Classification of Electrical Engineering Materials
Materials used in the field of Electrical Engineering are called the Electrical Engineering materials. Based on properties and area of applications, Electrical Engineering materials can be classified as below-
A classification chart of electrical engineering materials is shown in figure below
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ConductorsConductors are the materials which have very high conductivity. The number of free electrons are very high in a conductor at room temperature, which is the basic reason of high conductivity of conductors. Examples: Silver, Copper, Gold, Aluminum etc. The number of free electrons are very high in silver, which makes the silver a best conductors of electricity. The binding force on these free valance electrons by nucleus is very low. Due to which these electrons can easily be freed from the nucleus and can participate in the flow of electricity.
SemiconductorsSemiconductors are materials which have the conductivity between conductors and insulators. Semiconductors are the elements of group-III, group-IV and group-IV elements. Semiconducting materials have covalent bond. At normal temperature the conductivity of semiconductors is very low. With increase in temperature the conductivity of semiconductors increases exponentially. Example: Germanium, Silicon, Gallium Arsenic etc.
Insulating MaterialsThe conductivity of insulating materials is very low. These material are having a very high resistivity which makes them very suitable to insulate the current carrying parts from earthed metallic structure. In insulating materials the electrons are tightly bounded with nucleus. Due to which they cannot be freed for movement in materials. Due to which the resistivity of insulating materials is very high. Example:- Plastics, Ceramics, PVC etc.
Magnetic MaterialsThese materials play an important role for existence of various electrical machines. The magnetic materials having high permeability are used for building the core to from the low reluctance path for magnetic flux. Magnetic materials can be further divided in following categories
- Ferromagnetic materials
- Paramagnetic material
- Diamagnetic materials
- Antiferromagnetic materials