This paper describes an optimal design method for a damping structure using constrained viscoelastic material. The relationship between viscoelastic material behavior and the damping effect, is analyzed by finite element method, where viscoelastic material is modeled by discrete spring elements with the equivalent stiffness and loss factor. This finite element model is applied to the design of a head-gimbal-assembly (HGA) of a magnetic disk device and its reliability is confirmed experimentally. The analysis shows that the maximum deformation of the constrained viscoelastic material occurs at the edge area, so to optimize the damping structure, this area should be placed on the area of high strain energy. Although the damping effect by constrained viscoelastic material has been considered due to shear deformation of viscoelastic material, in this analysis, tensile deformation of the egde of viscoelastic material is strongly related to the damping effect for the bending and torsional modes of HGA. Therefore, an accurate analysis must consider tensile deformation of viscoelastic material.

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