors under certain conditions. Note here: the reason for conducting electricity: whether solid or liquid, if there are electrons or ions inside that can move freely, then he can conduct electricity. There is no freely moving charge, under certain conditions, can produce conductive particles, then it can also become a conductor

Examples of Insulating Materials

The wood. Conduction has salt and humidity. Often used in different structures and positions.

Silicate. Insulating material, mainly present in insulators. It can come as aluminum silicate (on hard porcelain) or magnesium silicate (on steatite or forsterite). In the first case it is a good support for heating conductors.

Swelling clay. It is obtained from natural clay and used as an aggregate for mortar and concrete, improving the insulation of different building sectors.

Oxide ceramics. For insulation of spark plug or use at high temperature.

Glass. Short and medium tension insulation does not absorb moisture, but is prone to jolting and cracking.

The cork. The low weight and density of the material allows several layers to be placed, improving the effectiveness of the cork. It is also a very waterproof insulator.

Rubber. The flexibility of rubber gives it great power, as it tends to withstand a great deal of deformation without breaking, and it returns to its original shape. Foam rubber is also an insulating material, which acts as a sound insulation.

Ceramics. It is a kind of insulation with low hygroscopic property and good impact resistance. It is often used in the electrical engineering industry. Alumina. Used for fire insulation parts and spark plug insulation.

Plastic. It is a better insulator because its particles are so tightly bound that it is almost impossible to release electrons.

Conductor and Insulator Comparison

1) It is not called conductor if the object can conduct electricity, and insulator if the object cannot conduct electricity.
2) There is no absolute boundary between conductor and insulator, when the conditions change, insulator may also become a conductor. For example, dry wood is an insulator, but wet wood becomes a conductor.
3), conductors of different materials, their conductive properties have differences. Wires in the home should be better conductivity of copper core wire, generally do not use poor conductivity of aluminum core wire.
4), the human body is a conductor, so you can not just touch the charged body.
Good at conducting current material called conductors, not good at conducting current material called insulators. Conductors exist in a large number of freely moving particles of charged material, called carriers. Under the action of the external electric field, carriers for directional movement, the formation of an obvious current. Insulators electrical insulators are also called dielectrics. Their resistivity is extremely high, about 108 to 10τΩ-m, more than 1014 times greater than the resistivity of metals.

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