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ASTM B596 Gold-Copper Electrical Contact Alloy

ASTM B596 Au-Cu is a precious metal alloy formulated for use in electrical contacts. It has a moderately high density among the precious metal electrical contact alloys in the database.

The properties of ASTM B596 Au-Cu include two common variations. This page shows summary ranges across both of them. For more specific values, follow the links immediately below. The graph bars on the material properties cards further below compare ASTM B596 Au-Cu 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

100 GPa 15 x 106 psi

Elongation at Break

4.3 to 17 %

Poisson's Ratio


Shear Modulus

36 GPa 5.2 x 106 psi

Shear Strength

280 to 360 MPa 40 to 52 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

450 to 620 MPa 65 to 89 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Latent Heat of Fusion

77 J/g

Melting Completion (Liquidus)

1060 °C 1950 °F

Melting Onset (Solidus)

930 °C 1710 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

150 J/kg-K 0.037 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Expansion

14 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


18 g/cm3 1140 lb/ft3

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Volume

14 % IACS

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Weight (Specific)

6.7 % IACS

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

3.1 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

8.5 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

6.8 to 9.4 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

7.1 to 8.8 points

Thermal Shock Resistance

22 to 30 points

Alloy Composition

Gold (Au)Au 89 to 91
Copper (Cu)Cu 9.0 to 11
Residualsres. 0 to 0.4

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

Followup Questions

Similar Alloys

Further Reading

ASTM B596: Standard Specification for Gold-Copper Alloy Electrical Contact Material