The 3D nature of a real un-dismantled electrical contact interface

Constantinos Roussos*, Jonathan Swingler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


A 3D contact analysis and modeling suite of tools are developed and introduced in this work. The "3D Contact Map" of an electrical contact interface is presented demonstrating the 3D nature of the contact. It gives information on where the electrical contact spots in a 3D surface profile are located. An X-ray Computer Tomography (CT) technique is used to collect the 3D data to a resolution of around 5. μ. m of a real un-dismantled contact interface for analysis. Previous work by Lalechos and Swingler presented "2D Contact Map" on a 2D contact profile from collected 3D data to a resolution of around 8. μ. m. The main advantages of both 3D and 2D mapping techniques focus on the fact that they are non-destructive and there is no need to dismantle the component of interest. This current work focuses on the 3D mapping technique showing its advantages over the 2D mapping technique. For test purposes, a 16. A rated AC single pole switch is scanned after two different current loading tests (0. A and 16. A). A comparison for the total mechanical area of contact, the number of contact spots and the total contact resistance is conducted using both the 2D and 3D mapping techniques to a resolution of around 5. μ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2015


  • Contact area
  • Contact map
  • Contact resistance
  • Contacts
  • X-ray CT


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