Volumetric - or Cubic Thermal Expansion

Volumetric temperature expansion with online calculator

Volumetric temperature expansion

Specific volume of a unit can be expressed as

v = 1 / ρ = V / m                                                          (1)


v = specific volume (m3/kg)

ρ = density (kg/m3)

V = volume of unit (m3)

m = mass of unit (kg)

The change in the units volume when temperature changes can be expressed as

dV = V0 β (t1 - t0)                                                        (2)


dV = V1 - V0 = change in volume (m3)

β = volumetric temperature expansion coefficient (m3/m3 oC)

t1 = final temperature (oC)

t0 = initial temperature (oC)

The density of a fluid when temperature changes can be expressed as

ρ1 = m / V0 (1 + β (t1 - t0))

    = ρ0 / (1 + β (t1 - t0))                                                (3)


ρ1 = final density (kg/m3)

ρ0 = initial density (kg/m3)

Online Thermal Cubic Expansion Calculator

Be aware that the expansion coefficient for some liquids - like water - may vary with temperature.

V0 - initial volume (m3, ft3, gallons ..)

β - volumetric expansion coefficient (1/oC, 1/oF)

t0 - initial temperature (oC, oF)

t1 - final temperature (oC, oF)

Note that the volumetric expansion coefficient used in the calculator is constant. If you want to calculate volumetric change for a liquid over a temperature range where the volumetric expansion coefficient for the liquid changes a lot - interpolate the coefficient values, or split the calculation in the different temperature ranges. Example - water is a liquid where the volumetric expansion coefficient changes a lot with temperature. Water has its highest density and smallest volume at 4oC (39.2 oF). The volumetric coefficient for water is negative below 4oC and indicates that the a volume decreases when temperature moves from 0oC (32 oF) to 4oC.

Volumetric Temperature Coefficients - β - for some Fluids

  • water at 0oC: -0.000050 (1/oC)
  • water at 4oC: 0 (1/oC)
  • water at 10oC: 0.000088 (1/oC)
  • water at 20oC: 0.000207 (1/oC)
  • water at 30oC: 0.000303 (1/oC)
  • water at 40oC: 0.000385 (1/oC)
  • water at 50oC: 0.000457 (1/oC)
  • water at 60oC: 0.000522 (1/oC)
  • water at 70oC: 0.000582 (1/oC)
  • water at 80oC: 0.000640 (1/oC)
  • water at 90oC: 0.000695 (1/oC)
  • ethyl alcohol: 0.00109 (1/ oC), 0.00061 (1/oF)
  • oil: 0.00070 (1/oC), 0.00039 (1/oF)

Example - Cubic Expansion of Oil

100 liters - 0.1 m3 - of oil is heated from 20oC to 40oC. The volumetric expansion can be calculated using equation (2)

dV = (0.1 m3) (0.00070 1/oC) ((40 oC) - (20 oC)) 

  = 0.0014 m3

  = 1.4 liter

Related Topics

  • Heating - Heating systems - capacity and design of boilers, pipelines, heat exchangers, expansion systems and more
  • Water Systems - Hot and cold water service systems - design properties, capacities, sizing and more
  • Thermodynamics - Effects of work, heat and energy on systems
  • Density - Density of different solid materials, liquids and gases. Definitions and convertion calculators.

Related Documents

Tag Search

  • en: fluid volumetric temperature expansion
  • es: fluido de expansión temperatura volumétrica
  • de: Flüssigkeitsvolumentemperaturausdehnung

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