Local heating of heterogeneous current-carrying conductors

Yu Dolinsky, T. Elperin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the heating of current-carrying conductors with inclusions when the kinetic coefficients of inclusions are different from those of the conductor. It is shown that if the surface temperature of the conductor is maintained constant and the thermal conductivity of the inclusion is higher than the thermal conductivity of the conductor, the temperature distribution in the vicinity of the inclusion is strongly different from the temperature distribution in a homogeneous conductor. Depending on the parameters of the system the temperature at the location of an inclusion can be two times higher than the temperature at the same location without an inclusion. We investigate the behavior of the temperature difference as a function of the distance between the center of the spherical inclusion and the conductor's surface. We analyze different components of Joule heating, which are associated with the change of the configuration of the electric current caused by the inclusion and with the change of temperature distribution caused by different thermal conductivities of the conductor and inclusion. We consider a stationary regime of conductor heating whereby the surface temperature of the conductor is kept constant in time, and the case of a thermally insulated conductor. It is demonstrated that in the latter case the temperature of the inclusion can be considerably lower than the surface temperature of the conductor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054904
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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