Chemistry Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientists, academics, teachers and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Which materials or compounds expand in response to cold temperatures? This material or compound should expand at a slow (but constant rate), from about 0–20 months when in the following temperature range −25 °C to −10 °C. Also, the compound should not react with plastic or be toxic to humans or environment.

Please explain why the compound does this as well.

share|improve this question

migrated from Dec 16 '12 at 8:51

This question came from our site for active researchers, academics and students of physics.

This seems to me to be a chemistry question. I found one compound , Cubic ScF3 from the references in the wiki article… – anna v Nov 13 '12 at 20:49
Isn't the typical example is water and ice? – m0nhawk Dec 16 '12 at 8:55

Perhaps one of the most studied materials to exhibit negative thermal expansion is Cubic Zirconium Tungstate (ZrW2O8).

share|improve this answer

In old time printing using type, the alloy used for the type was designed to have a zero coefficient of thermal expansion over a wide range so that they type did not change shape when cast at a high temperature and then cooled off.

It is very likely that slight modifications of that formula would yield an alloy with either a positive or negative thermal coefficient.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.