Both copper and silver are conductors of electricity but only copper is used for making electrical wires and not silver. Why?

Copper has high electrical conductivity and ductility, it’s inexpensive, it’s thermally resistant and found abundantly. These properties or characteristics make it universally accepted metal for manufacturing electrical wires and using it in almost every electric appliances. 

That's why we use copper in making electric wires except for silver.


There are several reasons for using copper in household wiring, and they are:

1.  High Conductivity - It is the only metal after silver which is highly conductive, that means electricity can pass through it with greater ease, making it ideal for use in electrical wires. Due to being highly conductive, copper allows electric current to flow a greater distance.

2. Inexpensive -  It is also relatively inexpensive when compared to other metals like Silver, Gold, etc.

3. High Ductility - As copper is a metal, it also has properties of ductility, and it is highly ductile, means, you can bend and flex copper to some degree without breaking it, due to which it can travel through walls, floors, ceilings and other tight spaces without losing any power strength from shape deformity.

4. Thermal Resistant (High-Temperature Tolerance) - Electrical wires take current from one place to another, in such situation when high voltage current passes through a wire its surface temperature becomes high. The temperature of high-tension electrical lines continues to rise and fall, which can't be sustained every wire, but copper wire can. This special property makes these wires long-lasting.

5. Abundance - According to several geological surveys, it is reported that copper is present in abundant quantities under the earth’s crust. It was found in the survey that, approximately 1014 tons of this reddish metal is found in the top 1km layer of the earth’s crust. And, on the basis of the present extraction rate, this amount is estimated to be enough for the next 5 million years.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 10-Oct-2022


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