Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, combines insert molding technology with Aurum thermoplastic polyimide to design the end caps on the fuser-roll assembly for its printers and copiers. Aurum, supplied by MTC-America, Purchase, N.Y., is a heat-resistant thermoplastic polyimide that withstands wear at temperatures exceeding 500°F. The fiber-reinforced polyimide is compounded at RTP Co., Winona, Minn.
The end cap, also known as a gudgeon, consists of glass-fiber reinforced Aurum injection molded onto a Grade 303 stainless powder-metal insert. The gudgeon transfers rotational motion and supports the frame of the machine. In addition, it acts as a thermal barrier to protect a steel bearing and extends bearing life by reducing friction and wear. In operation, the gudgeon is subject to operating temperatures of 450°F and torque levels as high as 60 lb-ft.