The Mechanisms of wear of the video head

  • Linda A. Reeves

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


      This thesis examines the mechanism of wear occuring to the video head and their effect on signal reproduction. in particular it examines the wear occuring to manganese-zinc ferrite heads in sliding contact with iron oxide media.

      A literature survey is presented, which covers magnetic recording technologies, focussing on video recording. Existing work on wear of magnetic heads is also examined, and gaps in the theoretical account of wear mechanisms presented in the literature are identified.

      Pilot research was carrried out on the signal degradation and wear associated witha number of commercial video tapes, containing a range of head cleaning agents. From this research, the main body of the research was identified. A number of methods of wear measurement were examined for use in this project. Knoop diamond indentation was chosen because experimentation showed it to be capable of measuring wear occuring in situ. This technique was then used to examine the wear associated with different levels of A12O3 and Cr2O3 head cleaning agents.

     The results of the research indicated that, whilst wear of the video head increases linearly with increasing HCA content, signal degradation does not vary significantly. The most significant differences in wear and signal reproduction were observed between the two HCAs. The signal degradation of heads worn with tape samples containing A12O3 HCA was found to be lower than heads worn with tapes containing Cr2O3 HCA.

     The results also indicate that the wear to the head is an abrasive process characterised by ploughing of the ferrite surface and chipping of the edges of the head gap. Both phenomena appear to be caused by poor iron oxide and head cleaning particles, which create isolated asperities on the tape surface.

Date of AwardSept 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn L Sullivan (Supervisor)


  • video
  • magnetic media
  • magnetic recording
  • tribology
  • wear

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