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Effect of contact pressure on thermal characteristics at metal contact interface
Myung Su Kim, Gun Eik Jang and Yeon Suk Choi
Thermal contact conductance (TCC) plays an important role in thermal management, which can strongly affect heat dissipation. Therefore, accurate measurement and understanding of TCC are essential for the design of scientific instruments operating at low temperatures. Cryogenic applications using a cryocooler can be significantly affected by TCC because there are many metal interfaces for heat transfer. Therefore, this must be considered during the optimization of thermal design of instruments. The steady state method is applied in this study for measuring the TCC. An electrical heater made of nichrome wire is located in the middle of the metal specimen, and the generated heat flows through the interface across the specimen. The temperature drop across the specimen is measured, from which the TCC is calculated using heat flux. The effects of operating temperature and contact pressure on the surface form and TCC are quantitatively investigated.
Keywords: Thermal contact conductance, low temperature, metal interface, contact pressure, cryocooler