Plating of a base material of low thermal conductivity with materials of high thermal conductivity was considered. The solution for an elemental heat channel (single contact) is given. Experimental results for contact resistance of a plated single contact agreed well with the prediction. In general, results indicate that considerable reduction in thermal contact resistance can be achieved by plating; for example, stainless steel plated with copper of a thickness of the order of the contact size radius will reduce the resistance by more than an order of magnitude. A procedure is presented for extending the results for a plated elemental heat channel to the calculation of thermal contact resistance for nominally flat-plated surfaces in a vacuum.

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