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Chemical Machined Air Bearing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000080249D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Griffiths, DE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The web-supporting, hole-pattern surface of this air bearing is manufactured by a two-step chemical machining or etching process. The first step in the process produces rather large diameter pools on one side of a relatively thick metal sheet, and is controlled to accurately reduce the remaining thickness of the sheet to a thin layer of known dimension. The second process step accurately produces small diameter holes in this thin layer. In this manner, small air bearing holes are formed in the sheet, the diameter of these holes being considerably less than the thickness of the sheet.

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Chemical Machined Air Bearing

The web-supporting, hole-pattern surface of this air bearing is manufactured by a two-step chemical machining or etching process. The first step in the process produces rather large diameter pools on one side of a relatively thick metal sheet, and is controlled to accurately reduce the remaining thickness of the sheet to a thin layer of known dimension. The second process step accurately produces small diameter holes in this thin layer. In this manner, small air bearing holes are formed in the sheet, the diameter of these holes being considerably less than the thickness of the sheet.

The air bearing of Fig. 1 includes pressurized chamber 10, supplied with air or an inert gas under pressure by way of conduit 11. The bearing's web- supporting surface 12 includes a pattern of small diameter holes, not shown, which function to hydrostatically support flexible web 13 as the web travels in an arcuate path. This web may be magnetic recording tape as used in a digital-data magnetic tape unit. Chamber 10 includes one or more partitions 14 which support and stiffen surface 12.

Fig. 2 shows one of the many holes 15 formed in surface 12. This surface is a stainless steel sheet approximately 0.007 inch thick.

As a first step in the air bearing manufacturing process, a film type photoresist is laminated to both sides 16 and 17 of the stainless steel sheet 12. A hole approximately 4 to 5 times the sheet thickness is exposed, developed and then etch...