Dynamics and tribology in web/tape handling

TractionSim and LTMSim are GUI-based simulation tools that our group has developed and collaborated on, respectively, to simulate various mechanics issues encountered in web handling applications.
tape-path picture
Typical web path between supply and take-up rollers
2D tape-path picture Predicted tape deflection and slope
due to imperfectly alligned rollers
  • Thin continuous, flexible materials used in manufacturing a wide range of products ranging from paper to flexible computer displays, and in information storage such as magnetic tape, are known as webs.
  • Accurate placement of the web with respect to a processing landmark such as a printer or recording head is critically important for ensuring product quality.
  • Various imperfections in the web material, roller misalignments, fluid-structure interactions between the web and the surrounding fluid (air) adversely affect traction between the web and the guides, and the dynamics of the web.
  • Web mechanics combines various areas of mechanics, including dynamics and tribology.
Our work in this field has been focused on the following areas:
  • Fluid-structure interactions in web handling: a) magnetic recording head contours, b) roller traction, c) externally pressurized air-guides.
  • Dynamics of translating media: a) Out-of-plane and lateral dynamics of translating webs/tapes, b) Dynamic interactions of a translating web with a lubricating air layer over a guide.
Mechanics of Lateral Tape/Web Motion: Lateral dynamics of the tape traveling between two spools and interacting with various rollers and fixed guides is simulated by a GUI based simulation tool. The development of this code has been sponsored by INSIC at Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa State University and Northeastern University. Download LTMSim.
Mechanics Tape/Web Traction: Traction of a web/tape moving over a rolling or stationary guide is simulated by a GUI based simulation tool. The model includes the effects of air lubrication in the web/tape-guide interface. In addition the effects of web and/or guide porosity, grooved guides, and possibility of tension change in the interface are also included. Download TractionSim.