Electro-Thermal Analysis of a Contactor: Comparing the Performance of Two Braze Alloys during the Temperature Rise Test

E. Gutierrez-Miravete[1], and G. Contreras[2]
[1]Rensselaer at Hartford, Hartford, CT, USA
[2]General Electric Co., Plainville, CT, USA

The purpose of this study was to develop mathematical models of the coupled electro-thermal process in selected, typical contactors that could then be validated and verified by comparing model predictions with the results of previous studies and with experimental data obtained during a temperature rise test. The study employed Finite Element Analysis using COMSOL to simulate coupled electro-thermal phenomena in typical contacts used in industry.The contactor (AgCdO) is attached to the base (Cu or Brass) by a thin braze film (Ag or Braze 750 or Silfos).

Two problems were investigated one consisted of the transient temperature field developed inside the contact as a result of a short duration arc on the surface. The second problem consisted in estimating the steady state temperature field resulting from current flowing through the contact.

The maximum temperature (979 Celsius) was found to be in good agreement with the results of previous studies. The agreement between computed and measured temperatures was also good.