In order to predict material failure accurately, it is critical to have knowledge of deformation physics. Uniquely challenging is determination of the conversion coefficient of plastic work into thermal energy. Here, we examine the heat transfer problem associated with the experimental determination of β in copper and stainless steel. A numerical model of the tensile test sample is used to estimate temperature rises across the mechanical test sample at a variety of convection coefficients, as well as to estimate heat losses to the chamber by conduction and convection. This analysis is performed for stainless steel and copper at multiple environmental conditions. These results are used to examine the relative importance of convection and conduction as heat transfer pathways. The model is additionally used to perform sensitivity analysis on the parameters that will ultimately determine β. These results underscore the importance of accurate determination of convection coefficients and will be used to inform future design of samples and experiments. Finally, an estimation of convection coefficient for an example mechanical test chamber is detailed as a point of reference for the modeling results.

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