With the name of dilatation The process of volume expansion suffered by certain elements or bodies is known, generally as a consequence of a change in temperature. For instance: systems of pipelines, cables of power lines.
It’s about a physical process that acquires different magnitudes in solids, liquids and gases. Sometimes these changes are minimal and imperceptible, others are clearly evident.
It must be said that the expansion produced by the action of temperature is called thermal expansion, and it is not the only one that occurs in nature.
The process that occurs in a woman’s cervix during childbirth is also known as dilation; the increase in size of the cervix allows the baby to come out.
By extension, the word is applied figuratively to any situation that lasts over time beyond what was planned.
But it is worth dwelling on the concept of thermal expansion. The explanation to this process It lies in the fact that all bodies are made up of particles, and when these bodies increase in temperature, the particles move faster, so they need more space, hence they increase in volume.
Not all bodies respond in this way, and many do so by restricting the effect, that is, lowering the temperature, which is called thermal contraction.
Consider the possible volume increase of certain bodies is essential because this expansion can generate breaks and even serious accidents, for example, in the case of bridges or pipes.
It was previously said that expansion is a process that occurs both in solid bodies and in liquids and gases. The property of bodies that acts against dilation is that of cohesion between particles, which is more intense in solids.
Therefore, in the solid It is where dilation is least evident, but it does occur nonetheless. Each solid material has a different coefficient of expansion, which indicates how much the volume will increase. Ice is one of those that shows the greatest tendency to dilation.
The dilation in the liquids it is also produced with different intensities, but in any case it is more evident than that of solids.
Finally, the dilation of the gases it is the most obvious, and the intensity of the expansion is the same for all gases at a given pressure.
Examples of dilation
Some examples of temperature expansion are given:
- The expansion that occurs in rubber tires
- A zinc sheet will expand if exposed to the sun
- Measuring tapes (producing measurement errors)
- Piping systems
- The cracking of a marble container when incorporating a hot liquid
- Power lines cables
- The increase in volume when freezing water inside a bottle
- Parquet floors raised by heating
- The asphalt of the roads, which can crack
- The biggest job to open a wet door
- The pupil of the eye, which when exposed to different luminosities, dilates or contracts
- The expansion that oil undergoes by heat
- The biggest job to open a door exposed to the sun
- Metal framed windows need rubber spacers
- The expansion of bubbles when a soda bottle is opened
- Expansion joints on train tracks
- The cracking of the tiles, on certain occasions
- The processes that affect mercury in thermometers
- The possibility of a glass cup exploding if very hot water is placed in it
- Diseases caused by dilated heart