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Copper and dilute copper alloy thermal conductivity calculator

This calculator produces thermal conductivity values for pure copper and dilute copper alloys over the temperature range up to 300 K based on a single value for low temperature thermal conductivity or electrical resistivity. Please enter a value in one of the fields below. The temperature range values may also be modified.
The equations are taken from Reference [1]; they operate in a similar manner to equations for aluminium described here, and in more detail in Reference [2]. While originally derived for pure copper (with RRR values of 20 and above), they also appear to be applicable to dilute copper alloys (e.g. beryllium copper and zirconium copper) with RRR values as low as 1 (Reference [3]; this reference gives recommended conductivity values for such alloys).

Thermal conductivity value at 4 K: W/m/K

RRR* value: (dimensionless)

Residual resistivity value: Ohm m

Temperature range: from K to K (Results are not provided outside the range 1 to 300 K, but you it is valid to extrapolate values at 1 K linearly down to arbitrarily low temperatures)

Values are generated for the equivalent residual resistivity ratio, RRR* [2]. This can be considered to be equal to the RRR for RRR>=10.

This page is currently in an experimental state. Although the results have been checked, if you are using them for anything important, please do a quick sanity check first (e.g. by comparing with textbook values for a given RRR).

I would appreciate reports of any problems (contact details given here.)


[1] J. G. Hust and A. B. Lankford, "Thermal conductivity of aluminium, copper, iron and tungsten from 1 K to the melting point", National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, Colorado, 1984. NBSIR 84-3007.
[2] A. Woodcraft, "Predicting the thermal conductivity of aluminium alloys in the cryogenic to room temperature range", Cryogenics 45(6): 421-432, 2005.
[3] A. Woodcraft, "Zirconium Copper - a New Material for Use at Low Temperatures?", Proc. LT24, AIP volume CP850, pp. 1691-1692, 2006

Adam Woodcraft
Last modified 2009-08-14