RESEARCH PAPERS: Conduction Heat Transfer

Thermal Contact Conductance of Spherical Rough Metals

[+] Author and Article Information
M. A. Lambert

Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0087

L. S. Fletcher

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123

J. Heat Transfer 119(4), 684-690 (Nov 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2824172 History: Received February 08, 1996; Revised April 16, 1997; Online December 05, 2007


Junction thermal conductance is an important consideration in such applications as thermally induced stresses in supersonic and hypersonic flight vehicles, nuclear reactor cooling, electronics packaging, spacecraft thermal control, gas turbine and internal combustion engine cooling, and cryogenic liquid storage. A fundamental problem in analyzing and predicting junction thermal conductance is determining thermal contact conductance of nonflat rough metals. Workable models have been previously derived for the limiting idealized cases of flat, rough, and spherical smooth surfaces. However, until now no tractable models have been advanced for nonflat rough “engineering” surfaces which are much more commonly dealt with in practice. The present investigation details the synthesis of previously derived models for macroscopically nonuniform thermal contact conductance and contact of nonflat rough spheres into a thermomechanical model, which is presented in an analytical/graphical format. The present model agrees well with representative experimental conductance results from the literature for stainless steel 303 and 304 with widely varying nonflatness (2 to 200 μm) and roughness (0.1 to 10 μm).

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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