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Made How » Volume 3 » Ballpoint Pen
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A ballpoint pen is a writing instrument which features a tip that is automatically refreshed with ink. It consists of a precisely formed metal ball seated in a socket below a reservoir of ink. As the pen is moved along a writing surface, ink is delivered. Even though ballpoint pens were first patented in the late nineteenth century, they only started to reach commercial significance in the early 1950s. Now, ballpoint pens dominate the writing instrument market, selling over one hundred million pens each year worldwide.
While the idea of a ballpoint pen had been around for many years, it took three different inventors and almost 60 years to develop this modern writing instrument. The first patent 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
many improvements have been made in the technology and quality of the various parts of the pen.goldspot. and the body. reaching the height of sales in 1944. These pens still leaked. which became the first commercially significant ballpoint pen. They became popular worldwide. fountain pens at unbelievably low online prices melpens.com .com 25% Off Sheaffer Pens Low Price Guarantee on all Sheaffer Pens. Two other inventors. Baron Marcel Bich. ballpoints.com Sales Flow Chart Free 30 Day Trial . the reservoir. Pencils. Ladislas Biro and his brother Georg.Mindjet. improved on Loud's invention and patented their own version. Lighters. it was not well suited for paper because it leaked and caused smearing. but not as badly. Over the years.pengallery. Inks & Refills and Accessories of major brands www. the ball. & Refills www.invention worked. The next year another inventor. such as the ink. Background Ads by Google Pens @ low online prices Pens.com Luxury pens low prices pens.Create Business Diagrams in Minutes with Mind Maps! www. finally solved the leakage problem and began manufacturing Bic pens in Paris.
and an outer housing. the rest of it is on the inside of the pen and is constantly being bathed by ink from the reservoir. When ballpoint pens were first developed. This material is superior because it is particularly resistant to deforming. and when a button is pushed. This rolling action then transfers ink from the inside of the pen to the writing surface. the point is either exposed or retracted. Some pens are topped with a cap to prevent it from leaking or having its point damaged. . an ink reservoir or cartridge. That ball has since been replaced by a textured tungsten carbide ball. Still other varieties of ballpoint pens have multiple ink cartridges. This is not necessary with a ballpoint pen because it is designed with its own ink reservoir. and in space. Fountain pens require the user to constantly refresh the pen by dipping its tip in ink. While different designs of ballpoint pens are available. many of the components are the same. Common components include a ball. including metals. over grease. an ordinary steel ball was used. ink.The ballpoint pen was developed as a solution to the problems related to writing with a fountain pen. The pits are connected by a series of channels that are continuous throughout the entire sphere. which uses capillary action to keep the ink from leaking out. Other pens use a retractable point system for the same reason. Pressing the tip of the pen on the writing surface causes the ball to roll. Here a small spring is attached to the outside of the ink reservoir. At the tip of the pen is a freely rotating ball seated in a socket. One type of pen has a pressurized cartridge that enables the user to write underwater. and other chemicals. making it possible to write in different colors using one pen. Its surface is actually composed of over 50. The ball is designed to be a perfect sphere that can literally grip most any writing surface. Only part of this ball is exposed. This design allows the ink to be present on both the surface and interior of the ball. plastics. Other pens have refillable ink cartridges. Raw Materials A variety of raw materials are used for making the components of a ballpoint pen.000 polished surfaces and pits. a point.
or platinum are plated onto more expensive pens. Eygptians painted . appealing appearance. . such as lubricants. Kennedy. the Sumerians used wedge-shaped reed pens to cut pictorial shapes into clay tablets. These ingredients are typically dispersed in materials such as oleic acid. and free of particles. silver. Other materials. or the spring can also be made with brass. slow drying in the reservoir. and preservatives. To be useful in a ballpoint pen. humans have scrambled to find writing instruments to record story and song. which is an alloy of copper and zinc. thickeners. castor oil. Precious metals such as gold. A 1963 plastic and metal ballpoint pen commemorating the assassination of President John F. the ink must be slightly thick. When the ink is on the paper. like the ink cartridge.C. Aluminum is also used in some cases to make the pen body. Jr. Other parts. and ability to be easily formed. or a sulfonamide plasticizer. By the fourth century B.) Until the advent of the computer. The earliest scribbles were made with a burnt stick in sand. surfactants.The points of most ballpoint pens are made out of brass. In an ink formulation. rapid drying occurs via penetration and some evaporation. This material is used because of its strength. and stainless steel can be used to make pen components. The ink can be specially made by the pen manufacturer. resistance to corrosion. the body. various pigments and dyes are used to provide the color. are also incorporated. These characteristics ensure that the ink continues to flow to the paper without clogging the ball. (From the collections of Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.
like phenolic resins. skipped. and dropped ink until 1950. Nancy EV Bryk Plastics have become an important raw material in ballpoint pen manufacture. the nib thus supplied with a constant stream of ink. However.hieroglyphics with brushes made from marsh reeds and the ancient Chinese wrote with brushes of stiff hair. the cap. but blots and smears were still common. A monumental improvement over the quill pen was Joseph Gillott's invention of the steel pen nib in the late nineteenth century. which remain permanently hard after being formed and cooled. and other pieces. Thermosetting plastics. are typically used in constructing the body. Alonzo Cross featured a "stylographic pen" with an ink-depositing needle point in the late 1860s. but are also used to make the ink cartridge. cap. hoping to avoid drips. and constantly resharpened. lightweight. based on their physical characteristics. They have the advantage of being easily formed. corrosion resistant. Fountain pens store ink inside a reservoir within the pen. the push button. split at the tip to permit ink to flow freely. Different kinds of plastics are used. These include materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and . and part of the tip. and inexpensive. The quill pen. resulting in chirography that was taut and precise. They are primarily used to form the body of the pen. Ancient Greeks and Romans sharpened stiff reeds to a point. which required no sharpening and could be separated from the pen body and changed as needed. Ballpoint pens manufactured early in the century leaked. was favored by writers for over 1. when a new ink was developed that made the ballpoint reliable. the writer constantly dipped pen into ink.000 years. the ballpoint pen virtually eradicated messes. Thermoplastic materials remain flexible. made from goose or swan feathers. Still. The soft quill was honed to a point.
