Using Print Head Sealing Tape

by : Barry Shultz

Print head sealing tape comes in two varieties, adhesive and static. Both serve a different purpose which I will get into very shortly. There are two colors available, blue and orange. The orange tape is used on Canon cartridges mostly and is of the adhesive variety. The blue tape is used on HP and Lexmark cartridges and is available in static or adhesive.

The reason the orange tape is only available in adhesive form is because Canon cartridges don't have print heads on them which can be damaged with an adhesive type of tape. The orange tape can be used to seal the ink ports and refilling and breather holes on the BCI-3e and BCI-6 Canon cartridges.

The blue tape deserves more discussion because using the wrong tape can permanently ruin your cartridge. Do not use the adhesive tape on color print heads, ever. It is used to seal the breather holes for storage. The adhesive tape can actually cause the copper foil to disconnect from the cartridge when you remove it, which is of course a bad thing.

Use the static tape on print heads. It has no adhesive and it needs to be applied properly. Many people do not know how to properly apply static print head sealing tape. The trick is to heat up the print head before applying the tape. Get yourself a hair dryer and heat up the print head. Then take a strip of static tape and position it properly and while the print head is warm simply dab your finger on the tape over the print head. The slight pressure will bond the tape to the print head and hold it in place. The heat temporarily expands the tape so when it cools off it will shrink slightly and form a bond around the print head. Add a cartridge clip and you have the best known method for storing cartridges with print heads.

A note of caution here. Some of you will be tempted to use a heat gun. A Heat gun can throw off an amazing amount of heatComputer Technology Articles, probably enough to destroy the print head. If you don't have experience using a heat gun in this fashion please use a hair dryer.

Even if you don't refill a lot you might want to keep a roll of print head tape on hand. Sealing a color cartridge improperly can cause cross chamber migration of ink and that is a contamination that you definitely do not want to deal with.