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Platinum Metals Rev., 1984, 28, (4), 164

Thermophysical Data on Platinum

Resistivity and Conductivity Values Recommended

  • C.W.C.
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Platinum is one of several key materials whose thermophysical properties such as electrical and thermal conductivities, heat capacity, coefficient of thermal expansion and diffusivity are used internationally as a basis for calibration and reference purposes. The choice of platinum among this key group of materials (which includes iron, copper, tungsten, silicon and sapphire) is based on its stability and inertness, its ready availability in high purity, its well-established electrical resistance-temperature relationship between 13.8 and 1200K, measured for the International Practical Temperature Scale (IPTS), and the consistency of measurements of thermal conductivity made at several national laboratories over the temperature range 100 to 1200K.

“Recommended” values of these properties for this group of materials are currently being prepared through the codata Task Group on Thermophysical Properties of Solids, which consists of an international co-operation between national laboratories. The recommended values of the electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity of platinum were reported by Guy K. White of the CSIRO Division of Applied Physics, Sydney, Australia, during the conference, “Thermal Conductivity 17”, held at Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S.A., in June 1983.

Electrical Resistivity


The task of selecting data for platinum has been made easier because of its role in the realisation of the temperature scale (IPTS) which is defined from 13.8 to 904K. Further efforts to extend the range of platinum resistance thermometers to the gold point (1337.6K) has contributed further data. The data have been corrected for factors such as thermal expansion and impurity scattering and fitted to polynomial equations. The recommended values are summarised in the Table as a function of temperature between 20 and 2000K. Resistivity at temperatures below 13.8K is not considered to be sufficiently accurate for recommended values to be assigned. Above this temperature accuracy is considered to be within 0.1 per cent, although only 0.3 per cent above 1300K.

Thermal Conductivity


The 1972 survey of the data by cindas has been taken as the basis for this study with more recent data at temperatures above 1000K being included. The influence of the purity of the platinum, defined by the average resistance ratio, on the low temperature values has also been examined. This leads to the conclusion that the accuracy of the recommended values lies within 10 per cent below 100K, but improves to less than 3 per cent between 100 and 300K and less than 2 per cent in the range 300 to 1200K. Above 1200K accuracy decreases to 10 per cent uncertainty. The recommended values are again summarised in the Table; the values above 100K have been corrected for expansion. Those given for temperatures above 1600K are based on data that leads to values of the Lorenz ratio that are considered to be too high. More plausible values of the conductivity are given in the Table in brackets, but the author cautions that more measurements in this temperature range are needed.

Recommended Thermophysical Values

Temperature KResistivity 10−8 ΩmConductivity W/m
20 0.03669 475
40 0.40381 141
60 1.1186 95
80 1.9531 83
100 2.8040 78
200 6.9169 72.6
273 9.82 71.7
300 10.871 71.6
350 12.805 71.6
400 14.712 71.8
450 16.592 72.0
500 18.445 72.2
600 22.070 73.0
700 25.588 74.0
800 28.996 75.2
900 32.292 76.6
1000 35.473 78.1
1100 38.540 79.9
1200 41.50 81.8
1300 44.35 83.9
1400 47.09 86.1
1500 49.74 88.4
1600 52.34 90.6 (90)
1700 54.93 92.7 (90)
1800 57.51 94.5 (90)
1900 60.11 96.0 (89)
2000 62.76 97.4 (88)

The conference proceedings of “Thermal Conductivity 17” have been published by Plenum Press, New York, 1983 and readers of Platinum Metals Review are advised to refer to the original paper for a fuller description of the recommended values for both resistivity and conductivity, and for the basis on which they have been derived.

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