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MECA Electronics

Conductor Bulk Resistivity & Skin Depths

Available bulk resistivity values (ρ) and relative permeability (μr)used to calculate skin depths (δσ) can vary considerably depending on the source. In fact, the values for permeabilities are so far-ranging that I hesitated to even include any of them in the table. The ones used here are typical, gathered from many of the links listed at the bottom of the page. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the user to determine his own value based on a trusted source. Even NIST[1] and CRC[2] do not fully agree on bulk resistivity values for materials as well-known as copper and aluminum. Most common conductors used in cabling have a relative permeability of very near unity (1).

Note that ferromagnetic materials often experience a falloff in relative permeability as frequency increases. For example least one investigator[3] has measured a value as low as 1 for nickel at 10 GHz.

Here is the equation for skin depth
Here is a skin depth calculator

MaterialChemical
Formula
Bulk
Resistivity
@20C
µΩ×cm
(Ω×10-8m)
Relative
Permeability
μ/μ0
Skin Depth
(µm@f)
1
MHz
10
MHz
100
MHz
1
GHz
10
GHz
100
GHz
AluminumAl2.65181.925.98.192.590.8190.259
BerylliumBe3.3191.428.99.142.890.9140.289
BrassCu70/Zn307113342.113.34.211.330.421
BronzeCu89/Sn1115119561.619.56.161.950.616
CarbonC (graphite)1375 186659018759.018.75.90
CadmiumCd7.3 13643.013.64.301.360.430
ChromiumCr13.2118357.818.35.781.830.578
CobaltCo6.346005.81.60.520.160.0520.016
ConstantanCu60Ni4049 35211135.211.13.521.11
CopperCu1.69165.420.76.542.070.6540.207
DuralAl95/Cu 4/Mg 15 112.5435.611.33.561.130.356
GalliumGa15.5 19862.719.86.271.980.627
GoldAu2.2174.723.67.472.360.7470.236
GraphiteC783.7 140944614144.614.14.46
Inconel alloy 600 Ni72/Cr16/Fe 8103151116251.116.25.111.62
IndiumIn8.8 14947.214.94.721.490.472
IridiumIr5.1 11435.911.43.591.140.359
IronFe10.15007.22.30.720.230.0720.023
LeadPb20.6122872.222.87.222.280.722
LithiumLi9.29 15348.515.34.851.530.485
MagnesiumMg4.2110332.610.33.261.030.326
MercuryHg95.9149315649.315.64.931.56
MolybdenumMo5.7112038.012.03.801.200.380
Monel alloy 400Ni65/Cu33/Fe 249 35211135.211.13.521.11
mu-Metal 4730,0002.00.640.200.0640.0200.0064
NickelNi6.92009.33.00.930.300.0930.030
NichromeNi80/Cr20108 52316552.316.55.231.65
PalladiumPd10.8116552.316.55.231.650.523
PlatinumPt10.58116451.816.45.181.640.518
PotassiumK6.8 13141.513.14.151.310.415
RhodiumRh4.7110934.510.93.451.090.345
SilverAg1.63164.320.36.432.030.6430.203
SodiumNa4.9 11135.211.13.521.110.352
Steel  100      
TantalumTa13.5 18558.518.55.851.850.585
Tantalum NitrideTaN252 79925379.925.37.992.53
Tin (pure)Sn12.6117956.517.95.651.790.565
TitaniumTi54137011737.011.73.701.17
TungstenW5.4111737.011.73.701.170.370
UrnaiumU27 26282.726.28.272.620.827
YttriumY53 36611636.611.63.661.16
ZincZn5.96 12338.912.33.891.230.389
ZirconiumZr44 33410633.410.63.341.06

 1: National Institute of Standards and Technology

 2: Chemical Rubber Corporation

 3: Microwave Characterization of Nickel, Stepan Lucyszyn, Imperial College London (thanks to Reto Z. for pointing this out)

Related Pages on RF Cafe
- Coaxial Cable Specifications
- Capacitor Dielectrics & Descriptions
- Dielectric Constant, Strength, & Loss Tangent
- Conductor Bulk Resistivity & Skin Depths
- Coaxial Cable Equations
- Coaxial Cable Specifications
- Coaxial Cable Vendors
- Coaxial Resonator
- Skin Depth Calculator
- Coaxial Connector Usage Chart

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