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DASD Suspension Utilizing Flexure Material as the Hinge

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014902D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Sep-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

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Disclosed is the concept of making the hinge for a DASD suspension from the steel of the flexure. Traditionally, the load beam material has been used as the hinge material which produces the gram load force. The thickness of the load beam and its associated hinge has typically been in the range of 0.381 mm to 0.762 mm. This has worked well for DASD drives that use head gimbal assemblies (HGAs) that have active lengths greater than 9.5 mm. (Active length is defined as the distance from the edge of the mount plate or mounting edge closest to the actuator pivot, to the dimple center or center of rotation of the gimbal.) However, the trend is to reduce the active length of the suspension below 9.5 mm. Dynamic advantages have been realized by going to shorter HGAs. Smaller form factors for disk drives have also reduced the HGA suspension length. Shorter active length HGAs are facing the problem of reducing the stiffness of the hinge while continuing to improve HGA dynamics. During early development of ILS it was realized very early that due to the cost of the ILS material, it was not cost justifiable to consume extra ILS material for the hinge. With the advent of shorter suspension (<9 mm) cost is no longer an issue. This is because, as the length of the suspension has decreased, the width of the hinge decreases proportionally. This now makes it possible to achieve similar pitch of ILS flexures on an ILS strip for both conventional load beam hinges and the proposed ILS steel hinges. The figure below compares a current ILS design with a proposed design that uses ILS steel as a hinge. Conventional Load Beam Hinge New ILS Hinge Load Beam Load Beam