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International Heat Transfer Conference 11

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)


Ying Z. Li
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering The University of New South Wales Sydney 2052 Australia

Chakravarti V. Madhusudana
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052 Australia

Eddie Leonardi
Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Laboratory, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2052

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC11.680
pages 27-32


An experimental program investigating the thermal contact conductance of stainless steel (AISI304) and mild steel (CIS) surfaces in vacuum is described. The aim of the experiment was to explore overloading as a method of enhancing the thermal contact conductance. The results confirmed that there existed a hysteresis effect in the loading and unloading process. The hysteresis effect reduced as the number of load cycles increased. An encouraging finding of this experimental program was the effect of overloading. It was demonstrated that up to 42% increase in thermal contact conductance can be obtained by means of overloading the contact surfaces beyond the maximum service contact pressure. An explanation of this overloading effect is also presented. The experimental results suggest a cost effective way to enhance thermal contact conductance for industrial implementation.

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