When a cleaning blade in a laser printer is excessively deformed, immoderate permanent set can result, leading to weaker nip pressure between the cleaning blade and OPC drum that worsens its cleaning performance and printing quality. In this study, the correlation of the permanent set with stress and strain was investigated through tensile tests with rubber test specimens. Based on the experimental results, the maximum von-Mises stress value was used to quantify the permanent set. A design optimization problem was formulated to minimize the maximum von-Mises stress while satisfying the design constraints for maintaining appropriate contact between the cleaning blade and the OPC drum. We employed metamodel-based design optimization using design of experiments, metamodeling and an optimization algorithm to circumvent the difficulty of structural analyses at some design points. Using the proposed design approach, the optimal maximum von-Mises stress was reduced by 40.2 % compared to the initial stress value while all the design constraints were satisfied. In order to verify the validity of our design optimization result, we manufactured the cleaning blades according to the optimum design solution and performed permanent set and printer tests. The test results clearly showed the validity of our design optimization result.
Laser printer Cleaning blade Permanent set Cleaning performance Design optimization