The aim of this paper is to develop the general methodology for the optimum design of magnetic head slider for improving the spacing characteristics between head slider and disk surfaces under the static and dynamic operation conditions of hard disk drive and to present an application of the methodology to IBM 3380-type slider design. In the optimum design, the objective function is defined as the weighted sum of minimum spacing, maximum difference of spacing due to variation of radial location of head and maximum amplitude ratio of slider motion. Slider rail width, taper length, taper angle, suspension position and preload are selected as the design variables. Before the optimization of magnetic head slider, the effects of these five design variables on the objective function are examined by the parametric study, and then the optimum design variables are determined by applying the hybrid optimization technique combining the direct search method and the successive quadratic programming (SQP). From the results obtained, the effectiveness of optimum design on the spacing characteristics of magnetic head slider is clarified.

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