University of Illinois PhD. candidate Wei Xiao has designed the lube, called SHP, which is based on polyester, as part of her PhD project.
The coating shields the disk from damage during contact with the head and means that it can last longer.
In designing the lube, Xiao had to find a compound that could take the 10,000-plus revolutions per minute typical of computer hard drives. At that speed the stuff that is not sticky enough will fly off the drive and leave a mess inside your computer case.
It also has to have qualities of being liquid, so that it can nestle into the surface of the hard-drive and solid to provide protection. By using the polymers, the lubricant sticks to the hard-drive.
The science can be found here. µ
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