calculating how much current a certain material can handle

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by gamba, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. gamba

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 27, 2012
    3
    0
    hello, I'm trying to figure out how much current different conducting materials can handle.
    I've found a couple of tables showing diameters and power transmission, but only for copper.

    how do figure out how much current a certain rod of Steel can handle?

    specifically, I'd like to know if a 1/32" steel rod could handle 0.5 ampere and if a 3/32" steel rod would be able to handle 4 ampere.
     
  2. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    3/32 is close in dia. to an 18 ga. wire, so the steel will do fine with the 4 amps. just be sure to get your terminals good and tight, preferably soldered.
    have a look here - googled "steel wire ampacity"

    http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=96603
     
  3. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    4,003
    1,521

    Think you better have another look at the wire gauge table.:)
    3/32" is 0.093, closer to 11AWG than 18AWG that is 0.040. 18 gauge is about half of the 11 gauge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
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  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    handle it and handle it without glowing red is a totally different beast.. Either one of those diameters will carry your amperage EASILY and much more..

    I wonder why the question was asked though..
     
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  5. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    409
    44
    It also depends on the ambient temperature, humidity, etc;
     
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