# Pipes and Tubes - Temperature Expansion

## Pipes expands when heated and contracts when cooled and the expansion can be expressed with the expansion formula

The temperature expansion of pipes depends on start and final temperature of the pipe, and the expansion coefficient of the piping material at the actual temperature. The expansion formula can be expressed as:

dl = α Lo dt                            (1)

where

dl = expansion (m, inches)

Lo = length of pipe (m, inches)

dt = temperature difference (oC, oF)

α = linear expansion coefficient (m/moK, in/inoF)

Note that the mean expansion coefficient may vary with temperature:

Mean Expansion Coefficient  10-6 (in/in oF, )
MaterialTemperature Range (oF)
- 3232 - 21232 - 40032 - 60032 - 75032 - 90032 - 110032 - 1300
Alloy Steel
(1% Cr. 1/2% Mo)
7.7 8.0 8.4 8.8 9.2 9.6 9.8
Mild Steel
(0.1 - 0.2% C)
7.1 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.5 9.7
Stainless Steel
(18% Cr. 8% Ni)
10.8 11.1 11.5 11.8 12.1 12.4 12.6 12.8

Formula (1) can also be used with SI units. The expansion coefficient must be adjusted to oC.

### Example - Thermal Expansion of an Alloy Steel Pipe

An alloy steel pipe with length 100 feet is heated from 32 to 212oF. The expansion coefficient is 8 10-6 (in/inoF).

The expansion of the pipe can be calculated as:

dl = (8 10-6 in/inoF) (100 ft) (12 in/ft) ((212 oF) - (32 oF))

= 1.728 inches

## Related Topics

• Steam and Condensate - Steam & condensate systems- properties, capacities, pipe sizing, systems configuration and more
• Temperature Expansion - Thermal expansion of pipes and tubes - stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, plastics and more
• Piping Systems - Dimensions of pipes and tubes, materials and capacities, pressure drop calculations and charts, insulation and heat loss diagrams
• Pipe Sizing - Sizing steam and condensate pipes - pressure loss, recommended velocity, capacity and more

## Tag Search

• en: pipes thermal temperature expansion
• es: tubos de expansiÃ³n tÃ©rmica de temperatura
• de: Rohre thermische Temperaturausdehnung

## Search the Engineering ToolBox

- "Search is the most efficient way to navigate the Engineering ToolBox!"

## Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - Online 3D modeling!

Add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping, stairs and more - to your SketchUp model with the Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension/Plugin - enabled for use with the amazing, fun and free SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro . Add the Engineering ToolBox extension to your SketchUp from the Sketchup Extension Warehouse!

Translate the Engineering ToolBox!