Thermal Growth

Thermal Growth refers to the increase in dimensions of a component or machine due to increase in temperature during operation.  It is also known as Thermal Expansion.  For instance, the dimensions of a turbine operating at high temperature can change.  This can affect the issues such as bearing clearances and alignment.

When machines are designed, thermal growth is taken into account and the components and clearances are decided keeping in mind the operating temperature.

Adjustments and settings need to be done taking into consideration the thermal growth.  For instance, the alignment of a turbine needs to be done assuming the dimensional change which may occur at the operating temperature.