On the electrical and thermal contact resistance of metal foam

Fiedler, T., White, N., Dahari, M. and Hooman, K. (2014) On the electrical and thermal contact resistance of metal foam. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 72 8: 565-571. doi:10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2014.01.045

Author Fiedler, T.
White, N.
Dahari, M.
Hooman, K.
Title On the electrical and thermal contact resistance of metal foam
Journal name International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0017-9310
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2014.01.045
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 72
Issue 8
Start page 565
End page 571
Total pages 7
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 2210 Mechanical Engineering
3104 Condensed Matter Physics
1507 Transportation and Freight Services
Abstract This paper addresses the electrical and thermal contact resistance in metal foam-graphite assemblies considered for use in next generation air-cooled fuel cells as replacements of currently available water-cooled ones. Their successful application requires minimization of thermal and electrical contact resistance between components. The current study investigates the evolution of both resistances with increasing compressive force between metallic foam and graphite plates. Reducing these contact resistances through compressive force instead of brazing significantly reduces the manufacturing cost. Our results show that both electrical and thermal resistances monotonically decrease with increasing compressive force when moving from no compressive force to a slight one about 100 N (corresponding to a compressive stress of 0.01 MPa). Interestingly, compared with the thermal contact resistance, the electrical contact resistance shows more sensitivity to compressive force within this range of force. Furthermore, it has been noted that increases in compressive force beyond 300 N (i.e. 0.03 MPa) decrease the resistances only marginally. Electrical contact resistance was found to govern the total resistance of the metal foam-graphite assembly since electric bulk resistances are several orders of magnitude lower. Similar observations are made for thermal resistance where the minimum contact resistance exceeds the thermal resistance of the foam in our experiments.
Keyword Compressive force
Contact resistance
Electrical resistance
Experimental measurement
Finite element analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP1094696
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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