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RESEARCH PAPERS

Flying Characteristics of the Transverse and Negative Pressure Contour (“TNP”) Slider Air Bearing

[+] Author and Article Information
J. W. White

Antek Peripherals, Inc., 1340 De Anza Blvd., Ste. 103, San Jose, CA 95129

J. Tribol 119(2), 241-248 (Apr 01, 1997) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2833166 History: Received February 05, 1996; Revised May 16, 1996; Online January 24, 2008

Abstract

The TNP contour air bearing slider is composed of oversized transverse pressure contour (TPC) outer rails and a central negative pressure (NP) cavity. The NP cavity is separated from the TPC rails by an ambient pressure reservoir which serves two functions. First, it prevents direct hydrodynamic interaction between the various component air bearing surfaces and thus, eliminates pressure distortion and dilution, common causes of problems related to flying height and roll angle control. Second, the ambient reservoir allows the TPC rails and NP cavity to be configured and dimensioned independently so that they will track each other with a nearly constant force difference, resulting in a flying height that has significantly reduced sensitivity to altitude change. The multi-function TPC sections of the outside rails are able to overcome the effects of a changing radius and wide skew angle variation over the disk radius as well as a changing vacuum load and asymmetry of the NP cavity pressure, in order to provide a truly constant low flying height over the entire data surface. The combination of a high air bearing stiffness and a gradually developing cavity vacuum as disk velocity increases produces a rapid slider take-off from the disk surface. Dynamic stability of the TNP slider air bearing is enhanced by the unusual combination of a high air bearing stiffness and high air film damping in each of the three slider excursion modes. Finally, the TNP slider experiences a reduced sensitivity of flying height to manufacturing and operational tolerances as compared to non-NP type sliders. The entire TNP slider air bearing is created by a two-etch process. A shallow etch creates the TPC sections and leading edge step. A deeper etch forms the NP cavity, ambient pressure reservoir, and outermost edge of each side rail.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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