Section: 12 | Properties of Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures |
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One or more tables in this document differ to those in the book. This is due to space restrictions in the book.
Summary of table differences
The table 'TABLE 4. Coefficient of Thermal Expansion α for Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures' has 11 more rows than appear in the book.
The table 'TABLE 1. Thermal Conductivity λ in W m-1 K-1 for Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures' has one or more different columns to those in the book version.
The table 'TABLE 2. Specific Heat at Constant Pressure cp in J kg-1 K-1 of Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures' has one or more different columns to those in the book version.
The table 'TABLE 3. Linear Thermal Expansion (105 × Fractional Change in Length Relative to 293 K) of Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures' has one or more different columns to those in the book version.
The table 'TABLE 5. Young's Modulus E in GPa for Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures' has one or more different columns to those in the book version.
How to Cite this Reference
The recommended form of citation is:
John R. Rumble, ed., CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 103rd Edition (Internet Version 2022), CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.
If a specific table is cited, use the format: "Physical Constants of Organic Compounds," in CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 103rd Edition (Internet Version 2022), John R. Rumble, ed., CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL.


Peter E. Bradley and Ray Radebaugh

The design of systems for operation at cryogenic temperatures requires the use of material properties at these low temperatures.  The properties at cryogenic temperatures can be much different than the room temperature values.  In addition, some properties can be strong functions of temperature.  Property data at cryogenic temperatures are not easy to find.  Many measurements were made at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other laboratories about 50 years ago.  Some of the results were published in reports that are now out of print, which makes the results unavailable to most researchers.  To correct that problem, NIST initiated a program to critically evaluate cryogenic material properties and to fit the available data for temperatures in the range of about 4 K to 300 K.  The parameters for the fit, as well as a graph of the curve, are available on the NIST cryogenics Web site <>. The properties available include thermal conductivity, specific heat, linear thermal expansion relative to 293 K, thermal expansion coefficient, and Young’s modulus.  Not all properties are available for all materials.  The materials currently in the database are ones commonly used in the construction of cryogenic hardware.

Five tables are given for important properties for selected materials at cryogenic temperatures, as listed below. The Online Edition of the CRC Handbook has additional temperatures.

Table Contents
1 Thermal Conductivity λ, in units W m-1 K-1
2 Specific Heat at Constant Pressure cp, in units J kg-1 K-1
3 Linear Thermal Expansion (Fractional Change in Length Relative to 293 K)
4 Coefficient of Thermal Expansion α, in units of 10-6 K-1 or 10-8 K-1 as specified
5 Young's Modulus E in GPa

The tables presented here as a function of temperature are the calculated values using the equations given on the NIST cryogenics Web site.  In general, the equations fit a single set of data to within about 1% to 2%, but often several sets of data are used in determining the best fit, in which case deviations can be significantly higher, as much as 5%.  The NIST cryogenics Web site specifies the deviation of the fit relative to the experimental data for each property and each material.  Uncertainties in the experimental data usually are in the range of 2% to 5%, and variations from sample to sample can also lead to similar uncertainties, especially in thermal conductivity.  Some well-characterized materials, such as silicon, are used for standard reference materials.  Thus, uncertainties in the experimental data for the thermal expansion coefficient of silicon are usually less than 0.2%, and the standard deviation of the fit to the data is less than about 0.2% over most of the temperature range. All values refer to ambient pressure, i.e., pressure in the neighborhood of 101.3 kPa.

Copper referred to here is of very high purity 99.99% (4N or better) and may be considered oxygen-free (sometimes referred to as OFHC – oxygen-free high conductivity).  Values are given with respect to the RRR (Residual Resistivity Ratio) which correlates the thermal resistivity and electrical resistivity as the impurity effect and is primarily additive in resistivity.  Higher RRR values indicate higher purity and lower electrical and thermal resistance leading to higher thermal conductivity.  Standard high-purity copper such as grade 101 or 102 has an RRR value of approximately 100.  Higher values may be obtained with considerable effort at minimizing trace impurities by special annealing techniques that can achieve an RRR of about 1000 or greater in some special instances.  Specially obtained high RRR value copper is often used only when very low temperatures (<40 K) and necessarily high thermal conduction at low temperatures are required.

Ti 15-3-3-3 has a nominal composition of 15% V, 3% Cr, 3% Sn, 3% Al, balance Ti.  For the specific measurements documented by Canavan and Tuttle (Ref. 29), the exact composition is 14.88% V, 3.13% Cr, 2.88% Sn, 3.01% Al, balance Ti.  The composition for brass is 65% Cu, 32% Zn, 3% Pb which is free machining.  The composition for BeCu is 2% Be, 0.3% Co, balance Cu.


