An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the thermal contact conductance and effective thermal conductivity of anodized coatings. One chemically polished Aluminum 6061-T6 test specimen and seven specimens with anodized coatings varying in thickness from 60.9 μm to 163.8 μm were tested while in contact with a single unanodized aluminum surface. Measurements of the overall joint conductance, composed of the thermal contact conductance between the anodized coating and the bare aluminum surface and the bulk conductance of the coating material, indicated that the overall joint conductance decreased with increasing thickness of the anodized coating and increased with increasing interfacial load. Using the experimental data, a dimensionless expression was developed that related the overall joint conductance to the coating thickness, the surface roughness, the interfacial pressure, and the properties of the aluminum substrate. By subtracting the thermal contact conductance from the measured overall joint conductance, estimations of the effective thermal conductivity of the anodized coating as a function of pressure were obtained for each of the seven anodized specimens. At an extrapolated pressure of zero, the effective thermal conductivity was found to be approximately 0.02 W/m-K. In addition to this extrapolated value, a single expression for predicting the effective thermal conductivity as a function of both the interface pressure and the anodized coating thickness was developed and shown to be within ±5 percent of the experimental data over a pressure range of 0 to 14 MPa.

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