This work presents an extension of the understanding of thermal contact resistance to include anisotropic materials. The extension involves a mathematical geometric transformation which leaves the thermal currents unchanged while making the temperature distribution in the anisotropic materials soluble by previously published methods. The development of this transformation technique is presented, and the effect of material anisotropy is calculated for a set of interface orientations and material conductivities which characterize typical contact situations. The degree of material anisotropy and the orientation of the contact interface are shown to be important factors affecting the contact resistance in addition to surface roughness, material hardness, and contact load.

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