The Use of Analog Computers for Determining Surface Parameters Required for Prediction of Thermal Contact Conductance

[+] Author and Article Information
J. J. Henry, H. Fenech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

J. Heat Transfer 86(4), 543-550 (Nov 01, 1964) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3688742 History: Received August 06, 1963


The mathematical analysis of a thermal contact by Fenech and Rohsenow requires knowledge of certain parameters describing the geometry of the contact interface. These parameters are volume average thickness of the void above and below the plane of the contact, the number of contacts per unit area, and the ratio of the actual contact area to the total area. The authors outline a method for determining these parameters graphically. This paper describes a method for obtaining analog voltages of surface profiles of contacting surfaces and the application of a general purpose analog computer to determine the geometric parameters of contact as a function of contact pressure. The results of applying this method are combined with the analysis of Fenech and Rohsenow. The predicted contact conductance is found to agree well with experimental data at mean contact temperatures of 100, 200, and 300 F for load pressures of 100 to 20,000 psi.

Copyright © 1964 by ASME
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