A restrictive analysis based on a new model is presented for the prediction of thermal contact resistance in a vacuum environment. It is demonstrated that, for many surfaces commonly encountered in engineering practice, the macroscopic constriction has a commanding influence. Extensive results are given for brass, magnesium, stainless steel, and aluminum surfaces which show the effects of material properties and the degree of conformity of mating surfaces under load. Limited results are presented to show the influence of surface films, surface roughness, creep, additional interstitial material, mean interface temperature, etc. Good agreement between the measured and predicted values of the thermal contact resistance was found over wide ranges of the applied load and other system variables.

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