Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Metal Expansion
Name: Sean
Status: Student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

How does Metal Expansion effect things here on Earth like microwaves, ovens, car engines, guns,etc.?

Do you mean because of heat?

Well if you do, these items are manufactured so that the expansion of the metal due to heating under normal operating temperatures will not distrub the function of the manufactured item. The classic example, is a bridge, which has joints that can expand when the temperatures are hot during the summer and contract during the cold winter months. Without these "tricks" the steel of the bridge would become stressed which leads to metal fatigue and failure.

H. Myron

Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory