What materials are used for the conductors of wires and cables?

Wire and cable is a wire product that can transmit power and information. The reason why the cable can conduct electricity depends on the conductivity of the conductor. There are many kinds of cable conductor materials, and different types of conductors have different functions. This article mainly talks about the conductor materials of wire and cable.

Wire and cable commonly used as conductor materials and their characteristics

1. Copper: The most common cable conductor material on the market. Copper has very good electrical conductivity, second only to silver, and second only to gold and silver in thermal conductivity; it is also chemically stable and resistant to corrosion. In addition, copper itself has good plasticity, is easy to weld, and has high practical value. Copper can also be converted into copper alloy, which greatly improves the wear resistance, corrosion resistance and mechanical physical properties of copper.

2 Silver: The electrical and thermal conductivity of silver is the best among cable conductors. And its chemical properties are sufficiently stable. It has good plasticity and is easy to weld. It is mainly used for wire and cable conductors in temperature-resistant wires and high-frequency communication industries.

3. Aluminum: The market share of aluminum is second only to copper, and it is the second most common cable conductor material in the market. The electrical properties of its conductors are second only to silver, copper, and gold; the advantages are good thermal conductivity, good corrosion resistance, average mechanical strength, good plasticity, and small specific gravity. The disadvantage is that the tensile strength is low and it is not easy to weld. Aluminum alloy can improve the mechanical strength, heat resistance and weldability of aluminum.

4. Gold and nickel: mainly used as high temperature resistant wires and cables and communication cables.

5. Iron and steel: often used as reinforcing materials for composite conductors, such as steel-cored aluminum wire, copper-clad steel, aluminum-clad steel wire, etc.

6. Zinc: Zinc is mainly used as a coating to prevent corrosion of cable conductors. Steel wire, steel strip, iron conductors, etc. generally require zinc coating.

7. Tin: It is used as the coating of steel wire/copper wire to prevent corrosion and facilitate the welding of copper wire.

Conductor materials for wires and cables are also commonly used semiconductor materials as conductors, which are divided into elemental semiconductors and compound semiconductors.

Elemental semiconductors are semiconductor materials made of a single element. There are mainly silicon, germanium, selenium, etc., and silicon and germanium are the most widely used.

Compound semiconductors are divided into binary systems, ternary systems, multi-component systems and organic compound semiconductors. Binary compound semiconductors include Group III-V (such as gallium arsenide, gallium phosphide, indium phosphide, etc.), Group II-VI (such as cadmium sulfide, cadmium selenide, zinc telluride, zinc sulfide, etc.), IV- Group VI (such as lead sulfide, lead selenide, etc.), group IV-IV (such as silicon carbide) compounds. Ternary and multi-component compound semiconductors are mainly ternary and multi-component solid solutions, such as gallium aluminum arsenic solid solution, gallium germanium arsenic phosphorus solid solution, etc. Organic compound semiconductors include naphthalene, anthracene, polyacrylonitrile, etc., which are still in the research stage.

Materials with conductivity between conductors and insulators are called semiconductors.

In electronic devices, commonly used semiconductor materials are: elemental semiconductors, such as silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), etc.; compound semiconductors, such as gallium arsenide (GaAs), etc.; and doped or made into other compound semiconductor materials, such as Boron (B), phosphorus (P), indium (In) and antimony (Sb), etc. Silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor material.

Semiconductors have the following characteristics:

1. The conductivity of semiconductors is between that of conductors and insulators

2. When a semiconductor is stimulated by external light and heat, its ability to conduct electricity will change significantly.

3. In a pure semiconductor, adding a small amount of impurities will sharply increase its conductivity.

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