Airflow characteristics and particle trajectories inside a small form factor hard disk drive (HDD) enclosure is modeled by creating a complex unstructured mesh around the various geometrical artifacts in the HDD enclosure using a commercial flow-solver which solves the incompressible Navier-Stokes Equations. From this model insight on the airflow characteristics in the vicinity of the slider could be obtained. The effect of the read/write head on the global flow field is also addressed for typical disk operation conditions. The computed airflow patterns are then used to predict particle trajectories in the vicinity of head/disk interface (HDI), the knowledge of which has relevance for tribological aspects connected with the HDI region. The effects of gravity and thermal gradients on the airflow characteristics within the HDD enclosure are also considered. Knowledge of particle trajectories and interaction provide useful guidelines for HDD design and filter locations. Depending on the types of particles, these are likely to be subjected to gravitational and thermophoretic forces, or inter particle interactions. Particles of different materials and sizes are used to evaluate the effects of these forces, which influence the particle trajectories.

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