Abstract: Thermal expansion coefficients were measured for a cancrinite from Bancroft, Ontario, Canada. Measurements of cell parameters and unit-cell volumes were obtained at room temperature and at heating intervals of 50°C over the temperature range from 50 to 1400°C. The unit-cell parameters for cancrinite increase non-linearly with temperature up to 1200°C and shortly thereafter, the mineral melted. The c parameter increases more rapidly than the a parameter, and the c/a ratio increases linearly with temperature. A plausible thermal expansion mechanism for cancrinite, which is based on the framework expansion that occurs as a function of cavity content, is presented. In the thermal expansion of cancrinite, the short Na-H2O in the H2O-Na—H2O chain expands to form equal distances to the two H2O molecules in the chain. This causes the Na atoms to move towards the plane of the six-membered rings and forces the tetrahedra to rotate and the rings become more planar. The Na atoms then form bonds to all six (O1 and O2) oxygen atoms in a ring; the Na-O1 bonds become shorter and the Na-O2 bonds become longer. These effects cause an increase in both a and c, and thus an increase in the c/a ratio. A similar thermal expansion mechanism operates in the sodalitegroup minerals where the six-membered rings and Na-Cl bond are involved.