Many traditional macro scale finite element models of thermal contact systems have incorporated the effect of micro scale surface topography by applying a constant value of thermal contact conductance (TCC) per unit area to the regions in contact. However, it has been very difficult to determine an appropriate TCC value for a given system and analysts typically had to rely on experimental data or values from the literature. This work presents a method for predicting micro scale TCC per unit area by incorporating micro scale surface roughness in a multi-scale iterative thermal/structural finite element contact model. The resulting TCC value is then used in a macro scale thermal/structural contact model with apparent surface form to predict the thermal contact resistance and overall thermal resistance for a commercial power electronics module.

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