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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.

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

Piping Materials - Temperature Expansion Coefficients
MaterialExpansion Coefficients
10-6 in/in oF
10-6 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
  • in/in oF = 1200 in/100ft oF = 1.8 m/m oC

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 Celsius

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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Related Topics

  • Piping Systems

    Dimensions of pipes and tubes, materials and capacities, pressure drop calculations and charts, insulation and heat loss diagrams.
  • Temperature Expansion

    Thermal expansion of pipes and tubes - stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, plastics and more.
  • Thermodynamics

    Work, heat and energy systems.

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