Sater, Melvin (1991, ASQC) Microinch Surface Metrology, St. Paul, MN
This abstract is an edited version of the author's original.
The author presents a history of the pioneering developments of professional use magnetic recording tapes and illustrates that, for decades, metrology has been used as a guide to advance the quality and performance of recording equipment.
Prior to June 1967, all measurements were made by stylus contact standard tests. However, due to variety of reasons outlined in this paper, stylus contact measurements failed to be reliable. Subsequently, a noncontact method of testing was developed. This change allowed a far greater understanding of both accepted problems earlier and also led to substantial advances that are still valid today.The scope of use included metal, plastic, ceramic, film and coating surfaces. All were damaged by stylus contact measurements. Magnetic recording products developed further by this optical work included both quadraplex and helical scan (cassette) video tapes, computer tapes and disk forms begun by IBM, instrumentation/telemetry tapes, and professional audio tapes. A summary of dynamic quality advances at the end of the paper illustrates the leaps in technical advances made in the history of video tapes and in the history of computer tapes and disk forms.