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Pen Ink - The Chemistry

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Rithvik Chilamkurty

on 19 May 2015

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Transcript of Pen Ink - The Chemistry

Pen Ink - The Chemistry
You use writing utensils everyday in school, specifically pens and pencils, and you have probably have never thought about what a pen is made up of and how efficient it is at making sure the ink stays on the page. The chemistry is actually very detailed and expansive for something you consider to be a very simple and needed part of your life.
The 8 Main Ink Components
Pigments
Dispersants
Resins/Polymers
Humectants
Defoamers/Antifoaming Agents
Wetting Agents
pH Modifiers
Biocides/Bacteriostats
Pigments
Definition: A natural substance that gives color to certain objects and to plants and animals.
Pigments are insoluble substances that give the ink color. They can be both organic and inorganic, each with varying characteristics. The amount of color intensity depends on how much is put in. Shade and light fastness also depend on the characteristics of the pigment.
Dispersants
Definition: A substance that forms and stabilizes a dispersion of one substance in another.
Dispersants have the job of preventing the pigments from reaggregating, or forming into a whole again. These chemicals coat the pigment particles and in turn these particles attract or repel each other, forming a good mixture to write with.
Resins & Polymers
Definition: An artificial substance that is used to often make plastics but is used for other reasons as well.
Definition: A chemical compound that is made of small molecules that from a larger molecule.
Resins and polymer amounts in pen ink control many different aspects such as the viscosity of the ink. Too much, and the ink will take forever to flow out. Too little, and it's going to be too liquidy to write with. It also modifies rheological properties, or the relationship between stress and resulting deformation.
Humectants
Defintion: A substance that promotes retention of moisture.
Humectants stunt the premature drying of ink inside a pen.
Defoamers/ Antifoaming Agents
These defoamers/ Antifoaming Agents prevent or "cure" the foam problem with pen ink, respectively.
Wetting Agents
Definition: An admixture to a liquid that increases it's ability to spread over the surface of a given material.
Wetting Agents make sure to keep surface tension low so that the ink can interact with the paper well.
Biocides/
Bacteriostats
Definition: A chemical that destroys life by poisoning, especially a pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide.
Definition: A substance or preparation that inhibits the further growth of bacteria
Biocides and Bacteriostats prevent the growth of both bacteria and fungus on the pen.
Sources:

Chemistry Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://chemistry-parts.blogspot.com/2012/04/chemical-formula-for-ink.html



Chemistry Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://chemistry-parts.blogspot.com/2012/04/chemical-formula-for-ink.html



Chemistry Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://chemistry-parts.blogspot.com/2012/04/chemical-formula-for-ink.html



(n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4335&context=jclc

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