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The Importance of Electrical Conductivity Measurement

16. August 2021

The Importance of Electrical Conductivity Measurement

Electrical conductivity, a physically quantifiable measurement, plays a crucial role in many industrial processes. It refers to how well a substance allows electricity to flow through it. Most metallic materials, including iron and copper, are electrical conductors, meaning they can carry electric currents. However, the ability to conduct electricity relies on several factors. For example, the presence and number of mobile electrons within a material directly affect its conductivity level. This measurement provides critical information for manufacturers in a wide range of sectors.

Read on to learn more about the importance of measuring electrical conductivity and how Fischer Technology can help.

Why Is Electrical Conductivity Testing Necessary?

Electrical conductivity measurement is applied to the production process for both quality control and quality assurance. Specifically, it is used to determine how well a material can conduct an electrical current. Beyond this, such testing allows manufacturers to gather information about the composition of a substance, including its microstructure and mechanical properties. Armed with this data, users can determine whether the material is suitable for its intended use.

Which Industries Use Conductivity Measurement?

Many industries incorporate conductivity testing into their quality control and manufacturing processes. For example, certain companies may use it to verify the authenticity of metals such as aluminum, copper, or gold. Identifying a materialโ€™s purity, strength, and integrity is critical to achieving the desired performance and durability of the end product.

The measurement of electrical conductivity applies to organizations in the life sciences, food and beverage, aeronautics, aerospace, pharmaceutical, power, water, and other sectors. In the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs), for example, galvanized copper is a commonly used material due to its high conductivity. However, to ensure the circuit boards function properly, manufacturers must verify that the copper they are using is pure and allows enough electricity to flow through for optimal performance.

Likewise, the conductivity of components used in the construction of aircraft is measured to examine their capacity to discharge, thereby assuring their ability to endure material stress caused by an event such as a lightning strike.

Measuring Conductivity with the SIGMASCOPEยฎ SMP350

Fischer Technologyโ€™s SIGMASCOPEยฎ SMP350 is unrivaled in its performance as a portable, state-of-the-art instrument for measuring the electrical conductivity of non-ferrous metals. It offers razor-sharp accuracy and quick measurement to streamline quality assurance processes. The handheld design also provides added convenience and minimizes the need to transport products to specific testing locations.

Additionally, this instrument enables you to gather further information about the hardness and strength of heat-treated materials on location and within a precise timeline. As such, manufacturers can observe the stability of components subjected to significant temperature variations. This provides further information about the presence of heat damage or material fatigue, both of which directly affect the integrity of the end product.

The Fischer SIGMASCOPEยฎ SMP350 uses a phase-sensitive method known as โ€œeddy current.โ€ This allows non-contact measurement of all materials โ€“ even those with paint or plastic coatings. Another benefit of the eddy current is that it minimizes the effects of surface roughness, which can influence the outcome of measurements when using other methods.

Whether you are verifying the authenticity of gold coins or determining the integrity of materials used in the manufacturing of consumer products, Fischer Technologyโ€™s innovative measurement instruments can help. For more information about our electrical conductivity measurement solutions, contact our customer service team today.

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