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Overview         (For age - group : Above 16 )

Metals undergo linear, superficial and volumetric expansion when heated, what are the coefficients of expansion and how do we determine are explained in detail in this science animation

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Category : Science

Type : Animation

Effects of thermal expansion - animation contains the following :

1. Examples of thermal expansion : Metal ball, Jam jar cap
2. Linear Expansion in solids
3. Superficial Expansion in solids
4.Volumetric Expansion in solids

Explanatory Notes : More on thermal expansion
Do liquids also undergo expansion
Do gases also undergo expansion

Snapshots         
A cold ball easily passes through a metal ring
Thermal expansion - the ball when heated undergoes volumetric expansion and does not pass through the metal ring
A cold ball easily passes through a metal ring
Thermal expansion - the ball when heated undergoes volumetric expansion and does not pass through the metal ring
Linear thermal expansion
Superficial thermal expansion
Linear thermal expansion
Superficial thermal expansion
Volumetric thermal expansion Example of thermal expansion in everyday life : Jam jar screw cap
Volumetric thermal expansion Example of thermal expansion in everyday life : Jam jar screw cap
Details of the animation/ movie /software

Most substances expand when heated and contract when cooled.
The change in length / area or volume (due to contracting/expanding) is directly related to temperature change. Every linear dimension increases by the same percentage with a change in temperature

Not all materials contract/expand at the same rate; the amount of contraction/expansion varies depending on the material. The coefficient of linear expansion, is a proportionality constant that determines the rate of change in length in different materials when they are heated and cooled.

Applications :
In thermometers, thermal expansion is used for measurement. Liquid expand more than solids. Stained red ethanol has a relatively large coefficient of cubic expansion than glass . Temperature can be measured as it rises through the capillary faster.

-If a lid of a glass jar is tight, holding it under hot water for a short time will make it easier to open. This is because the lid will be struck by the hot water more directly than the glass, and so it will expand sooner. Furthermore, metals generally expand more than glass for the same temperature change.

Problems:

- If steel bridge expand or contract, it can cause structural damage.
However, steel bridges are often mounted on rollers to prevent this problem.

-Expansion gaps also exist in train tracks.

-Water and steam pipes often have a U-bend in them to allow for thermal expansion.

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