3rd December 2019


Why do materials expand and contract?

Thermal Expansion and Contraction. Materials expand or contract when subjected to changes in temperature. Most materials expand when they are heated, and contract when they are cooled.

Likewise, what makes metal expand?

When a metal ring is heated, does the hole expand, contract, or stay the same size? Spoiler alert: The puzzle is answered in the update at the end of this post. Most solids expand when heated and contract when cooled. Water/ice is anomalous in that it expands when cooled, at least near its freezing point.

How does temperature affect a metal?

Metal expands when heated. Length, surface area and volume will increase with temperature. The degree of thermal expansion varies with different types of metal. Thermal expansion occurs because heat increases the vibrations of the atoms in the metal.
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