Which conductor/insulator material best suits the following environments?

Thread Starter


Joined May 8, 2012
From the list given of insulators & conductors, provide one material suitable to match the following environmental conditions. Give reasons for your answer, materials stated can be used more than once, or may not be required.

Conductor material: Copper, silver, aluminium, tungsten, carbon, nichrome, brass, gold, lead, tin

Insulator material: glass, mica, oil, ceramics, rubber, PVC

Enviroments: Dust, Tension, Compression, Vibration

Insulator material: Rubber
Environment: Vibration
Reason: Because it handles vibration well, eg: subwoofers

Conductor material: Lead
Environment: Vibration
Reason: Lead has a high damping capacity & has good sound & viration absorbtion.

Have been struggling with the properties of these materials, ie: glass and ceramics are stronger in compression, yet weak in tension. Just not fully aware of which material to use when working in different environments. Would appreciate anyone who could point me in the right direction, thanks in advance.


Joined Feb 11, 2012
Why don't you make yourself a table and try to fill it in? Think of characteristics that might be good or bad. You can provide ratings (1-5, good/fair/bad) if you wish. For example, try tension, compression, temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistant, dielectric constant, UV light resistant, etc. I'm sure you can think of others. If you can fill in the holes, don't worry. Just leave question marks or "TBD" for now.

I watch so many young people who don't draw pictures, make tables, write down all of the information on paper, etc. It helps you to sort out the problem. Even if it's not part of the formal answer, it often helps you to get your mind wrapped around the subject. This wonderful concept just appeared to me in my last year of undergraduate school, and my problem solving capabilities and grades skyrocketed.

Oh, yeah. Do it on paper first with an old fashioned pencil. I use computers, spreadsheets, word processors, simulators, etc. as much as the next person, but writing things first on paper can pay great dividends.


Joined Nov 30, 2010
My personal rule: As soon as the problem gets too big to hold in your head, you need a pencil.


Joined Mar 14, 2008
I was once told that the brain can only effectively hold and compare about four concepts at once. Anything beyond that needs to be written. ;)