Improved tensile strength and electrical conductivity of the electrical conductor aluminum alloy 6201

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


The aluminum-magnesium-silicon alloy 6201-T81 is a popular electrical conductor, widely used for overhead and distribution lines. Its light weight makes its mass conductivity twice that of copper. Aluminum conductors however experience creep, corrosion, power loss, and other drawbacks. Therefore, it has become a necessity for manufacturers to improve mechanical and electrical properties. The alloy 6201-T81 is an age hardenable alloy, in which a controlled precipitation of Mg2Si is performed through two different successive heat treatments: Solution heat treatment and precipitation heat treatment. Ø 3.5 mm wires of the alloy were solution heat treated at 510 ºC for an hour, quenched in ice water, and precipitation heat treated at the temperature range 150-200ºC for the time range 2-24 h. Results show that strength and hardness increase with aging time at the precipitation heat treatment temperatures 150 ºC, 165 ºC, and 175 ºC, but decreased with aging time at 185 ºC and 200ºC. The increase was due to the precipitation of finely and uniformly coherent needle-like Mg2Si precipitates, β′′. The decrease was due to the precipitation of the semi-coherent and incoherent rod-like Mg2Si precipitates βand β, respectively. Electrical conductivity increases with the aging temperature and time. Maximum conductivity was 60 %IACS obtained after treatments (185ºC, 18h), (200 ºC, 13h), and (200 ºC, 24h. Optimum mechanical properties were obtained after the treatment (165 ºC, 18 h) (313 MPa, 8%, 95 HV, and 57.7 %IACS). Optical micrographs verified the correlation between the microstructural grain size and both the mechanical and electrical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Materials
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Processing, Characterization, and Applications
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791885574
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventASME 2021 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Nov 1 2021Nov 5 2021

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


ConferenceASME 2021 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Aluminum alloy 6201-T81
  • Artificial aging
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Overhead conductor
  • Precipitation heat treatment
  • Solution heat treatment
  • Tensile strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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