Academic Student Compendium Conference Proceedings


Authors: M. Bahrami, J. R. Culham, and M. M. Yovanovich
Company: University of Waterloo
Date Published: 5/26/2004   Conference: Academic Student Compendium

Abstract: A new analytical model is developed for predicting thermal contact resistance (TCR) of non-conforming rough contacts of bare solids in a vacuum. Instead of using probability relationships to model the size and number of microcontacts of Gaussian surfaces, a novel approach by employing the "scale analysis methods" is taken. It is shown that the mean size of the microcontacts is proportional to the surface roughness and inversely proportional to the surface asperity slope. A general relationship for determining TCR is derived by superposition of the macro and the effective micro thermal resistances.

The present model allows TCR to be predicted over the entire range of nonconforming rough contacts from conforming rough to smooth Hertzian contacts. It is demonstrated that the geometry of heat sources on a half-space for microcontacts is justifiable and that the effective micro thermal resistance is not a function of surface curvature. A comparison of the present model with 604 experimental data points, collected by many researchers during the last forty years, shows good agreement for the entire range of TCR. The data covers a wide range of materials, mechanical and thermophysical properties, micro and macro contact geometries, and similar and dissimilar metal contacts.

Members download articles for free:

Not a member yet?

What else do you get when you join SMTA? Read about all of the benefits that go along with membership.

Notice: Sharing of articles is restricted to just your immediate work group. Downloaded papers should not be stored on an external network or shared on the internet.


SMTA Headquarters
6600 City West Parkway, Suite 300
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

Phone +1 952.920.7682
Fax +1 952.926.1819