The Effect of Surface Roughness on the Head-Tape Interface

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Wu, F. E. Talke

Center for Magnetic Recording Research, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0401

J. Tribol 118(2), 376-381 (Apr 01, 1996) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2831312 History: Received March 08, 1995; Revised June 16, 1995; Online January 24, 2008


The effect of tape surface roughness on the head-tape interface is investigated for typical head contours using tapes with different surface roughness characteristics. Intensity-based monochromatic interferometry is used to obtain the asperity compliance curves for tapes of different roughness by relating contact pressure to the spacing between the head and the tape. A parabolic model and the Greenwood-Williamson model for contact between rough surfaces are used to “curve fit” experimental results for contact pressure versus spacing, and numerical calculations for the head-tape spacing of a cylindrical head with and without transverse slots are presented for two tapes with different roughness characteristics. The numerical calculations for the head-tape spacing are compared with experimental measurements showing excellent agreement between numerical and experimental results. It is concluded that the head-tape spacing for high recording density applications is limited by tape surface roughness.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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