Stamping and forming . packaging. labeling. the basic steps include ink compounding. Making the ink • 1 Large batches of ink are made in a designated area of the manufacturing plant. and shipping. piece assembly. follow formula instructions to make batches of ink. metal component formation. Quality control checks are made during different points of ink batching. Here workers. While each manufacturer makes them slightly differently. pens can go from raw material to finished product in less than five minutes. these batches can be heated and cooled as necessary to help the raw materials combine more quickly. Depending on the formula.vinyl resins. known as compounders. plastic component molding. which can be used to make most of the pen components. These controls also regulate the mixing speeds and the heating and cooling rates. Some of the larger quantity raw materials are pumped and metered directly into the batch tank. These materials are added simply by pressing a button on computerized controls. Raw materials are poured into the batch tank and thoroughly mixed. The Manufacturing Process Ballpoint pens are made to order in mass quantities. In advanced shops.
which consists of a steel ram and a spring-backed ejector plunger. After they emerge from the bath. The die is then opened. Other parts of the pen. such as the point and the body. The pen pieces are next polished by rotating brushes and cleaned again to remove any residual oils. and the pen piece is ejected. The ball can then be inserted into the point cavity. causing the plunger to retract and forcing the metal into a die cast mold. which cut out thousands of small discs. They are immersed in a bath to remove oils used in the molding process. The tungsten carbide balls are typically supplied by outside vendors. When the ram and plunger return to their original positions. • 3 The formed pieces are then cleaned and cut. This compresses the metal and forms the various pen pieces. the metal components of the pen are being constructed. Molding the housing • 4 The plastic components of the pen are constructed simultaneously with the .• 2 While the ink is being made. The steel ram presses on the metal. are made using various molds. the excess metal is then scraped off and recycled. the parts are then cut to the dimensions of the specific pen. First. The brass discs are next softened and poured into a compression chamber. bands of brass are automatically inserted into stamping machines.
cooled. After it cools. They can be produced by either extrusion or injection molding.other pen pieces. like caps. Ink filling and assembly . In each approach. Pieces such as the pen body and ink reservoir are made by this method. the plastic is supplied as granules or powder and is fed into a large hopper. ends. It is then forced through a die. In this process the plastic is heated. and cut. and mechanical components. which forces the material through a heated chamber. The extrusion process involves a large spiral screw. • 5 For pieces that have more complex shapes. it solidifies and maintains its shape after the die is opened. flowing mass. injection molding is used. converting it into a liquid that can then be forcibly injected into a mold. making it a thick.
These pieces are then conveyored to injectors. other components such as the cap and ends are incorporated. Various types of measuring equipment are available. an optical flat or surface gauge may be used. Physical characteristics are checked to make sure the batch adheres to the specifications outlined in the formula instructions. the ballpoint is first attached to the ink reservoir. a micrometer. Since thousands of parts are made each day. Like the solid pieces of the pens. quality tests are also performed on the liquid batches of ink. Consequently. The QC group runs tests such as pH determination. it is then placed on the barrel of the reservoir. or a microscope. line inspectors take random samples of pen pieces at certain time intervals and check to ensure that they meet set specifications for size. . The finished pens are then packaged according to how they will be sold. and consistency. To test the condition of surface coatings. packaging. Groups of pens are packed into bags or boxes. which fill the reservoir with the appropriately colored ink. stacked on pallets. These sales units are then put into boxes. After all the ingredients are added to the batch. and shipped to distributors. Quality Control The quality of pen components is checked during all manufacturing stages. Typically. assembly can take place. such as adding coatings or decorations or performing a final cleaning. are also done. If a spring is going to be present. shape. a sample is taken to the Quality Control (QC) laboratory for testing. Final assembly. The primary testing method is visual inspection. and shipping • 7 The point and reservoir are then placed inside the main body of the pen. Each of these differ in accuracy and application.• 6 After the components are formed. although more rigorous measurements are also made. Single pens can be put into blister packages with cardboard backings. inspecting each one is impossible. At this stage. Other finishing steps. Length measurements are made with a vernier caliper.
and reduce the final cost of the pens. Random samples of the final product are also tested to ensure a batch of pens writes correctly. Additionally.html#ixzz0Vch2KmDC ." adjustments can be made. Read more: http://www. and appearance evaluations. line inspectors are also posted at each phase of manufacture.madehow. increase production speed. If the batch is found to be "out of spec. For instance. Future research will focus on developing new inks and better designed pens that are more comfortable and longer lasting. In addition to these specific tests.com/Volume-3/BallpointPen. One trend that will continue will be the development of materials and processes which use metals and plastics that have undergone a minimum of processing from their normal state. deformed pens. and incorrectly assembled parts. This should minimize waste. manufacturers will strive to produce higher quality products at the lowest possible cost. colors can be adjusted by adding more dye.viscosity checks. They visually inspect the components as they are made and check for things such as inadequately filled ink reservoirs. The Future Ballpoint pen technology has improved greatly since the time of Loud's first patented invention.
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