Analysis of factors affecting the distribution of the contact pressure between the structural components of machine tools is presented. The effect of this distribution on the heat transfer is discussed through the visualization of a model of two solid bodies in contact. Evaluation of significance of this effect conducted on a numerical example (overarm of a milling machine) indicates that the whole temperature field of the structural element and thus its thermal deformation is affected by the contact pressure distribution. It is revealed also, that the thermal contact stresses at the joint are comparable to the mechanical ones and thus both should be considered in design calculations.

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