, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 663-681,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Sep 2013

Tensile, Fatigue, and Creep Properties of Aluminum Heat Exchanger Tube Alloys for Temperatures from 293 K to 573 K (20 °C to 300 °C)


Since automotive heat exchangers are operated at varying temperatures and under varying pressures, both static and dynamic mechanical properties should be known at different temperatures. Tubes are the most critical part of the most heat exchangers made from aluminum brazing sheet. We present tensile test, stress amplitude-fatigue life, and creep–rupture data of six AA3XXX series tube alloys after simulated brazing for temperatures ranging from 293 K to 573 K (20 °C to 300 °C). While correlations between several mechanical properties are strong, ranking of alloys according to one property cannot be safely deduced from the known ranking according to another property. The relative reduction in creep strength with increasing temperature is very similar for all six alloys, but the general trends are also strong with respect to tensile and fatigue properties; an exception is one alloy that exhibits strong Mg-Si precipitation activity during fatigue testing at elevated temperatures. Interrupted fatigue tests indicated that the crack growth time is negligible compared to the crack initiation time. Fatigue lifetimes are reduced by creep processes for temperatures above approximately 423 K (150 °C). When mechanical properties were measured at several temperatures, interpolation to other temperatures within the same temperature range was possible in most cases, using simple and well-established equations.

Manuscript submitted June 10, 2013.