A closed-form approximate solution to ultrathin and near-zero-pitch liquid lubrication of magnetic head-rigid disk interfaces for near-contact recording is derived. This study focuses on the steady state at the fully flooded rail-disk contact condition. It is assumed that the lubricant in the interface is isoviscous and the slider is in the no-roll and no-yaw situation. Simple dimensionless groups of operating factors are identified to facilitate the parametric study of performance. Results of interface geometry effects on load, location of pressure center, friction force, and friction coefficient are presented. Typical distributions of pressure and shear stress at rail surface are also presented. The important effects such as shear thinning and thermal thinning are incorporated by introducing shear thinning and thermal thinning factors. Implementation of these correction factors will be presented in Part II.

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