An improved method has been developed for the prediction of thermal contact conductance between two nominally flat metallic rough surfaces by analysis of the deformation of individual asperities in contact. The deformation of the asperities in contact has been taken into account by considering three different modes of deformation — elastic, elastic-plastic and plastic. The model uses an iterative procedure to determine the real area of contact between the deformed surfaces for a given load, nominal area of contact, surface profiles and material properties of the surfaces in contact. The contact conductance is then determined as a function of the ratio of the real area of contact to the apparent area of contact The predicted variation of contact conductance with load obtained from the model is compared to simplified analytical predictions in the literature as well as to experiments conducted as part of this work.

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