# Conductor Capacity

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Lightfire, May 17, 2011.

1. ### Lightfire Thread Starter Well-Known Member

Oct 5, 2010
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21
Hello,

I am so wondered how manufactures know the capacity of a conductor. So, how manufactures do know the maximum voltage ratings, current ratings, and so?

Well, for example, I have purchased a metal strip or so and I will use it for something (which will be a path for an electric current to flow). But I am worrying that maybe some minutes, it will become hot or so.

So, how do I will know the maximum ratings of a one conductor?

Thanks.

2. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,766
2,536
Actually it is extremely simple. First start with the metal. It is usually copper, but it can be something else. Stick with copper though, for a specific gauge of wire you get a specific Ω/foot number. You also get how much current this wire can safely carry before showing signs of stress and damage from overheating.

Add the insulation characteristics such as temperature and breakdown voltage and you have a full set of specs for that strand of wire.

http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

3. ### Lightfire Thread Starter Well-Known Member

Oct 5, 2010
690
21
No~~~

I want to use a simple metal. Like metal strips. not wire.

Um, they only determine wires not other metals.

help?

Mar 24, 2008
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2,536
5. ### tom66 Senior Member

May 9, 2009
2,613
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For manufacturers, it's very simple. Get a piece of wire, pump some amps through it until it melts. They only have to do this a few times for each wire to know the rating.

6. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
20,766
2,536
Do you really want this guy melting wire with high currents?

7. ### Lightfire Thread Starter Well-Known Member

Oct 5, 2010
690
21
That was in my mind.

8. ### #12 Expert

Nov 30, 2010
16,345
6,831
Lightfire: Measure the strip of metal thickness and width. Convert that to "how big it would be if it was round". Then you can use standard charts if you are using copper or aluminum.

Other than that, you are going to be searching the internet for properties of metals.

Oct 15, 2009
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