Pipes and Tubes  Temperature Expansion
Pipes expands when heated and contracts when cooled and the expansion can be expressed with the expansion equation.
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 L_{o} dt (1)
where
dl = expansion (m, inches)
L_{o} = length of pipe (m, inches)
dt = temperature difference (^{o}C, ^{o}F)
α = linear expansion coefficient (m/m^{o}K, in/in^{o}F)
Note that the mean expansion coefficient may vary with temperature:
Material  Mean Expansion Coefficient 10^{6} (in/in^{ o}F, )  

Temperature Range (^{o}F)  
 32  32  212  32  400  32  600  32  750  32  900  32  1100  32  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 ^{o}C.
 T(^{o}C) = 5/9[T(^{o}F)  32]
 1 in (inch) = 25.4 mm
 1 ft (foot) = 0.3048 m
 Expansion coefficients for some common materials
Example  Thermal Expansion of an Alloy Steel Pipe
An alloy steel pipe with length 100 feet is heated from 32 to 212^{o}F. The expansion coefficient is 8 10^{6} (in/in^{o}F).
The expansion of the pipe can be calculated as:
dl = (8 10^{6} in/in^{o}F) (100 ft) (12 in/ft) ((212 ^{o}F)  (32 ^{o}F))
= 1.728 inches
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