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A new approach to the analysis of wide foil bearings is investigated. The equation of motion for a finite length of tape is coupled to the transient lubrication equation for the air film between the tape and the recording head. Compressibility and slip flow are retained in the fluid mechanics equation; flexural rigidity and high-speed dynamic effects are retained in the tape equation. The steady-state solution to the coupled equations is obtained as the limiting case of the transient initial value problem. Describing the system equations relative to the undeflected tape (as opposed to conventional foil-bearing theory, which uses the head as the reference surface) permits investigation of noncircular head geometries. In addition, wave propagation effects in the tape and the interaction of waves in the tape with the air-bearing region may be studied.
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