The current effort was motivated by the increasing appearance of data storage devices in small portable and mobile product formats and the need for these devices to deliver high storage capacity, low power requirements, and increased ruggedness. In order to address these requirements, this work considered the storage device to utilize a 1 in. titanium foil disk and a pair of opposed femtosized zero-load recording head sliders with asymmetrically configured air bearing surfaces. A titanium foil disk, due to its reduced thickness and relatively low mass density, requires less operational energy than a hard disk while providing storage densities and data transfer rates typical of a hard disk. The zero-load sliders were chosen in order to make negligible the air bearing interface normal force acting on the disk surface that can lead to high speed disk instability. The asymmetry of the slider air bearing surfaces, together with the disk dynamic flexibility, greatly improves the ability of the slider-disk interface to absorb substantial mechanical shock and other dynamic effects without the associated contact and impact typically observed with a hard disk. The current project evaluated the characteristics of this slider-disk air bearing interface for both static and unsteady operating conditions. Time dependent studies included a numerical simulation of the dynamic load process and the response to mechanical shock. A comparison with the performance of a hard disk interface was also included.

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