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1900 Reichenstalt Pattern Resistor.jpg
A manganin resistor made in 1900 at the Bushy House physic laboratory.
TypeCopper-manganese alloy
Physical properties
Density (?)
Mechanical properties
Tensile strength (?t)300-600 MPa
Elongation (?) at break<50%
Izod impact strength107 J/m
Thermal properties
Melting temperature (Tm)1020 °C
Thermal conductivity (k) at 22 W/(m·K)
Linear thermal expansion coefficient (?)
Specific heat capacity (c)0.097 cals/gm
Electrical properties
Volume resistivity (?)43-48 cm

Manganin is a trademarked name for an alloy of typically 84% copper, 12% manganese, and 4% nickel. It was first developed by Edward Weston in 1892, improving upon his Constantan (1887).

Manganin foil and wire is used in the manufacture of resistors, particularly ammeter shunts, because of its virtually zero temperature coefficient of resistance value[2] and long term stability. Several Manganin resistors served as the legal standard for the ohm in the United States from 1901 to 1990.[3] Manganin wire is also used as an electrical conductor in cryogenic systems, minimizing heat transfer between points which need electrical connections.

Manganin is also used in gauges for studies of high-pressure shock waves (such as those generated from the detonation of explosives) because it has low strain sensitivity but high hydrostatic pressure sensitivity.[4]


In 1887 Edward Weston discovered that metals can have a negative temperature coefficient of resistance, inventing what he called his "Alloy No. 2." It was produced in Germany where it was renamed "Constantan".[5]

In 1892 Weston had finally completed his discovery of an alloy of copper, nickel, and manganese prepared by a complicated series of heat-treatments. In May, 1893, he received a basic patent on the composition, manufacture, and use of the material for electrical resistors. Production was carried out in Germany, and it became known as "Manganin". The availability of a practical conductive metal with an extremely constant resistance over the range of ordinary temperatures was a great advance in electrical technology and equipment design, but Weston did not receive general recognition for this.[6]



Electrical Properties

  • Temperature coefficient:

Mechanical Properties

  • Modulus of elasticity: 124-159 GPa
  • Maximum use temperature in air: 300 °C
Temperature [°C] coefficient of resistivity
12 +.000006
25 .000000
100 -.000042
250 -.000052
475 .000000
500 +.00011
Resistance of Wires at [8]
AWG ohms per cm ohms per ft
10 .000836 0.0255
12 .00133 0.0405
14 .00211 0.0644
16 .00336 0.102
18 .00535 0.163
20 .00850 0.259
22 .0135 0.412
24 .0215 0.655
26 .0342 1.04
27 .0431 1.31
28 .0543 1.66
30 .0864 2.63
32 .137 4.19
34 .218 6.66
36 .347 10.6
40 .878 26.8


  1. ^ "Manganin 230 Shunt Wire". California Fine Wire Co. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Goodfellow Technical Information Manganin® - Resistance Alloy". Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Stability of Double-Walled Manganin Resistors" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-06. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Special Use Sensors--Manganin Pressure Sensor" (2015) Data Sheet - Micro Measurements - Vishay Precision Group, Inc.
  5. ^ National Electrical Manufacturers Association. A chronological history of electrical development from 600 B.C. New York, N.Y., National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
  6. ^ Woodbury, David O. (1949). A Measure for Greatness; A Short Biography of Edward Weston. New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill.
  7. ^ CRC Handbook 27th ed. Feb 1943. p. 1875.
  8. ^ CRC Handbook 27th ed. Feb 1943. p. 2485.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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