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Expansion of Copper, Ductile Iron, Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum Piping Materials

Thermal expansion of some typical piping materials

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Linear temperature expansion copper tubes, stainless steel pipes, carbon steel pipes, ductile iron pipes and aluminum tubes are indicated below.

Temperature Change
(oF)
Linear Temperature Expansion (in/100 ft)
CopperStainless SteelCarbon SteelDuctile IronAluminum
0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
10 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2
20 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3
40 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.6
50 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.8
60 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.5 1.0
70 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.6 1.1
80 0.9 0.9 0.7 0.7 1.3
90 1.1 1.0 0.8 0.8 1.4
100 1.2 1.1 0.9 0.9 1.6
120 1.4 1.4 1.1 1.1 1.9
140 1.6 1.6 1.3 1.3 2.2
160 1.9 1.8 1.5 1.4 2.5
180 2.1 2.0 1.7 1.6 2.9
200 2.4 2.3 1.9 1.8 3.2
220 2.6 2.5 2.1 2.0 3.5
240 2.8 2.7 2.2 2.2 3.8
260 3.1 2.9 2.4 2.3 4.1
280 3.3 3.2 2.6 2.5 4.4
300 3.5 3.4 2.8 2.7 4.8
320 3.8 3.6 3.0 2.9 5.1
340 4.0 3.8 3.2 3.1 5.4
360 4.2 4.1 3.4 3.2 5.7
380 4.5 4.3 3.6 3.4 6.0
400 4.7 4.5 3.7 3.6 6.3
  • ΔT(oC) = 5/9 ΔT(oF)
  • 1 ft (foot) = 0.3048 m
  • 1 in (inch) = 25.4 mm

Piping materials temperature expansion chart inches fahrenheit

Piping materials temperature expansion chart meter celsius

Example - Temperature Expansion of Copper Tube

A copper tube with length 35 m (115 ft) is heated from 20oC (68oF) to 60oC (140oF) - a temperature difference of 40oC (72oF). The linear expansion from the table above is approximately 0.13 m/100m (1.6 in/100ft).

The expansion of the tube can be calculated 

dl = (35 m) (0.13 m/100 m) / (100 m)

    = 0.05 m

Alternatively in Imperial units:

dl = (115 ft) (1.6 in/100 ft) / (100 ft)

            = 1.8 in

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2005). Expansion of Copper, Ductile Iron, Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum Piping Materials. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-expansion-pipes-d_931.html [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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