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Manufacturing technology of pen

Manufacturing technology of pen

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Published by: Lokesh on Sep 24, 2009
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Ballpoint Pen
 A ballpoint pen is a writing instrument which features a tip that is automaticallrefreshed with ink. It consists of a precisely formed metal ball seated in a socket below areservoir of ink. As the pen is moved along a writing surface, ink is delivered. Eventhough ballpoint pens were first patented in the late nineteenth century, they only started to reach commercial significance in the early 1950s. Now, ballpoint pensdominate the writing instrument market, selling over one hundred million pens each year worldwide.
History 
 While the idea of a ballpoint pen had been around for many years, it took three differentinventors and almost 60 years to develop this modern writing instrument. The firstpatent for this invention was issued on October 30, 1888, to a man named John J. Loud.His ballpoint pen consisted of a tiny rotating ball bearing that was constantly coated with ink by a reservoir above it. While this invention worked, it was not well suited forpaper because it leaked and caused smearing. Two other inventors, Ladislas Biro and his brother Georg, improved on Loud's invention and patented their own version, which became the first commercially significant ballpoint pen. These pens still leaked, but notas badly. They became popular worldwide, reaching the height of sales in 1944. The next year another inventor, Baron Marcel Bich, finally solved the leakage problem and beganmanufacturing Bic pens in Paris. Over the years, many improvements have been madein the technology and quality of the various parts of the pen, such as the ink, the ball, thereservoir, and the body.
Background
The ballpoint pen was developed as a solution to the problems related to writing with afountain pen. Fountain pens require the user to constantly refresh the pen by dipping itstip in ink. This is not necessary with a ballpoint pen because it is designed with its ownink reservoir, which uses capillary action to keep the ink from leaking out. At the tip of 
 
the pen is a freely rotating ball seated in a socket. Only part of this ball is exposed; therest of it is on the inside of the pen and is constantly being bathed by ink from thereservoir. Pressing the tip of the pen on the writing surface causes the ball to roll. Thisrolling action then transfers ink from the inside of the pen to the writing surface. While different designs of ballpoint pens are available, many of the components are thesame. Common components include a ball, a point, ink, an ink reservoir or cartridge,and an outer housing. Some pens are topped with a cap to prevent it from leaking orhaving its point damaged. Other pens use a retractable point system for the samereason. Here a small spring is attached to the outside of the ink reservoir, and when a button is pushed, the point is either exposed or retracted. Still other varieties of  ballpoint pens have multiple ink cartridges, making it possible to write in differentcolors using one pen. Other pens have refillable ink cartridges. One type of pen has apressurized cartridge that enables the user to write underwater, over grease, and inspace.
Raw Materials
 A variety of raw materials are used for making the components of a ballpoint pen,including metals, plastics, and other chemicals. When ballpoint pens were firstdeveloped, an ordinary steel ball was used. That ball has since been replaced by atextured tungsten carbide ball. This material is superior because it is particularly resistant to deforming. The ball is designed to be a perfect sphere that can literally gripmost any writing surface. Its surface is actually composed of over 50,000 polishedsurfaces and pits. The pits are connected by a series of channels that are continuousthroughout the entire sphere. This design allows the ink to be present on both thesurface and interior of the ball.The points of most ballpoint pens are made out of brass, which is an alloy of copper andzinc. This material is used because of its strength, resistance to corrosion, appealingappearance, and ability to be easily formed. Other parts, like the ink cartridge, the body,or the spring can also be made with brass. Aluminum is also used in some cases to make
 
the pen body, and stainless steel can be used to make pen components. Precious metalssuch as gold, silver, or platinum are plated onto more expensive pens.The ink can be specially made by the pen manufacturer. To be useful in a ballpoint pen,the ink must be slightly thick, slow drying in the reservoir, and free of particles. Thesecharacteristics ensure that the ink continues to flow to the paper without clogging the ball. When the ink is on the paper, rapid drying occurs via penetration and someevaporation. In an ink formulation, various pigments and dyes are used to provide thecolor. Other materials, such as lubricants, surfactants, thickeners, and preservatives, arealso incorporated. These ingredients are typically dispersed in materials such as oleicacid, castor oil, or a sulfonamide plasticizer.
 A 1963 plastic and metal ballpoint pen commemorating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jr.
 (From the collections of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.)
Until the advent of the computer, humans have scrambled to find writing instruments torecord story and song. The earliest scribbles were made with a burnt stick in sand. By the fourth century 
B.C.
, the Sumerians used wedge-shaped reed pens to cut pictorialshapes into clay tablets. Eygptians painted hieroglyphics with brushes made from marshreeds and the ancient Chinese wrote with brushes of stiff hair. Ancient Greeks andRomans sharpened stiff reeds to a point, resulting in chirography that was taut andprecise.The quill pen, made from goose or swan feathers, was favored by writers for over 1,000 years. The soft quill was honed to a point, split at the tip to permit ink to flow freely, andconstantly resharpened. A monumental improvement over the quill pen was JosephGillott's invention of the steel pen nib in the late nineteenth century, which required no

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