What Is a Conductive Parts? Definition & Examples

Conductive part: part that can carry electric current [defined in the IEC 60050-195-2021].

What Are the Conductive Parts?

The term ‘conductive part’ defines a qualitative characteristic of any part of the electrical equipment, the electrical installation of a building or a building, namely its ability to conduct an electric current. Conductive parts of electrical equipment or the electrical installation of a building include cores of wires and cables, busbars and other electrical conductors, as well as other conductive elements of electrical equipment – metallic and conductive non-metallic fittings, enclosures, means of fastening, etc.

Main earthing terminal
Figure 1. Main earthing terminal as an example of a “conductive part”

Examples of Conductive Parts

Buildings contain numerous metal structures and equipment, such as metal pipes of water, heating and gas systems, metal fittings, beams and cladding of wall, ceiling and floor surfaces, metal gas cookers, heating boilers, heat exchangers, ducts, and other conductive parts that are not related to the electrical installation of a building.

All the specified parts of electrical equipment, the electrical installation of a building and the building are conductive parts. Some conductive parts of electrical equipment, such as cores of cables and wires and various busbars, are initially oriented towards conducting electric current. They are conductors. Other conductive parts of electrical equipment, e.g. their metal sheaths, are not originally designed to conduct electricity under normal conditions, but can conduct it under faulty conditions. Such conductive parts include exposed-conductive-parts.

Conductive building parts, e.g. steel beams, fittings, metallic water pipes, are also not intended to conduct electricity, but under conditions of single or multiple faults may conduct electricity. These conductive parts are referred to as extraneous-conductive-parts.

The Difference Between Conductive Parts and Live Parts

Certain conductive parts of electrical equipment and the electrical installation of a building may be live under normal conditions. These are referred to as live parts. Other conductive parts of the electrical equipment and the electrical installation of a building as well as conductive parts of the building should not be live under normal conditions, but may become live under single or multiple faults, e.g. if the insulation of a live part is faulty.