Numerous excitation sources for disk vibrations are present in optical drives. For increasing rotation speeds, airflow-housing-induced vibrations have become more and more important. Currently, drives are designed in which rotation speeds are so high that critical speed resonances may show up. The presence of these resonances depends on the layout of the inner housing geometry of the drive. The influence of the drive inner housing geometry is investigated systematically by means of a numerical-experimental approach. An analytical model is derived, containing disk dynamics and the geometry-induced pressure distribution acting as the excitation mechanism on the disk. The Reynolds’ lubrication equation is used as a first approach for the modeling of the pressure distribution. The model is numerically implemented using an approach based on a combination of finite element and finite difference techniques. An idealized, drive-like environment serves as the experimental setup. This setup resembles the situation in the numerical model, in order to be able to verify the numerical model. Wedge-like airflow disturbances are used in order to obtain insight into the influence of drive inner geometry on the critical speed resonances of optical disks. A disk tilt measurement method is designed that yields a global view of the disk deformation. By means of two newly proposed types of plots, numerical and experimental results can be compared in a straightforward way. A qualitative match between the numerical and experimental results is obtained. The numerical and experimental methods presented provide insight into airflow-housing-induced vibrations in optical drives. Additionally, reduction of some critical speed resonances is found to be possible for certain drive inner geometry configurations.

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