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A2115 / 2019 / Processors from 3.0 GHz 6-core i5, up to 3.6 GHz 8-core i9. Released March 19, 2019.

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Dust in the display, what causes it, how to prevent it

Hello everyone,

I just sold my “old” iMac 5k 2017 because it was out of warranty so Apple asked 650 Euro to replace the display because dust started accumulating in the corners.

For the same amount of money I replaced it with the “new” iMac 5K 2019 and now I have Apple care so I have peace of mind for 3 years.

As this is not a final nor elegant solution I would like to understand what causes this problem to some people over and over even with 2 or 3 replaced displays, but not for others.

I also made some primitive dust filter out of blocks of open cell foam I placed between my desk and iMac so I would like to know what you think whether this is going to help with dust accumulating in the corners again.

Here is how it looks:

Block Image

https://postimg.cc/MX6BnnMX

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How it likely happens is the screen is bonded with LOCA glue so it’s usually a factory defect or develops over time as the LOCA glue degrades as it ages. There is no cure as it fails as the system ages, unless it’s a factory defect. Test the new computer with a black test image and check it when it’s new, so you can tell apart age vs. factory failure. Short of living in an ISO certified cleanroom and wearing a bunny suit, it’ll happen as it ages again.

Sadly there is no good fix since this is much more difficult to “debond” and correct since it’s much larger then an iPhone - it isn’t even a DIY job on the iPhone and other mobile devices, but anyone with pro experience can typically get it on the phones. This is beyond DIY and high experience.

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Thanks. Actually the dust accumulates between led diffusor and LCD matrix, not between laminated glass and LCD so there is no need to debond anything. Either way it is not very easy to fix, official Apple service will not accept doing it, they do not fix anything they just replace the parts.

Most people notice it after 9 months or so, I understand that all systems age but this is too early for a defect of this kind.

Would you think it is possible to prevent it somehow by adding some DIY dust filters, or it is a waste of time?

par

@alfaholic filtering may help but it's not good for much beyond reducing the severity as it ages. Go for it but make sure it's removable and doesn't impede airflow - bearing in mind it won't completely stop it.

I'm guessing Apple doesn't do much about it because it isn't as critical of a defect compared to something like the 2011 GPU nightmare. It'll take a lawsuit most likely since it's not bad enough to kill the system.

In order to service the panel it does need to be debonded due to how they are assembled. Maybe you have some EU specific leverage against Apple about this? We're kind of screwed in the States - even CA. You may be able to argue it's understandable if it happens in 3-4 years but ~9 months is unacceptable. Look into European law for something related to flaws like this. Apple stops at 5 years in every state but CA here and I'm in a 5 year state - unless other states have mandatory extensions. It makes sense since 5 years is pretty dated but the slowdown of Moore's law makes it so you can use older equipment longer but also after 5 years if a major part breaks it's probably better to move to a new system or a newer used platform.

par

Thanks. If by debond you mean to remove the adhesive that holds the screen then yes, but for cleaning this dust particles there is only some tape and few screws, here is the complete procedure:

https://youtu.be/WE6Vm1yxkVM

It is not overly complicated, but it requires steady hands and some experience. Official Apple service will not do it, those nimble guys in Russia do this very well.

As for EU laws, well it might be possible but do I really need to go through all of this for my own money? (if it translates well in English)

par

@alfaholic If you don't have a warranty you may need to but you have it so it'll be out of reason to push the matter for free after it expires most likely. Most displays come apart from the front rather then the back - including previous gen Apple panels.

You have better consumer law protections there so that's why I'm thinking the best way is a warranty extension but if you don't you may need to push them into fixing it for free.

Apple doesn't do it due to the liability and labor cost. The TAB wiring is very fragile.

par

@alfaholic - You really can't pull the display panel cover glass away without damaging the parts.

The newer 2012 and onwards displays are well sealed for dust. I have yet to see one with real dust!

What I have seen is bugs which were caught inside during the assembly process. The most common issue is image persistence which is caused by a static image fatiguing the LCD crystals.

par

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Sadly, I think you’ve cooked your display! The backlight LED’s sit at the bottom of the panel. Overtime the lack of cooling causes the LCD material to loose its solution from evaporation.

Block Image

This is sorta like how maple syrup is made from the maple tree sap by evaporation of the water in that case, as the liquid thickens to a syrup.

The liquid in the case here so the LCD material gets thicker causing it not to react as quickly making it look muddy like yours looks along the bottom.

Basically you don’t have a dust issue at all!

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Thanks, but you are wrong. This is an open cell foam, it is totally porous, please do some research you will find the air circulates as usual just it collects some dust on the way. Also, this is the new 2019 iMac, I am using this open cell foam for 5 days only, never did anything similar on my previous 2017 5K so I did not cooked anything, the old display had dust problem.

If you read my initial post you will notice this is a new computer that still does not have dust under the screen, but my previous had, you will also find there that I asked how to prevent the dust accumulating again.

par

You've missed the point! The air draw is not adequate! Your foam is not a good enough filter to stop the very fine dust from entering the system only enough to clause the display panel to over heat.

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@danj Thank you, that is what I was asking.

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Bojan Bojovic sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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