Thermal Expansion Apparatus - TD-8856


The Thermal Expansion Apparatus includes everything shown here.


With PASCO's Thermal Expansion Apparatus students can accurately and easily investigate the expansion of metals with increasing temperature. The accepted values for the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion for each of the metals that comprise the tubes can be found in the manual.

Brass, copper and aluminum tubes are included so that students can compare the coefficients of expansion of the different metals. The fluid used to heat the tubes can be water or steam at any temperature. We recommend using our Steam Generator (not included). 

Each tube has a built in thermistor housed under a short length of insulation which does not affect results but makes the tubes easier to handle when heated.

The Thermal Expansion Apparatus can be used in two different ways.

The 3.5 mm jack from the Thermistors can be connected directly to a PASPORT Quad Temperature Sensor using a PASCO interface and data collection and analysis captured by PASCO Capstone or SPARKvue software.

Or the 3.5 mm jack can be connected to the input on the base with a digital multimeter connected to the apparatus via banana jacks and the resistance of the thermistor measured.

When not in use, the tubes store neatly on the base of the apparatus.

Special Features

  • Built-in Digital Gauge: Measure the rod expansion with 0.01 mm resolution
  • Built-in Thermistor: A 10 k thermistor is connected directly to each tube and the temperature can be determined using a digital ohmmeter or Temperature Sensor.
  • Heat with Steam or Water: The fluid used may be steam or water at any temperature.
  • Three Drop-in Metal Tubes: Each tube connects securely onto the rigid base. The other two can be simultaneously mounted on the base for convenient storage.


  • Base with built-in digital gauge and connections for the thermistor and banana plugs
  • Expansion Tubes with built-in thermistor (3)
  • Buying Guide

    Steam Generator
    Steam Generator   TD-8556A
    Wireless Temperature Link
    Suggested for Datalogging

    To record continuous temperature measurements with the Thermal Expansion Apparatus, you will need either SPARKvue or PASCO Capstone software and a compatible temperature sensor. You can use a Wireless Temperature Link, or the PASPORT Quad Temperature Sensor. (PASPORT sensors require an interface such as the AirLink, 550 or 850 Universal Interface.)

    Wireless Temperature Link   PS-3222
    Basic Digital Multimeter
    Required for Standalone Use

    To use the Thermal Expansion Apparatus as a standalone a Digital Multimeter is required.

    Basic Digital Multimeter   SE-9786A