Water Expansion with Temperature
Name: Rodney H.
How much in percent will a given volume of water expand
for every 20 degrees Fahrenheit it rises in temperature?
Check out the web site: http://www.simetric.co.uk/index.htm
and on the right hand column click "specific gravity water" scroll down and
you will find the data you need.
Sorry, you cannot get a one number answer, because the density versus temperature
is not a straight line.
It is a curve, almost a parabola.
Liquid water has its maximum density at 3.98 degrees C, and expands for BOTH hotter
At exactly 3.98 degrees C, the thermal expansion coefficient of water is actually
Easy places to see this curve are:
One property of a parabola is: its slope is proportional to your distance from the
level point in the middle.
So your "percent expansion per 20degF"
is less than 0.1% near freezing, rising to almost 0.8% near boiling.
The total expansion, from freezing to boiling, is 4.3%.
You will have to figure out your most useful way to think about this variable
I found that curve-fitting it with a power of roughly 1.75 works better than a power
of 2 (a pure parabola).
Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives
Update: June 2012