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Explore Electrical Conductivity of Common Copper, Aluminum Alloys

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Copper, aluminum, and their alloys are frequently used materials in high-voltage switchgear products.

This standard lists the electrical conductivity of commonly used copper, aluminum, and their alloys, serving as a reference for design, process, quality inspection, and procurement personnel in their work.

1. Scope

This standard provides reference values for the electrical conductivity of copper, aluminum, and their alloys. It is intended for reference in the design, process, quality inspection, and procurement of high-voltage switch products and components.

Explore Electrical Conductivity of Common Copper, Aluminum Alloys

2. Terminology

Electrical Conductivity

The reciprocal of resistivity is referred to as electrical conductivity. It corresponds to the current passing through a unit area when the conductor maintains a unit potential gradient (i.e., voltage difference).

According to the IEC standard, the electrical conductivity of standard soft copper with a resistivity of 1.7241μΩ·cm is taken as 100%, and the electrical conductivity of other materials is compared with it, expressed in %IACS.

Based on the above definition, this standard provides reference values for the electrical conductivity of materials with only resistivity found (highlighted in bold italics in the table). The calculation method is as follows:

Material’s conductivity ÷ Standard soft copper’s conductivity × 100% = IACS unit conductivity

For example; the resistivity of ZL101A is known to be 0.0442 x 16-6Ω.m, the conductivity is:

(1/0.0442) ÷ (1/0.017241) × 100% = 22.624 ÷ 58 × 100% = 39% IACS

3. Electrical Conductivity of Cast Copper and Copper Alloys

Refer to Table 1 for the electrical conductivity of cast copper and copper alloys.

Table 1: Electrical Conductivity of Cast Copper and Copper Alloys

Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity 
10-6Ω.m
Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity
10-6Ω.m
ZCuCr1≥80ZCuSn5Pb5Zn5210.080
ZCuCr0.3≥80ZCuZn38240.071
ZT3960.0178ZCuZn40Pb2250.068
ZT496ZCuZn16Si460.28
Note: The italicized and bold values were calculated based on resistivity.

4. Electrical Conductivity of Cast Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Refer to Table 2 for the electrical conductivity of cast aluminum and aluminum alloys.

5. Electrical Conductivity of Machined Copper and Copper Alloys

The electrical conductivity of machined copper and copper alloys can be found in Table 3.

6. Electrical Conductivity of Machined Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Please see Table 4 for the electrical conductivity of machined aluminum and aluminum alloys.

Table 2: Electrical Conductivity of Cast Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity 
10-6Ω.m
Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity
10-6Ω.m
ZL101360.0457ZL201290.0595
ZL101A39(36)0.0442ZL202330.0522
ZL102400.0548ZL203390.0433
ZL104370.0468ZL301180.0912
ZL105360.0462ZL30326(29)0.0643
ZL109290.0504ZL402(35)
ZL114A40
Note:1) The italicized and bolded numbers are calculated based on resistivity. 2) The numbers in parentheses are listed in the “Handbook of Metal Materials” published by the Chemical Industry Press.

Table 3: Electrical Conductivity of Processed Copper and Copper Alloys

Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity 
10-6Ω.m
Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity
10-6Ω.m
T2960.0178QAl9—4140.123
H62240.071QAl10—3—1.5150.11
HPb59—1260.065QBe217~250.068~0.1
QCr0.5>80QSN6.5—0.1130.128
Note: The italicized and bold values are calculated based on resistivity.

Table 4: Electrical Conductivity of Processed Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity 
10-6Ω.m
Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
Resistivity
10-6Ω.m
Alloy GradeElectrical Conductivity 
%IACS
1035590.02926063570.030
H14
H18
570.030T6550.032
1060620.0286101T6570.030
H18610.02853A21500.034
2A12500.034H14410.0415
T438
(30)
0.045H18400.0425
5A0235
(40)
   0.0493
(0.0476)
6A02550.032
H14
H18
T6450.038
Note: The figures in parentheses are taken from the “Handbook of Metal Materials” published by the Chemical Industry Publishing House.

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