Tribology Letters

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 279–286 | Cite as

Investigation of Head/Disk Contacts in Helium–Air Gas Mixtures

  • Zhengqiang TangEmail author
  • Pablo A. Salas Mendez
  • Frank E. Talke
Original Paper


The shock response of a pico-type magnetic recording slider in different helium–air gas mixtures is investigated numerically. A finite element-based air bearing simulator and a slider/disk contact model including van der Waals and friction forces are coupled to determine the contact characteristics between slider and disk. The minimum flying height and the maximum contact force are studied as a function of helium percentage and disk velocity. The results show that the dynamic performance of the slider is not affected substantially as long as the helium percentage is <50 % but is increasingly more affected if the helium percentage becomes larger than 50 %.


Slider/disk contact Helium–air Dynamic flying height Air bearing 



We would like to thank Hanya-san, John Hogan and Ross Cuyler of NHK International Corporation for their interest and support of this work. Zhengqiang Tang is a visiting graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, from South China University of Technology (SCUT). He would like to thank the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and Prof. W. Xia from SCUT, for supporting his PhD studies at UCSD.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhengqiang Tang
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Pablo A. Salas Mendez
    • 2
  • Frank E. Talke
    • 3
  1. 1.South China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Western Digital CorporationSan JoseUSA
  3. 3.Center for Magnetic Recording ResearchUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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