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ASTM B541 Gold Electrical Contact Alloy

ASTM B541 gold is a precious metal alloy formulated for use in electrical contacts. It can have a moderately high tensile strength among the precious metal electrical contact alloys in the database.

The properties of ASTM B541 gold include four common variations. This page shows summary ranges across all of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare ASTM B541 gold to: precious metal electrical contact alloys (top), all alloys in the same category (middle), and the entire database (bottom). A full bar means this is the highest value in the relevant set. A half-full bar means it's 50% of the highest, and so on.

Mechanical Properties

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

110 GPa 15 x 106 psi

Elongation at Break

6.0 to 14 %

Knoop Hardness

220 to 340

Poisson's Ratio


Shear Modulus

38 GPa 5.5 x 106 psi

Shear Strength

410 to 690 MPa 59 to 99 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

670 to 1180 MPa 97 to 170 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Yield (Proof)

480 to 900 MPa 70 to 130 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Latent Heat of Fusion

90 J/g

Melting Completion (Liquidus)

1110 °C 2020 °F

Melting Onset (Solidus)

930 °C 1700 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

170 J/kg-K 0.041 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Expansion

13 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


17 g/cm3 1090 lb/ft3

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Volume

7.7 to 12 % IACS

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Weight (Specific)

4.0 to 6.2 % IACS

Common Calculations

Resilience: Ultimate (Unit Rupture Work)

65 to 91 MJ/m3

Resilience: Unit (Modulus of Resilience)

1090 to 3830 kJ/m3

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

3.4 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

9.0 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

11 to 19 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

9.8 to 14 points

Thermal Shock Resistance

36 to 63 points

Alloy Composition

Gold (Au)Au 70.5 to 72.5
Copper (Cu)Cu 13.5 to 15.5
Platinum (Pt)Pt 8.0 to 9.0
Silver (Ag)Ag 4.0 to 5.0
Zinc (Zn)Zn 0.7 to 1.3
Residualsres. 0 to 0.4

All values are % weight. Ranges represent what is permitted under applicable standards.

Followup Questions

Similar Alloys

Further Reading

ASTM B541: Standard Specification for Gold Electrical Contact Alloy