The current work considers the multiscale nature of surface roughness in a new model that predicts the real area of contact and surface separation, all as a function of load. By summing the distance between the two surfaces at all scales, a model of surface separation as a function of dimensionless load is also obtained. The model is also able to make predictions for thermal (and electrical) contact resistance. In striving for a more realistic model, the multi-scale model accounts for the effects of a rough surface geometry ranging from macro down to the nano scale. A previous rough surface contact model was based on stacked elasto-plastic spheres. This work uses stacked 3-D sinusoids to represent the asperities in contact at each scale of the surface. The results are also compared to several other existing rough surface contact models and experimental results.

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