  1. Mann, D., Ed., LNG Materials and Fluids, First Edition, Cryogenics Division, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, CO, 1977. [Al, Invar, FeNi, Polystyrene, Polyurethane, PVC, Stainless steel, Be, G-10]
  2. Veres, H. M., Ed., Thermal Properties Database for Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures, Vol. 1. [Al, G-10, Nylon, Teflon]
  3. Touloukian, Y. S., Recommended Values of the Thermophysical Properties of Eight Alloys, Major Constituents and Their Oxides, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1965. [Al, Stainless steel]
  4. Touloukian, Y. S., Powell, R. W., Ho, C. Y., and Klemens, P. G., The TPRC Data Series: Vol. 1, Thermal Conductivity-Metallic Elements and Alloys, Shackelford, J., and Alexander, W., Eds., New York, Washington, 1970. [Be, Mo]
  5. Johnson, V. J., Ed., A Compendium of the Properties of Materials at Low Temperature (Phase l), Part II: Properties of Solids, Wadd Technical Report 60-56, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, CO, 1960. [BeCu, Pb, Pt, Nylon, Be, In, Al, Cu] []
  6. Berman, R., Foster, E. L., and Rosenberg, H. M., Brit. J. Appl. Phys. 6, 181, 1955. [BeCu] []
  7. Powell, R.L., Rogers, W.M., and Roder, H.M., Thermal Conductivities of Copper and Copper Alloys, Adv.  Cryog. Eng. 2, 166, 1956. [Brass, Cu] []
  8. Simon, N. J., Drexler, E. S., and Reed, R. P., Properties of Copper and Copper Alloys at Cryogenic Temperature, NIST Monograph 177, 1992. [Brass, Cu, Phosphor-bronze, BeCu] []
  9. He, G. H., Wang, B. Q., Guo, X. N., Yang, F., Guo, J. D., and Zhou, B. L., Investigation of Thermal Expansion Measurement of Brass Strip H62 after High Current Density Electropulsing by the CCD Technique, Mater. Sci. Eng., A 292, 183, 2000. [Brass] []
  10. Hust, J. G., Thermal Conductivity of Glass Fiber/Epoxy Composite Support Bands for Cryogenic Dewars, Phase II, NBSIR 84-3003, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, CO, 1984. [G-10] []
  11. Child, G., Erics, L. J., and Powell, R. L., Thermal Conductivity of Solids at Room Temperature and Below, NBS Monograph 131, 1973. [G-10] []
  12. Mechanical, Thermal, Electrical, and Magnetic Properties of Structural Materials, Wadd Technical Report: Handbook on Materials for Superconducting Machinery Metals and Ceramics, Information Center, Battelle, Columbus Laboratories, 1974 (with 1975 and 1977 Supplements). [Inconel]
  13. Hust, J. G., Low-Temperature Thermal Conductivity of Two Fibre-Epoxy Composites, Cryogenics 15, 126, 1975. [Kevlar] []
  14. Foster, W. G., Naes, L. G., and Barnes, C.B., Thermal Conductivity Measurements of Fiberglass/Epoxy Structural Tubes from 4 K to 320 K, AlAAS Paper 75-711, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (A1AA), 10th Thermophysics Conference, Denver, CO, 1975. [Kevlar] []
  15. Harris, J. P., Yates, B., Batchelor, J., and Garrington, P. J., J. Mater. Sci. 17, 2925, 1982. [Kevlar] []
  16. Ventura, G., and Martelli, V., Thermal Conductivity of Kevlar 49 between 7 and 290 K, Cryogenics 49, 735, 2009. [Kevlar] []
  17. Ventura, G., and Martelli, V., Very Low Temperature Thermal Conductivity of Kevlar 49, Cryogenics 49, 376, 2008. [Kevlar] []
  18. Poulaert, B., Chieliens, J. C., Vandehande, C., and Legras, R., Temperature Variation of the Thermal Conductivity of Kevlar, Polym. Commun., vol. 26, 1985 (digitized data). [Kevlar]
  19. Hartwig, G., and Knaak, S., Fibre-Epoxy Composites at Low Temperatures, Cryogenics 24, 11, 1984. [Kevlar] []
  20. Shackelford, J. F., and Alexander, W., eds., CRC Materials Science and Engineering Handbook, Third Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2001. [Mo] []
  21. Choy, C. L., and Grieg, D., The Low Temperature Thermal Conductivity of a Semi-crystalline Polymer, Polyethylene Terephthalate, J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 8, 3121, 1975. [Mylar] []
  22. Rule, D.L., Smith, D.R., and Sparks, L.L., Thermal Conductivity of a Polyimide Film between 4.2 and 300 K, with and without Alumina Particles as Filler, NISTIR 3948, 1990. [Kapton] []
  23. Touloukian, Y. S, and Ho, C. Y., Eds., Thermophysical Properties of Selected Aerospace Materials, Part II: Thermophysical Properties of Seven Materials, Plenum Press, New York, 1976. [Stainless steel]
  24. Hust, J. G., and Sparks, L. L., Thermal Conductivity of Austentic Stainless Steel, SRM 735, from 5 to 280 K, NBS Special Publication 260-35, 1972. [Stainless steel 735]
