Modeling the Electrical Contact Resistance at Steel–Carbon Interfaces

Ayoola T. Brimmo, Mohamed I. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the aluminum smelting industry, electrical contact resistance at the stub–carbon (steel–carbon) interface has been recurrently reported to be of magnitudes that legitimately necessitate concern. Mitigating this via finite element modeling has been the focus of a number of investigations, with the pressure- and temperature-dependent contact resistance relation frequently cited as a factor that limits the accuracy of such models. In this study, pressure- and temperature-dependent relations are derived from the most extensively cited works that have experimentally characterized the electrical contact resistance at these contacts. These relations are applied in a validated thermo-electro-mechanical finite element model used to estimate the voltage drop across a steel–carbon laboratory setup. By comparing the models’ estimate of the contact electrical resistance with experimental measurements, we deduce the applicability of the different relations over a range of temperatures. The ultimate goal of this study is to apply mathematical modeling in providing pressure- and temperature-dependent relations that best describe the steel–carbon electrical contact resistance and identify the best fit relation at specific thermodynamic conditions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


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