Cryogenic Properties of Copper

Copper and copper alloys retain a high degree of ductility and toughness at subzero temperatures. In fact, copper alloys become stronger and more ductile as the temperature goes down, retaining excellent impact resistance to 20 K (-253 C or -424 F).

In this section you'll find charts and graphs detailing copper's properties at a variety of extremely low temperatures. They complement the Mechanical Properties of Copper and Copper Alloys at Low Temperatures (Publication #104/5).

The following information was compiled for the International Copper Association, Ltd. by C.A. Thompson, W. M. Manganaro and F.R. Fickett of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, Colorado, July 1990.

Charts and Graphs


  1. Handbook on Materials for Superconducting Machinery. Metals and Ceramics Information Center, Battelle.
  2. Single Crystal Elastic Constants and Calculated Aggregate Properties. 2nd Ed. G. Simmons and H. Wang, MIT Press.
  3. Standards Handbook. Copper Development Assoc. Inc.
  4. Thermophysical Properties of Matter, the TPRC Data Series. Y. S. Toloukian, et al., IFI/Plenum.
  5. Advances in Cryogenic Engineering (Materials). R. P. Reed and A. F. Clark, ed., ICMC/Plenum.
  6. Materials at Low Temperatures. R. P. Reed and A. F. Clark, ed., American Society for Metals.
  7. N. J. Simon and A. P. Reed, NIST, Boulder, Colorado.

    Graphics by N. Sanchez, JULY 1990