Study of Thermal Contact Resistance in Function of Pressure for Thermoelectric Applications
Thermoelectric applications are composed of many parts. When subjected to thermal loads, the effect of thermal contact resistance (TCR) at the interface between system components must be taken into consideration in order to accurately analyze their thermal behavior. This paper detail the design, construct and validation of a test bench intended to study the thermal contact resistance in function of pressure for thermoelectric applications. In previous works, the thermal contact resistance involving dissimilar materials has been reported, however, the specific behavior associated to practical thermoelectric applications has been hardly studied. This apparatus is unique because it has been designed in a versatility way to measure samples of different materials. Thanks to the geometry and structure projected it is possible to characterize thermoelectric modules. The interface temperatures T4 & T5 are calculated indirectly based upon measurements in flux meter bars equipped with thermocouples. Careful implementation of instrumentation, a precise load mechanism, electric heaters and the use of a climatic chamber to minimize temperature gradients, provide a reduction of uncertainties.
Keywords - Thermal Contact Resistance, Thermal Interface Material, Thermoelectric Applications, Ceramic Metal Contact