What is Printhead Delamination?

Most Mimaki, Mutoh and Roland printers use DX5 or DX7 printheads. The most common issue with Epson DX5 and DX7 printheads is delamination or broken seal. This is where the metal face of the printhead ( shown below ) separated from the manifold. Once printhead delamination occurs there is no way of recovering the printhead.

printhead delamination,  dx5 printhead broken

 

How do I know if my printhead is delaminated? 

You will most likely see colors mixing with each other or dark lines in your print. Notice the cyan is bleeding into the magenta and yellow. This is typically signs that your printhead is going bad.

 

printhead color mixing, broken dx5


Why does printhead delamination occur?

Printhead delamination can occur for a few different reasons. Most commonly the ink you are using might be to aggressive with the glue that adheres the metal nozzle plate to the printhead. If the ink is overly aggressive then you might see this problem within a few months. The second most common problem is physical damage ( head strikes ) to the printhead. The more contact your printhead has with paper the more likely it is to wear down the glue and delaminate.

Below is a video showing a printhead that has delaminated. You can clearly see that the cleaning solution does not flow out of the intended color channel but instead comes out the side of the printhead. If you can't see the face of the printhead easily then you can also examine the top of the printhead to see if solution flows in one color and out another.

We do not recommend forcing cleaning solution into your printheads as this can make the issue worse. We have determined that our printhead was fully de laminated and wanted to show a good example of what issues to look for.

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