What are some examples of thermal expansion?

1 Answer
May 4, 2014

Almost every substance (solid, liquid or gas) expands when heated because the atoms and molecules move faster and take up more space.

A 50-ft long iron railroad rail will get about 1 mm longer for each 10 degrees Fahrenheit that it is heated. Although that doesn't sound like a lot, the expansion of long continuous rails can cause buckling of the rails and results in about 40 trail derailments every year.