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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Engineering Science

First Advisor

Brian Weick

First Committee Member

Jiancheng Liu

Second Committee Member

Kyle Watson


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the viscoelastic properties of current large digital storage magnetic tape materials, using a custom ultra-low frequency dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA). Through the correlated effects of frequency and temperature, the long term mechanical properties of the magnetic tape can be simulated and used for predictive analysis of long term storage quality and stability of each individual tape given applicable storage conditions. Two magnetic tapes of primary interest reviewed in this paper are both current leading high capacity tapes, one having a poly(ethylene naphthalate) or PEN substrate and the other an aromatic polyamide or ARAMID substrate.

The phase angle between the two signals and the peak strain based elastic modulus (E) were then used to determine the storage modulus (E'), loss modulus (E"), and the loss tangent (tan 8). These viscoelastic characteristics of the material were determined for each individual experimental sample. The combined data was then used to create comparative plots of each sample type allowing for a more conclusive look at the magnetic tape properties under the given conditions. It is found that viscoelastic deformation, or energy loss in the material, increasingly occurs at low frequencies. These experiments also verify that viscoelastic loss also occurs due to molecular orientation and can have a large impact on results. A final comparison is also made between the two leading tape materials commonly used in industry currently by taking a direct look at relative loss in conjunction with the materials overall complex elastic modulus. This allows a more definitive strength comparison of the defined materials · under given conditions.



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