Manifests as: a lifting or separation of layers within a print
Primarily caused by: light, pollutants, or water exposure
Delamination is the separation of layers within a print. This can occur in local areas such as along a print’s edge (edge lift) or central to the print (blistering). Sometimes the image layer tears as it delaminates causing peel. When the image layer is brittle, delamination can appear as flaking. In extreme cases, such as during exposure to water, the image layer can lift off in its entirety.
Delamination occurs when adhesion between print layers fails. This can be induced by exposure to light, pollution, or water. Inkjet photos are more prone to delamination from light or pollution exposure, while dye sublimation and liquid electrophotographic prints are more prone to delamination during water exposure.
The images below show the effects of severe fading of an inkjet print and the resulting delamination of the image layer from the paper base. Note the peeling in various areas of the print, especially on the lower right.
In the following image the entire image layer has delaminated and lifted off of the substrate. This is an extreme case caused by immersion in water.
Another type of catastrophic damage to the image layers of certain inkjet photos is dissolution. Dissolution occurs when the image layer dissolves in water. The following image is an illustration of this problem.