# 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
843
219
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"

3. ### shortbus AAC Fanatic!

Sep 30, 2009
6,293
3,658

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
5,394
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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 Active Member

Dec 28, 2011
412
47
It also depends on the ambient temperature, humidity, etc;