  25. Hust, J. G., and Giarratano, P. J., Thermal Conductivity and Electrical Resistivity Standard Reference Materials: Austentic Stainless Steel, SRM 735 and 798, From 4 to 1200 K, NBS Special Publication 260-46, 1975. [Stainless steel 735]
  26. Ventura, G. Bianchini, G., Gottardi, E., Peroni, I., and Peruzzi, A., Thermal Expansion and Thermal Conductivity of Torlon at Low Temperatures, Cryogenics 39, 481, 1999.  [Torlon] []
  27. Barucci, M., Olivieri, E., Pasca, E., Risegari, L., and Ventura, G., Thermal Conductivity of Torlon between 4.2 and 300 K, Cryogenics 45, 295, 2005. [Torlon] []
  28. Ziegler, W. T., Mullins, J. C., and Hwa, S. C. P., Specific Heat and Thermal Conductivity of Four Commercial Titanium Alloys from 20 to 300 K. Adv. Cryog. Eng. 8, 268, 1963.  [Ti-6Al-4V] []
  29. Canavan, E. R., and Tuttle, J. G., Thermal Conductivity and Specific Heat Measurements of Candidate Structural Materials for the JWST Optical Bench, Adv. Cryog. Eng. 52, 233, 2006. [Ti 15-3-3-3] []
  30. Bunting, J. G., Ashworth, T., and Steeple, H., The Specific Heat of Apiezon N Grease, Cryogenics 9, 385, 1969. [Apiezon N Grease] []
  31. Bevolo, A. J., Heat Capacity of Apiezon N Grease from 1 to 50 K, Cryogenics 14, 661, 1974. [Apiezon N Grease] []
  32. Wun, M., and Phillips, N. E., Low Temperature Specific Heat of Apiezon N Grease, Cryogenics 15, 36, 1975. [Apiezon N Grease] []
  33. Kreitman, M. M., Ashworth, T., and Rechowicz, M., A Correlation between Thermal Conductance and Specific Heat Anomalies and the Glass Temperature of Apiezon N and T Greases, Cryogenics 12, 32, 1972. [Apiezon N Grease] []
  34. Schnelle, W., Engelhardt, J., and Gemlin, E., Specific Heat Capacity of Apiezon N High Vacuum Grease and of Duran Borosilicate Glass, Cryogenics 39, 271, 1999. [Apiezon N Grease] []
  35. Touloukian, Y.S., and Buyco, E.H., The TPRC Data Series: Vol. 4, Specific Heat-Metallic Elements and Alloys, New York, Washington, 1970. [Be] []
  36. Touloukian, Y. S., Kirby, R. K, Taylor, R. E., and Desai, P. D, The TPRC Data Series: Vol. 12, Thermal Expansion-Metallic Elements and Alloys, Plenum Press, New York, 1970. [Be, Mo, Ti-6Al-4V]
  37. Corruccini, R. J., and Gniewek, J. J., Thermal Expansion of Technical Solids at Low Temperatures, NBS Monograph 29, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, CO, 1961. [BeCu, Nylon, Stainless steel, Teflon] []
  38. Reed, R. P., and Clark, A. F., Materials at Low Temperatures, American Society of Metals, Metals Park, OH, 1983. [G-10, NiTi, Nylon] []
  39. Arp, V., Wilson, J. H., Winrich, L., and Sikora, P., Thermal Expansion of Some Engineering Materials from 20 to 293 K, Cryogenics 2, 230, 1962. [Sapphire, Al] []
  40. Apostolescu, D. E., Gaal, P. S., and Chapman, A. S., A Proposed High Temperature Thermal Expansion Reference Material, Standard Reference Material, pp. 637-646. [Sapphire]
  41. Swenson, C. A., Linear Thermal Expansivity (1.5-300 K) and Heat Capacity (1.2-90 K) of Stycast 2850FT, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 68, 1312, 1997. [Stycast epoxy] []
  42. Taylor, C. T., Notcutt, M., Wong, E. K., Mann, A. G., and Blair, D. G., Measurement of the Thermal Expansion Coefficient of an All-Sapphire Optical Cavity, IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas. 46, 183, 1977. [Sapphire] []
  43. Taylor, C. T., Notcutt, M., Wong, E. K., Mann, A. G., and Blair, D. G, Measurement of the Thermal Expansion Coefficient of a Cryogenic All-Sapphire Optical Cavity, Opt. Commun. 131, 311, 1996. [Sapphire] []
  44. Lyon, K. G., Salinger, G. L., Swenson, C. A., and White, G. K., Linear Thermal Expansion Measurements on Silicon from 6 to 340 K, J. Appl. Phys. 48, 865, 1977.  [Silicon] []
  45. Karlmann, P. B., Klein, K. J., Halverson, P. G., Peters, R. D., Levine, M. B., van Buren, D., and Dudik, M. J., Linear Thermal Expansion Measurements of Single Crystal Silicon for Validation of Interferometer Based Cryogenic Dilatometer, Adv. Cryog. Eng. 52, 35, 2006.  [Silicon] []
  46. Roberts, R. B., Thermal Expansion Reference Data:  Silicon 300-850 K, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 14, L163, 1981. [Silicon] []
  47. White, G. K., and Minges, M. L., Int. J. Thermophys. 18, 1269, 1997. [Silicon] []
  48. Swenson, C. A., Recommended Values for the Thermal Expansitivity of Silicon from 0 to 1000 K, J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data 12, 179, 1983. [Silicon] []

