The finite-element method is used in the development of a general, finite-dimensional, state variable formulation of transient heat conduction with surface diffusion. An explicit numerical scheme is used which provides a rational basis for the time-step selection. The general methods are applied in detail to the transient and steady-state conduction of a thin, uniform circular disk with uninsulated surfaces rotating past a stationary point source. The disk models examined illustrate the general utility of the formulation and discuss questions of concern in rotating disk heat transfer.

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