Prediction of thermal contact conductance in vacuum by statistical mechanics

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

35 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Journal / PublicationJournal of Heat Transfer
Volume120
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Despite substantial theoretical studies of thermal contact conductance in the past, the application of statistical mechanics in this field has never been attempted. This paper addresses contact conductance from macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints in order to demonstrate the promise of the statistical mechanics approach. In the first part of the derivation, the Boltzmann statistical model is applied to determine the most probable distribution of asperity heights for a homogeneously, isotropically rough surface. The result found is equivalent to Gaussian distribution, which has only been assumed but not rigorously substantiated in the past. Subsequently, the Boltzmann statistical model is applied to predict the distribution of true contact spots when two such surfaces are pressed together, resulting in a relationship between the total thermal contact conductance and the relative interfacial pressure. The numerical results are compared to published empirical data, and a good order-of-magnitude agreement is found.

Research Area(s)

  • Conduction, Direct-Contact Heat Transfer, Modeling and Scaling

Citation Format(s)

Prediction of thermal contact conductance in vacuum by statistical mechanics. / Leung, M.; Hsieh, C. K.; Goswami, D. Y.

In: Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 120, No. 1, 02.1998, p. 51-57.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review