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# 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 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:

Pipes and Tubes - Temperature Expansion
MaterialMean Expansion Coefficient  10-6 (in/in oF,  )
Temperature 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

• ### Piping Systems

Calculate dimensions of pipes and tubes. Pressure drop calculations and head loss charts. Use of different piping materials. Insulation of pipes and tubes and heat loss diagrams.
• ### Sizing of Steam and Condensate Pipes

Dimensions of steam and condensate pipe lines. Calculate pressure losses, recommended velocities, capacities and more.
• ### Steam and Condensate

Design of steam & condensate systems with properties, capacities, sizing of pipe lines, system configuration and more.
• ### Temperature Expansion

Thermal expansion and expansion coefficients. Expansion pipes and tubes made of stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, plastics and more.

## Related Documents

• ### Circular Ring - Temperature Expansion

Calculate ring (or pipe) diameter expansion or contraction when temperature changes.
• ### Copper Tubes - Expansion Loop Capacity

Capacity of copper tubes expansion loops.
• ### Fixed Pipes - Stress vs. Change in Temperature

Temperature changes introduces stress fixed pipes.
• ### Linear Thermal Expansion

Online linear temperature expansion calculator.
• ### Piping Elbows - Thrust Block Forces

Thrust block forces on pipe bends anchors due to liquid velocities and internal pressures - online resulting force calculator.
• ### Piping Materials - Temperature Expansion Coefficients

Temperature expansion coefficients for materials used in pipes and tubes like aluminum, carbon steel, cast iron, PVC, HDPE and more.
• ### Piping Materials - Temperature Heat Expansion and Cooling Contraction

Expansion and contraction when cast iron, carbon and carbon molybdenum steel, wrought iron, copper, brass and aluminum pipes are heated or cooled.
• ### Pressfit Pipes - Expansion Loops

Temperature expansion loops with pressfit piping.
• ### PVC Pipes - Temperature Expansion Loops

Calculate temperature expansion and contraction in PVC piping systems.
• ### Restricted Thermal Expansion - Force and Stress

Stress and force when thermal expansion a pipe, beam or similar is restricted.
• ### Steam Pipes - Thermal Expansion

Thermal expansion of steam pipes heated from room temperature to operation temperature (mm pr. 100 m pipe).
• ### Steel Pipes - Temperature Expansion

Calculate temperature expansion with carbon steel pipes.
• ### Steel Pipes - Thermal Expansion Loops

Calculating and sizing steel pipe thermal expansion loops.
• ### Thermal Expansion - Linear Expansion Coefficients

Linear temperature expansion coefficients for common materials like aluminum, copper, glass, iron and many more.
• ### Thermal Expansion of Steam Pipes - (inches)

Expansion of steam pipes heated from room temperature to operation temperature.
• ### Thermoplastics - Physical Properties

Physical properties of thermoplastics like ABS, PVC, CPVC, PE, PEX, PB and PVDF.

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## Citation

• The Engineering ToolBox (2003). Pipes and Tubes - Temperature Expansion. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-expansion-pipes-d_283.html [Accessed Day Month Year].

Modify the access date according your visit.

7.25.9

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