Knowledge of dimensional changes with respect to time and temperature is vitally important in many engineering problems. Examples range from quality control of sintering processes to materials selection and design, failure analysis and composites research. The dilatometer is the standard tool used to directly investigate dilation and contraction upon heating and/or cooling.
A variety of standards exist that are concerned with dilatometry. For example, ASTM C-372, ASTM E-228 and ISO 7991 are all relevant to the testing of ceramics over a broad temperature range. The interested reader is advised to refer to these standards, as well as the product literature available online from various dilatometer manufacturers.