TABLE 1. Thermal Conductivity λ in W m-1 K-1 for Selected Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures

Material1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K10 K12 K14 K16 K18 K20 K30 K40 K50 K60 K70 K80 K90 K100 K120 K140 K160 K180 K200 K220 K240 K260 K280 K300 K
Continued on next page...
Al 110054.1183.26113.5141.8170.1199.1228.0256.2282.6371.7389.5369.2338.0308.1283.3264.1249.7231.5222.3218.2216.4215.5214.8213.9213.0212.1211.8
Al 300310.8116.7722.8128.9435.1541.3547.4953.5159.3785.21104.7118.7128.6135.6140.6144.4147.4151.9155.5158.9162.2165.5168.6171.5174.1176.2177.8
Al 50833.2954.9826.6858.42710.1911.9713.7315.4817.2125.4332.8939.6645.8551.5556.8161.7166.2674.5281.8088.2694.0499.24104.0108.3112.2115.9119.3
Al 60615.3478.26811.2314.2017.1520.0522.9125.7028.4341.1052.2362.0570.7678.5585.5691.9197.70107.9116.5123.9130.4136.0141.0145.3149.1152.4155.3
Al 606334.3651.6469.7086.51103.5121.1139.2157.5175.4246.3276.6277.7265.6250.0235.4223.2213.8201.8196.6195.5196.6198.6200.5201.9202.3201.8200.5
Cua RRR=50320.4466.8622.3778.1927.3106411851287136814441163863.6670.0561.1500.3465.1443.9421.8411.6406.0402.6400.1398.2396.5395.0393.6392.4
Cua RRR=100642.3931.71239154018142045222623522423214314851005741.2603.6529.3487.0461.5434.8422.1415.0410.3407.0404.2401.9399.9398.0396.3
Cua RRR=30028103636432048295147527652345052325718331130801.8638.5551.0501.0471.1440.6427.6421.2417.5414.6411.8408.8405.5401.8397.9
G-10b (norm-dir)0.072290.091120.10230.11220.12170.13090.13980.14830.15650.19120.21760.23820.25530.27020.28370.29650.30890.33350.35860.38460.41170.43990.46920.49950.53070.56260.5951
G-10b (warp-dir)0.073220.096930.11790.13610.15180.16540.17750.18830.19820.23930.27400.30610.33660.36600.39420.42140.44770.49780.54500.58990.63280.67410.71410.75300.79090.82780.8636
Invar (Fe-36Ni)0.24190.40010.56300.73390.91141.0941.2791.4651.6522.5703.4374.2475.0055.7176.3867.0167.6118.7029.67110.52411.27011.91512.46412.92513.30313.60413.835
Kevlar-49 (composite)0.0022340.0086630.018530.030890.060210.092630.12610.15950.19200.22340.25330.28190.40590.50800.59760.67940.75550.82690.89430.95791.0751.1801.2741.3591.4361.5071.5711.6301.6851.735
Kevlar-49 (fiber)0.0037750.014570.030770.050420.094480.14050.18650.23200.27700.32130.36490.40770.61220.80310.98411.1571.3231.4821.6341.7792.0502.2972.5232.7292.9173.0903.2503.3983.5363.664

  • aOxygen-free high conductivity (OFHC) copper
  • bG-10 is a glass-epoxy composite laminate material
  • cPolyethylene terephthalate
  • dPolystyrene
  • ePolyurethane
  • fPolyvinylchloride

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