Materials are classified by electricity into conductors and insulators. Conductive materials are those that allow the free passage of electrons or electricity and insulating materials are those that do not allow the passage of electricity.
An electrical conductor is a material that offers little resistance to the movement of electrical charges. They are all those materials whose resistance to the passage of electricity is low. The best conductive materials are metals and their alloys.
There are non-metallic materials that have the ability to conduct electricity such as granite and saline solutions and materials in the plasma state.
For the transport of electrical energy, the most used conductive material is copper. Silver is the best conductor, but it is rarely used. Aluminum is also a material used to conduct electricity, although its capacity is 60% that of copper is a lighter material.
Gold is a poor conductor, but it is used in battery terminals and connectors due to its resistance to corrosion.
They are all those materials that do not conduct electricity, that is, they resist the passage of current. Insulators are often used as covers of conductive materials to maintain the current inside them throughout their movement.
The insulating materials have great resistance to the displacement of the load so that these remain free on the conductor and can move easily.
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Differences between Conductive and Insulating Materials
- Conductive materials are those that allow electrons to pass freely between their atoms due to the difference in power between the conductors.
- Insulating materials are those that do not allow the free passage of electrons and are used to cover conductors to protect people from the passage of electric current.
- The best conductors are metals.
- The best insulators are plastic, ceramics, wood, and rubber.