Why are gold and silver not suited for electrical wire?

Both Gold and Silver are good conductors. Copper conducts electricity approximately 6% better than silver. Copper conducts electricity 25% better than gold. Both could be used to make wires.

The problem is not the price.

Copper 1 kg – $5.00

One kilogram of silver – approximately $700.00

One kilogram of Gold – More Than $50,000.00

(Canadian Dollars -Dec 2016)

Manufacturing would incur additional costs beyond the raw material cost. Large factories that produce large quantities of precious metal wire do not exist. Copper is twice as soft and twice as heavy than gold, so it will stretch much more easily under its own weight. Overhead wires would require additional weight bearing relief.

We can’t forget about the security costs. It is common for copper to be stolen from construction sites. Protecting the million-dollar-worth of gold power cable would prove very costly 24/7.

Although gold is used in the electroplating of contacts and some connector tracers, it’s not economically feasible to use it in large quantities and for the most difficult situations.

 

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