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Does Stainless Steel Expand When Heated?

Does Stainless Steel Expand when Heated?

Stainless steel is an incredibly versatile material. It’s strong, corrosion-resistant, heat-resistant and lightweight – making it ideal for a variety of applications. But what happens to stainless steel when it is exposed to high temperatures? Does it expand or contract? Let’s find out!

Thermal Expansion of Stainless Steels

Stainless steel does indeed expand when heated. This phenomenon is known as thermal expansion, and it affects all metals in one way or another. The amount that stainless steel expands when heated depends on the temperature and the type of metal being used. Generally speaking, most stainless steels expand at a rate of 0.00000645 inches per inch per degree Fahrenheit (0.00001181 cm/cm °C). This means that if you were to heat a 4-inch long piece of stainless steel from room temperature (70°F/21°C) to 1500°F/815°C, it would expand by approximately 0.117 inches/2.9 mm.

Factors that Affect Thermal Expansion

In addition to the type of metal being used, there are several other factors that can affect how much a metal expands when heated. For instance, the shape of the metal can have an effect on its expansion rate; round bars tend to expand more than flat plates or sheets due to their greater surface area-to-volume ratio. Additionally, some metals may be alloyed with other materials, such as aluminum or titanium, which can also influence how much they expand when heated up. Finally, certain metallurgical treatments such as quenching or tempering can also affect how much a metal expands when heated up; these treatments usually make metals more resistant to thermal expansion but at the expense of their strength and durability.


So yes, stainless steel does indeed expand when exposed to high temperatures – just like any other metal! However, this expansion will depend on various factors such as the type and shape of the metal as well as any alloying agents or metallurgical treatments that have been applied to it beforehand. Knowing this information can help you choose the right material for your application and ensure that your designs will remain intact even under extreme temperatures! For more information about thermal expansion in metals, please contact our team today!

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