The thermal expansion coefficient of boiler tubing

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One application of steel tubing is boiler tubes. They are very useful here, but you need to keep a number of things in mind. One in particular is the thermal expansion coefficient. This is the ratio of the length change per unit temperature change once the tubes expand thanks to heat. What we want to do in this post is discuss the factors influencing the thermal expansion coefficient of boiler tubes.

Material factors

Firstly, the extent of the thermal expansion coefficient relates to the material. Those factors influencing it include composition and metal organisation morphology. Others are interatomic distance and lattice structure. The expansion coefficient of separate materials can change greatly, so you must consider the thermal properties.


As temperature increases, the expansion coefficient will go up accordingly. This is because the shift intensifies the thermal motion of the molecules within the material. What you get is an increase in the distance between molecules. This changes the overall size of your boiler tubes and the expansion coefficient. So, think about what the operating temperatures will be. Contact us if you need help from the best ERW steel tube supplier West Midlands.

Bending degree

The expansion coefficient also relates to the bending degree too. Steel boiler tubes will experience a certain amount of deformation in the bending procedure. It will result in the expansion coefficient changing. In real engineering applications, you have to select a suitable bending radius. You must choose according to the specific situation. This will prevent the failure of tubing because of excessive bending.


The last factor is the wall thickness. Usually, the thicker the wall of boiler tubes, the higher the expansion coefficient. If your wall thickness is greater, the thermal conductivity of the tube’s internal molecules will worsen. The result is an increase in the expansion coefficient.


With the design and installation of boiler tube, you must consider the potential changes in the tubes. You must do this when they are hot and expand. Make the right choices in terms of the tubing specs and use specific measures to improve performance. This includes using highly elastic sealing elements for connections. Another possibility would be using expansion joints, guides, or elbows for compensation. Also, you can limit the expansion stroke of your pipeline by setting elastic supports and fixed brackets.

Order tubes from the greatest ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands

At Union Steel Tubes, we aim to get our high quality products to you in good time. Stock items are normally ready the next day. For urgent orders, we may be able to provide same day delivery. With shapes like oval, round, and square, and finishes like deburred or zinc plated, you have plenty of options.

So, come to us if you need help from the greatest ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands. We can share our expertise and help you to select tubing for many applications.