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Pinch Rollers

In audio or video equipment, pinch rollers are rubberized free spinning wheels typically used to press magnetic tape against capstan shafts. These contacts create the friction necessary to drive the tape along the magnetic sensing heads. For laminating operations, pinch rollers apply pressure to the materials being laminated. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate audiovideo pinch rollers and a roll laminator, respectively.

Fig 1: Rubber Pinch Rollers for Audio and Video Equipment Fig 2: 42 Inch Roll Laminator (Note: the pinch roller is orange.)
Fig 1: Rubber Pinch Rollers for Audio and Video Equipment Fig 2: 42 Inch Roll Laminator
(Note: the pinch roller is orange.)

Powered pinch rollers are often call nip rolls. These are used to press two or more sheets together to form a laminated product. The high pressure created at the nip point brings the sheets into intimate contact, and they can squeeze out any bubbles or blisters that might cause a defective bond. This technology is taught in US Patent 5,299,728, “Method and Apparatus for Laminating Foils into a Superconducting Tape for Use in a Superconducting Magnet”.

With any laminating machinery, uneven pinch rollers can result in waste and defective product. Therefore, it is very important that maintenance engineers be able to quickly identify roller problems. Fujifilm Prescale® is a unique, affordable and easy to use tool that reveals the distribution and magnitude of pressure between any two mating rolls whether rubber, steel, or composite. Fujifilm Prescale® is a Mylar based film that contains a layer of tiny microcapsules. The application of force upon the film causes the microcapsules to rupture, producing an instantaneous and permanent high resolution “topographical” image of pressure variation across the contact area as shown in Figure 3.

Fig 3: Fujifilm Prescale® Reveals Pressure Magnitude and Distribution of Pinch Rollers.
Fig 3: Fujifilm Prescale® Reveals Pressure Magnitude and Distribution of Pinch Rollers.