## CALCULATING Thermal expansion

When an object is heated or cooled, its length changes by an amount proportional to the original length and the change in temperature.
The linear thermal expansion, the change in length of an object can be expressed with the formula below, or you can simply use the calculator provided here.

The formula:

dl = L0 α (t1 – t0)
where
dl = change in object length (m, inches)

L0 = initial length of object (m, inches)
α =  linear expansion coefficient (m/moC, in/inoF)
t0 = initial temperature (oC, oF)
t1 = final temperature (oC, oF)

The final length of the object can be calculated as
L1 = L0 + dl
= L0 + L0 α (t1 – t0)
where
L1 = final length of object (m, inches)

Note! – linear expansion coefficients for most materials varies with temperature.

The calculator on the right

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