Unique specifications of metal foams such as relatively low cost, ultra-low density, high surface-area-to-volume ratio, and most importantly, the ability to mix the passing fluid provide them a great potential for a variety of thermal-fluidics applications. In the present study, a compact analytical model for evaluating the effective thermal conductivity of metal foams is developed. The medium structure is represented as orthogonal cylindrical ligaments that are equally spaced and sized. A unit cell is taken to represent the metal foam. The model accounts for varying cross-sectional ligaments which is consistent with microscopic images. A numerical analysis is performed to verify the proposed analytical models. The model predictions are in good agreement with existing experimental data and the present numerical results. A parametric study is then performed to investigate the effects of variation in ligament cross-section geometry, uniformity, and aspect ratio over a wide range of porosities. Moreover, Thermal contact resistance phenomenon is included in the analysis.

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