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Temperature Expansion Coefficients of Piping Materials

Expansion coefficients for common materials used in pipes and tubes - aluminum, carbon steel, cast iron, PVC, HDPE and more

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Expansion coefficients that can be used to calculate temperature expansion of pipes and tubes - are indicated in the table below:

MaterialExpansion Coefficients
10-6 in/in oF10-6 m/m oC
Aluminum 12.8 23.1
Carbon Steel 6.5 11.7
Cast Iron 5.9 10.6
Copper 9.3 16.8
Stainless Steel 9.9 17.8
ABS Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene 35.0 63.0
HDPE High density polyethylene 67.0 120.0
PE Polyethylene 83.0 150.0
CPVC Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride 44.0 79.0
PVC Polyvinyl chloride 28.0 50.4

Note! The higher expansion coefficients for plastic materials makes plastic pipes and tubes extremely sensitive to temperature changes. Always pay attention to plastic pipes and tubes when temperature varies.

Pipes - linear temperature expansion in fahrenheit

Example - Thermal Expansion of a PVC Pipe

A PVC pipe with length 6 m is heated from 0oC to 60oC.

 Expansion of the pipe can be calculated as

dl = (50.4 10-6 m/m oC) (6 m) ((60oC) - (0oC))

   = 0.018 m

   = 1.8 cm

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  • en: temperature thermal expansion coefficients pipes tubes
  • es: coeficientes de expansión térmica de temperatura tubos tuberías
  • de: Temperaturausdehnungskoeffizienten Rohre Rohre
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