A study on the formation and structure of LTO head stains

Baogui Shi*, J. L. Sullivan, S. O. Saied, M. A. Wild

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Linear Tape Open (LTO) metal particles tapes with of identical formulation as Travan5 tape were cycled against LTO heads using the Linear Tape Open (LTO) system as the experimental platform. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to analyse the surface topography of the heads while Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were employed to analyse the chemical changes on the surface of the worn heads and tapes. Ar+ etching was employed with XPS to analysis tape and stain on the worn heads. Optical Microscopy was used to observe the head surface changes. The results were different to those observed in work done on earlier systems with higher contact pressures (for example Travan5). Since the tape formulation was essentially the same, the differences could be explained in terms of the lower head/tape contact pressures in the LTO system with the subsequent lower contact temperatures. Since the formation of stain is a chemical process, it is postulated that a certain threshold contact temperature is necessary for substantive stain formation. Assuming this to be true, the effects of ambient water vapour concentration are also explained. The nature of the stain has been confirmed by surface analysis. This has shown the stain produced in this system consists of chemically un-changed passivated metal particles plus binder material, thus confirming our earlier model of stain formation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)709-716
    Number of pages8
    JournalTribology International
    Issue number6-7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


    • LTO
    • MP tape
    • Stains
    • Tribology


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