Tape Guide Design
Original Publication Date: 1984-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-06
A known tape guiding mechanism using air bearing principles depends on one fixed flange (reference edge) and one compliant flange to force the tape against the fixed flange. The air bearing provides air flow distributed along the outer surface to suspend the tape. The cross section of the air channel suspending the tape is shown schematically in Fig. 1. An improved configuration of Fig. 2 allows flow at the bottom edge of the bearing. A fixed flange is required for lateral positioning of the tape, but flow is provided around the bottom edge of the tape by milling openings in the edge of the fixed flange where the tape rides. This provides a path for the air to flow down as well as up. The slots or holes provide adequate flow to give uniform fly heights over the bearing, thus removing the tension gradient.