The metallic materials used for the production of electrical conductors show the following characteristics :
- An excellent electrical conductivity in order to minimize the losses due to the heatings of the Joule effect.
- Excellent resistance in aggressive environment.
- Permanent reliability of the electrical contact.
- Easy use and recycling.
Only a small number of elements are able to satisfy these properties. Mainly, it is copper, aluminium (and their alloys), materials that are availble in huge quantity in nature.
Sometimes, the basic properties of the material are not sufficient and it is necessary to add a plating to improve the performance of the material.
So, platings such as tin, silver, nickel improve some properties as solderability, oxidation resistance, heating resistance during the further process (insulation..).