The effect of pivot clearance on the dynamic characteristics of a rotary actuator for head positioning in magnetic disk storage is numerically investigated. A motion equation which takes pivot clearance and pivot bearing elasticity into account is derived for a track-following servo-controlled actuator. Elastic deformation of a bearing as well as head positioning error increase in a sudden step when the bearing makes alternating impacts at the antipodes of the pivot shaft. Based on the result, design criteria are obtained for the maximum acceptable clearance for high accuracy in head positioning.

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