The thermal contact resistance (TCR) problem is categorized into three different problems: geometrical, mechanical, and thermal. Each problem includes a macro and micro scale sub-problem; existing theories and models for each part are reviewed. Empirical correlations for microhardness, and the equivalent (sum) rough surface approximation are discussed. Suggested correlations for estimating the mean absolute surface slope are summarized and compared with experimental data. The classical conforming rough contact models, i.e elastic and plastic, as well as elastoplastic models are reviewed. A set of scale (dimensionless) relationships are derived for the contact parameters, i.e. the mean microcontact size, number of micro-contacts, density of microcontacts, and the external load as functions of dimensionless separation, for the above models. These scale relationships are plotted; it is graphically shown that the behavior of these models, in terms of the contact parameters, are similar. The most common assumptions of existing thermal analysis are summarized. As basic elements of thermal analysis, spreading resistance of a circular heat source on a half-space and flux tube are reviewed, also existing flux tube correlations are compared. More than 400 TCR data points collected by different re-searchers during last forty years are grouped into two limiting cases: conforming rough, and elasto-constriction. Existing TCR models are reviewed and compared with the experimental data at these two limits. It is shown that the existing theoretical models do not cover both of the above-mentioned limiting cases.

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