ENGINEERING METROLOGY TOOLBOX  
 Temperature Tutorial 
 Slide 5 

Temperature Tutorial is a web-based tutorial about effects of temperature on dimensional measurements.

Temperature Tutorial
Slide 5

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CTE of Typical Materials

The table shows some common materials, and their response to temperature change. These are average numbers for the CTE, as we shall see later there are many different materials going by these names, with different values for the CTE.

The last column is meant to give you a rough "ballpark" estimate of the importance of the temperature in measurements. A length measurement with an uncertainty of 1 ppm (1 microinch/inch) is a very high accuracy measurement. For steel, if I do not know the temperature of the part better than 0.09 °C (0.16 °F) the uncertainty of my measurement is uncertain by 1 ppm just from the temperature uncertainty. For aluminum, the problem is twice as bad. For fused quartz the temperature does not matter much.

Material CTE (ppm/K) T needed for 1 ppm Change
Steel 11.5 0.09
Brass 21 0.05
Aluminum 24 0.04
Glass 3-7 0.2
Invar 1.2 0.9
Zerodur 0.05 20
Quartz 0.5 1.8
Granite 6.3 0.16
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