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How a Pencil is Made and its Environmental Impacts
Transcript of How a Pencil is Made and its Environmental Impacts
The Making of Lead Step 1 and 2
The Making of Lead Step 3 and 4
The dried sludge is than put in huge wheels to be crushed into another fine powder. Water is blended in again to make a soft paste.The paste is pushed through a metal tube and comes out in the shape of thin rods. The rods are cut into pencil-length pieces, called leads, and sent along a conveyor belt to dry.
The Environmental Impact of Collecting the Materials
Pencils probably have more materials in it than you might think.They have zinc and copper,(for the aluminum ferrule)clay powder, graphite(for the led) and pumice( for the eraser). The most interesting thing though is that the wood in the pencil is usually from California cedar trees(due to shortage on red cedar trees).Now where does this all come from you say, well, mines and trees.Yes, just to make pencils you need to go mining and cause some deforestation.Mining contaminates soil and groundwater.Deforstation is also really bad for the environment.One of the reasons are, without trees we could not live because trees are the ones that produce oxygen.
Transportating the Materials
Trucks are used to transport the California cedar trees and zinc,copper,clay powder,pumice and graphite. Since trucks are used to transport this, it pollutes the air by releasing carbon
monoxide,nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. If you've ever walked behind a truck you know how bad all the chemicals smell. To think that's something that's being released into our world and polluting our air.
Starting to Make the Pencil Step 1 and 2
The wood is than taken to the factory to get treated with chemicals to get rid of bugs, than is cut into a block which is than cut into slats.Eight shallow grooves are sawed lengthwise into each slat. The environmental impact of changing wood into slats is the machines that we use for this process. There are a lot of machines for this process.
When the materials for the lead is taken to the factory( the graphite and clay)it is put in a large rotating drum. The rocks inside the drum crush the graphite and clay into a fine powder. Water is added shortly and the mixture will stay in the rotating drum for up to three days. The mixture is than taken to another machine to squeeze all the water out leaving behind a grey sludge.It is than a put in a cabinet by a worker to dry for 4 days.
The Making of Lead Step 5
After drying, the pencil leads are put into an oven heated to 1,800 degrees F. The intense heat makes the leads smooth and hard, which makes good writing points. The led is than taken to another part of the factory where the pencils are being made.
Making a Pencil Step 3 and 4
A thin coat of glue is applied to the slats, and one pencil lead is placed into each of the eight grooves. Within seconds, another wide grooved slat is glued on top, sandwiching the leads.The sandwiches are pressed together for an hour so that the glue is dry.When the glue dries, the slats are fed through a cutting machine. Fast revolving steel blades trim the wood into round or hexagonal shapes, one side at a time.
Making a Pencil Step 5 and 6
The same machine cuts apart each slat into eight separate pencils.The pencils are sanded, and each one receives from five to eight coats of paint, 1 coat of the company's trade mark and a transparent coat.
The Finishing Touch
A heated metal stamp presses the name of the company and a number - such as the number 2 - on the pencil in foil or paint. The number indicates how hard the pencil lead is.A metal band, called a ferrule, is wrapped tightly around one end of the pencil. It holds the eraser, which is being added here. The pencils are then ready to be sharpened, packaged, and used.
Thank You for Watching!!!
The Environmental Impact
The environmental impact of making pencils may not be that big but it still has an impact on trees because they're getting cut down. The factories to make pencils create pollution, all the trucks and machines involved in this process and getting all the materials for the eraser and the ferrule from mining.
I forgot to menion that millions of cars are also polluting the earth by releasing carbon monoxide,nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. You know why, because millions of famillies still need to go to the store and buy the pencils.