This paper presents a methodology for obtaining the convective heat transfer coefficient from the wall of a heated aluminium plate, placed in a vertical channel filled with open cell metal foams. For accomplishing this, a thermal resistance model from literature for metal foams is suitably modified to account for contact resistance. The contact resistance is then evaluated using the experimental results. A correlation for the estimation of the contact resistance as a function of the pertinent parameters, based on the above approach is developed. The model is first validated with experimental results in literature for the asymptotic case of negligible contact resistance. A parametric study of the effect of different foam parameters on the heat transfer is reported with and without the presence of contact resistance. The significance of the effect of contact resistance in the mixed convection and forced convection regimes is discussed. The procedure to employ the present methodology in an actual case is demonstrated and verified with additional, independent experimental data. © 2013 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.