Thermal deformation of machine tools is a prime concern due to its significant effect on machining error. Accurate prediction of the thermal deformation of the structure is critically dependent on the understanding and modelling of the heat transfer process at the joint. An integrated system approach to the tribological and thermoelastic behavior of the joint led to the development of an algorithm to calculate the thermal and deformation response of the structure, with the behavior of the joint taken into account. To implement this algorithm using the conventional finite element method, the dynamic contact element is introduced to model the static, dynamic, and thermal properties of the joint. Based on the experimental findings for the rheological properties of a joint undergoing a micro-slip, a multi-Voigt model is used. The dynamic contact element accounts also for the effect of fretting and the oscillatory mode of motion on the thermal contact resistance.

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