Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Scot:

Several questions on your site deal with the linear thermal expansion of steel. Such as how much will a piece of steel grow in length if it is heated. My question is similar but I would like to know if there is a different calculation to determine how much the diameter of a round bar will grow when heated. Can you tell me how I can calculate how the diameter of .500" round steel will increase for every degree of temperature change? If a bar is raised from 60 degrees F to 120 degrees F how much will the diameter change?


The proportional change is the same in every direction; use the same constant for diameter that you do for length.

Good Hunting!

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