# Thermal Expansion

Thermal Expansion

Finding the thermal expansion of pipe is relatively easy using the formula for “linear expansion”. There are many reasons beside trade school to know these calculations and apply the knowledge gained into your building plans.

The things you will need to know for linear (lengthwise) expansion:

1. Initial length of the pipe

2. Initial temperature of the pipe

3. Ending length of the pipe

4. Ending temperature of the pipe

Your coefficient of expansion is equal to the reciprocal of initial length, multiplied by the quotient of temperature change over change in length. Or, something looking like this…

1 Change in Temperature

(Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) = ——– X ——————————

Initial Length Change in Length

Basic algebra will allow you to determine the formula for things such as change in length, or temperature difference using these same variables. But Just in case you don’t feel like doing that sort of work, I’ve included the other formulas as well (along with a handy dandy link to an online calculator for this) in the following portions of this page. We also have videos, and links to various pages on thermal expansion; so please, make use of them!