This series of three papers presents an experimental and numerical analysis of the friction between a head slider and a thin-film rigid disk with circumferential surface texture, under various humidities. In Part I, we develop a model of a cylindrical contact of a slider rail with strong anisotropic asperities under dry conditions. This model predicts that the real contact pressure is primarily determined by the height distribution and geometry of asperities on the disk, whereas it is very weakly dependent on the surface curvature of the rail. The result of the latter calculation suggests that the frictional coefficient is insensitive to variation in the head contact angle due to head pitching motion.

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