Development of high-strength and high-electrical-conductivity aluminum alloys for power transmission conductors

Francisco U. Flores*, David N. Seidman, David C. Dunand, Nhon Q. Vo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Using the current processing methods for aluminum conductors, any addition to mechanical strength negatively impacts their electrical conductivity (EC). This trade-off can be seen in common aluminum conductors such as AA1350-H19 which has a relatively high EC (~61%IACS), but low tensile strength (~180 MPa), as opposed to AA6201-T81 having a lower EC (~52.5%IACS) and higher tensile strength (~330 MPa). Presented in this work is the development of new low-cost, scalable 6000-series aluminum conductors with superior combination of mechanical strength and electrical conductivity. By optimizing the thermo-mechanical processing of the aluminum alloy, a synergetic strengthening from precipitation and strain hardening mechanisms is achieved, while the EC loss is minimized. The formation of the strengthening Mg- and Si-rich phase is significantly improved by controlling the Mg and Si concentrations as well as adding inoculant elements to accelerate precipitation kinetics, thus also increasing the alloy’s strength. Two alloys stand out in particular: (i) Al-0.7 Mg-0.3Si-0.08Bi aged at 200 °C for 7 h (ultimate tensile strength = 426 MPa and EC = 52.7%IACS); and (ii) Al-0.7 Mg-0.3Si-0.01Sn aged at 200 °C for 4 h (ultimate tensile strength = 445 MPa and EC = 48.2%IACS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLight Metals 2018
EditorsOlivier Martin
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783319722832
StatePublished - 2018
EventInternational symposium on Light Metals, 2018 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: Mar 11 2018Mar 15 2018

Publication series

NameMinerals, Metals and Materials Series
VolumePart F4
ISSN (Print)2367-1181
ISSN (Electronic)2367-1696


OtherInternational symposium on Light Metals, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Aluminum conductor
  • High-conductivity
  • High-strength
  • Inoculant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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