What is conductivity

What Is Conductivity



Conductivity can be explained as “rate at which a matter or an energy can pass through a given material”. In this blog we will be focusing on electrical & thermal conductivity, but it is important to know about the various types of conductivities.

Types of Conductivity

Unlike the general knowledge, there are more than 2 types of conductivities (electrical & thermal). Some of these other types of conductivities are: hydraulic, acoustic, ionic, and optical.

  • Electrical: Measured in “Siemens per meter (S/m)”, it represents a material’s ability of conducting electrical current.
  • Thermal: Measured in “Watts per meter-Kelvin [W/(m*K)]”, it represents a material’s ability of conducting heat.
  • Hydraulic: Measured in “meters per second (m*s)”, it represents the ease of a liquid’s movement through a pore space or a fractures network. It is an important property for porous materials, soils, and rocks.
  • Acoustic: It represents the capacity of a material’s ability to propagate sound waves within its structure.
  • Ionic: It represents how the ions move across the molecular structure in solids and in solutions.
  • Optical: It represents the relationship between the induced current density within a material and the magnitude of the same inducing electric field for arbitrary frequencies.



Most metallic materials like;

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Aluminum
  • Gold
  • Brass
  • Nickel
  • Platinum
  • Steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Zinc


are electrically conductive and are suitable to use in various industries but copper, aluminum, and silver are the most frequently used metals in industries. Electrical conductivity plays a vital role in many industrial processes and equipment such as:

  • Electronics: Conductive materials are generally preferred in the electronics industry due to their ability to conduct electricity. These materials plays an essential role is various electronic devices like transistors, printed circuit boards (PCBs), and integrated circuits etc. In addition, electrically conductive adhesives are a crucial part of EMI/RF Shielding applications.
  • Safety: In some cases, it is better for some materials to have low electrical conductivity. These insulation materials are used where in areas where preventing electrical shock and fire is vital. These insulating materials are used in electrical equipment and appliances to prevent electrical current from flowing in areas where it should not.
  • Electrical Power Generation & Transmission: Due to their high electrical conductivity and their resistance against corrosion, copper and aluminum are commonly used in power generation and transmission systems. Conductors plays a crucial role in generating, transmitting, and distributing electrical power.
  • Sensors: High electrical conductivity materials are used in sensors which detects changes in electrical currents. This technology is used in touchscreens etc.
  • Transportation: Materials like copper and aluminum are used in construction of buses, subways, trains as well as bikes, cars, and aircrafts in order to ensure a safe and most importantly efficient electrical power transfer.



Thermal conductivity represents a material’s ability to conduct/transfer heat. Materials that have high thermal conductivity can transfer the heat more efficiently and easily take up the heat from the surrounding whereas materials with low thermal conductivity resists against the heat flow and obtain heat slowly from the surrounding. Materials like;

  • Carbon
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Aluminum Nitride
  • Silicon Carbide
  • Aluminum
  • Tungsten
  • Graphite
  • Zinc
  • diamond

have high thermal conductivities. Although diamond have the highest thermal conductivity due to its price its not commonly used in industries. Copper, Aluminum, Graphite, Silver and Gold are the most commonly used thermal conductors used in industries. Thermal conductivity plays a crucial role in many industrial processes and equipment:

  • Batteries: In batteries, intense research is being focused on increasing their energy density, their storage capacity, and their cycling speed. However, all these increases comes with a higher and faster generation of waste heat. That’s why thermal management is vital for protecting the systems.
  • Automobile & Electric Vehicles: Poor thermal management can decrease the product’s performance, reduce its lifecycle and most importantly in worst-case scenario a thermal runaway event can result in causing serious damage to product and/or to the user.
  • Buildings: Materials with low thermal conductivity are used in buildings as a thermal insulation system.
  • Heat Sink: Materials with high thermal conductivity are generally used in heat sink applications.


Conductive Adhesives

While conductive adhesives can be used in various areas, they are most commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and telecommunication industries. The conductive adhesives offer a lead-free solder alternative for all kinds of component attachments across a wide range of applications. Moreover, they provide a long-term and reliable performance.


Our Solutions

As Adhetron, we offer a variety of solutions to various industries with our thermally and/or electrically conductive adhesives. Our adhesives’ application areas consist of;

  • Permanently bonding metal assemblies (EMI windows etc.)
  • Electronic connection of components (to avoid mechanical fixing or solder)
  • EMI/RF shielding along with environmental sealing
  • ESD control/grounding
  • Replacing soldering where heat CANNOT be tolerated
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) applications

and many more…

You can read more about our conductive adhesives on;



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