Thermal Properties of Metals, Conductivity, Thermal Expansion, Specific Heat

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Engineering Metals and Materials

Thermal Conductivity, Heat Transfer Review

Metals in general have high electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity, and high density. Typically they are malleable and ductile, deforming under stress without cleaving. In terms of optical properties, metals are shiny and lustrous. Sheets of metal beyond a few micrometres in thickness appear opaque, but gold leaf transmits green light.

Although most metals have higher densities than most nonmetals, there is wide variation in their densities, Lithium being the least dense solid element and osmium the densest. The alkali and alkaline earth metals in groups I A and II A are referred to as the light metals because they have low density, low hardness, and low melting points. The high density of most metals is due to the tightly packed crystal lattice of the metallic structure. The strength of metallic bonds for different metals reaches a maximum around the center of the transition metal series, as those elements have large amounts of delocalized electrons in tight binding type metallic bonds. However, other factors (such as atomic radius, nuclear charge, number of bonds orbitals, overlap of orbital energies and crystal form) are involved as well.

See conversion formulae at bottom:
Material Thermal Conductivity
Btu / (hr-ft-F)
Density (lbs/in3) Specific Heat
(Btu/lb/F)
Melting Point (F) Latent Heat of Fusion (Btu/lb) Thermal Expansion (in/in/F x 10-6)
Aluminum 136 0.098 0.24 1220 169 13.1
Antimony 120 - - - - -
Brass (Yellow) 69.33 0.306 0.096 1724 - 11.2
Cadmium - - - - - -
Copper 231 0.322 0.095 1976 91.1 9.8
Gold 183 0.698 0.032 1945 29 7.9
Incoloy 800 - 0.29 0.13 2500 - 7.9
Inconel 600 - 0.304 0.126 2500 - 5.8
Iron, Cast 46.33 0.26 0.12 2150 - 6
Lead, solid 20.39 0.41 0.032 621 11.3 16.4
Lead, Liquid - 0.387 0.037 - - -
Magnesium - 0.063 0.27 1202 160 14
Molybdenum - 0.369 0.071 4750 126 2.9
Monel 400 - 0.319 0.11 2400 - 6.4
Nickel 52.4 0.321 0.12 2642 133 5.8
Nichrome (80% NI-20% Cr) - 0.302 0.11 2550 - 7.3
Platinum 41.36 0.775 0.035 3225 49 4.9
Silver 247.87 0.379 0.057 1760 38 10.8
Solder (50% Pb-50% Sn) - 0.323 0.051 361 17 13.1
Steel, mild 26.0 - 37.5 0.284 0.122 2570 - 6.7
Steel, Stainless 304 8.09 0.286 0.120 2550 - 9.6
Steel, Stainless 430 8.11 0.275 0.110 2650 - 6
Tantalum - 0.6 0.035 5425 - 3.6
Tin, solid 38.48 0.263 0.065 450 26.1 13
Tin, Liquid - 0.253 0.052 - - -
Titanium 99.0% 12.65 0.164 0.13 3035 - 4.7
Tungsten 100.53 0.697 0.04 6170 79 2.5
Type metal (85% Pb-15% Sb) - 0.387 0.04 500 14+- -
Zinc 67.023 0.258 0.096 786 43.3 22.1
Zirconium 145 0.234 0.067 3350 108 3.2
Material Conductivity
W/m-C
Density
kg/m3
Specific Heat
J/kg-C
Aluminum, 2024, Temper-T351 143.0 2.8E+3 795.0
Aluminum, 2024, Temper-T4 121.0 2.8E+3 795.0
Aluminum, 5052, Temper-H32 138.0 2.68E+3 963.0
Aluminum, 5052, Temper-O 144.0 2.69E+3 963.0
Aluminum, 6061, Temper-O 180.0 2.71E+3 1.256E+3
