Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: expansion of very hot steam

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 12/04/2015
If water expands at a ratio of 1,700:1 when it changes to steam at 212 degrees F, what is the expansion ration of expansion if the conversion takes place at about 2,000 degrees F when we are firefighting in areas where the ceiling temperature can reach upwards of 1,500 degrees F?Jack RutledgeIllinois Fire Service Institute 404-229-3041
- John Rutledge (age 71)
Peachtree City, GA

Water vapor under these conditions is close to being an ideal gas. That means that the volume occupied at atmospheric pressure grows proportional to the absolute temperature. The absolute T for water boiling is 373K. That 2000°F is about 1500K. So the volume would be about 4 times greater than for ordinary 373K boiling. The expansion factor would be roughly 7000.

Mike W.

(published on 12/04/2015)

Follow-up on this answer.