Thermomechanical actuation (TMA) at the transducer region of the air bearing surface (ABS) protrudes the transducers toward the recording media, yet also results in greater air bearing slider lift. The ratio of these two effects is defined as the TMA efficiency. An expression based on dimensional analysis is introduced to describe the changes of air bearing forces due to TMA protrusion. A framework is proposed that facilitates optimization of ABS design for improved TMA efficiency. On the basis of the theory presented, several ABSs are designed to have different TMA efficiency. Numerical solutions of these air bearings respect to the protrusion shows agreement with the proposed theory.

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