Aluminum, 6061, Temper-T4 154.0 2.71E+3 1.256E+3
Aluminum, 6061, Temper-T6 167.0 2.71E+3 1.256E+3
Aluminum, 7075, Temper-T6 130.0 2.8E+3 1.047E+3
Aluminum, A356, Temper-T6 128.0 2.76E+3 900.0
Aluminum, Pure 220.0 2.707E+3 896.0
Beryllium, Pure 175.0 1.85E+3 1.885E+3
Brass, Red, 85%Cu-15%Zn 151.0 8.8E+3 380.0
Brass, Yellow, 65%Cu-35%Zn 119.0 8.8E+3 380.0
Copper, Alloy, 11000 388.0 8.933E+3 385.0
Copper, Aluminum bronze, 95%Cu-5%Al 83.0 8.666E+3 410.0
Copper, Brass, 70%Cu-30%Zn 111.0 8.522E+3 385.0
Copper, Bronze, 75%Cu-25%Sn 26.0 8.666E+3 343.0
Copper, Constantan, 60%Cu-40%Ni 22.7 8.922E+3 410.0
Copper, Drawn Wire 287.0 8.8E+3 376.0
Copper, German silver, 62%Cu-15%Ni-22%Zn 24.9 8.618E+3 394.0
Copper, Pure 386.0 8.954E+3 380.0
Copper, Red brass, 85%Cu-9%Sn-6%Zn 61.0 8.714E+3 385.0
Gold, Pure 318.0 18.9E+3 130.0
Invar, 64%Fe-35%Ni 13.8 8.13E+3 480.0
Iron, Cast 55.0 7.92E+3 456.0
Iron, Pure 71.8 7.897E+3 452.0
Iron, Wrought, 0.5%C 59.0 7.849E+3 460.0
Kovar, 54%Fe-29%Ni-17%Co 16.3 8.36E+3 432.0
Lead, Pure 35.0 11.373E+3 130.0
Magnesium, Mg-Al, Electrolytic, 8%Al-2%Zn 66.0 1.81E+3 1.0E+3
Magnesium, Pure 171.0 1.746E+3 1.013E+3
Molybdenum 130.0 10.22E+3 251.0
Nichrome, 80%Ni-20%Cr 12.0 8.4E+3 420.0
Nickel, Ni-Cr, 80%Ni-20%Cr 12.6 8.314E+3 444.0
Nickel, Ni-Cr, 90%Ni-10%Cr 17.0 8.666E+3 444.0
Nickel, Pure 99.0 8.906E+3 445.9
Silver, Pure 418.0 10.51E+3 230.0
Solder, Hard, 80%Au-20%Sn 57.0 15.0E+3 15.0
Solder, Hard, 88%Au-12%Ge 88.0 15.0E+3 No Data
Solder, Hard, 95%Au-3%Si 94.0 15.7E+3 147.0
Solder, Soft, 60%Sn-40%Pb 50.0 9.29E+3 180.0
Solder, Soft, 63%Sn-37%Pb 51.0 9.25E+3 180.0
Solder, Soft, 92.5%Pb-2.5%Ag-5%In 39.0 12.0E+3 No Data
Solder, Soft, 95%Pb-5%Sn 32.3 11.0E+3 134.0
Steel, Carbon, 0.5%C 54.0 7.833E+3 465.0
Steel, Carbon, 1.0%C 43.0 7.801E+3 473.0
Steel, Carbon, 1.5%C 36.0 7.753E+3 486.0
Steel, Chrome, Cr0% 73.0 7.897E+3 452.0
Steel, Chrome, Cr1% 61.0 7.865E+3 460.0
Steel, Chrome, Cr20% 22.0 7.689E+3 460.0
Steel, Chrome, Cr5% 40.0 7.833E+3 460.0
Steel, Chrome-Nickel, 18%Cr-8%Ni 16.3 7.817E+3 460.0
Steel, Invar, 36%Ni 10.7 8.137E+3 460.0
Steel, Nickel, Ni0% 73.0 7.897E+3 452.0
Steel, Nickel, Ni20% 19.0 7.933E+3 460.0
Steel, Nickel, Ni40% 10.0 8.169E+3 460.0
Steel, Nickel, Ni80% 35.0 8.618E+3 460.0
Steel, SAE 1010 59.0 7.832E+3 434.0
Steel, SAE 1010, Sheet 63.9 7.832E+3 434.0
Steel, Stainless, 316 16.26 8.0272E+3 502.1
Steel, Tungsten, W0% 73.0 7.897E+3 452.0
Steel, Tungsten, W1% 66.0 7.913E+3 448.0
Steel, Tungsten, W10% 48.0 8.314E+3 419.0
Steel, Tungsten, W5% 54.0 8.073E+3 435.0
Tin, Cast, Hammered 62.5 7.352E+3 226.0
Tin, Pure 64.0 7.304E+3 226.5
Titanium 15.6 4.51E+3 544.0
Tungsten 180.0 19.35E+3 134.4
Zinc, Pure 112.2 7.144E+3 384.3

Thermal Conductivity Conversions:
1 cal/cm2/cm/sec/C = 10.63 watts/in - C

117 BTU/(hr-ft F) x (.293 watt-hr/BTU) x (1.8F/C) x (ft/12 in.) = 5.14 watts/in - C
or
117 Btu / (hr-ft-F) x .04395 watt-hr-F-ft/(Btu=C - in) = 5.14 watts/in-C

See our Material Manufacturing Definitions & Conversion pages for more information!

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