Basics must know!
As writing addicted, we had many pen collection in our drawer pouch. We get curious when see refill had some liquid type fluid inside with ink end it called as “Ink Follower” in stationery terminology. As we get a new pen we use less than the old one which was old enough for Ballpen and others. Sometimes there is one common problem we observe in many pens gets leak in pouch or pocket! and make it messy to clean and the annoying thing which gets our mood off as one of our favorite ones is bleeding out and we can’t do anything for them !! 🙂
Ink properties has critical role for leakage issue as majorly it combines Dye or Pigment + solvent, check in depth article of Pen ink types
Common problem we face, Why do pen leaks?
Many Pen refill gets leakage when not in use from long time.
Also some time we observe that pens we using in regular basis are also leaks when pen point placed upward for long time.
Many time we surprise that pen drops from high point or shacked well but still no leakage observed but placing point upward cause ink leakage.
When the pen is heated up (perhaps by our hand), the air pressure inside rises, and in some cases this can push the ink, causing a leak at both ends.
Ink thickness also plays major role, thin ink gets leak out more likely compare to others.
Even pens gets leak at high altitude, like when traveling through plane.
Fountain pen is very critical to use when it comes to prevent fro leaking as ink of fountain pen filled manually and which cause heavy leakage when traveling through plane. Read our full article on Fountain pen history in detailed timeline view.
What is purpose of ink follower?
Most commonly ink followers is used in Gel pens, but not always in Gel pens, it also found in some of Ballpen and in Rollerball pen but for different purpose.
Purpose of ink follower is to prevent leakage and evaporation of ink from ink reservoir. It is act like a plug. It also push down the ink for continuous writing experience and also prevent ink to do not leave behind when gets empty. Ink follower acts as a barrier between the ink in the refill and the atmosphere outside the refill.
Composition of ink follower : Non-polar liquid that is a mixture of high molecular weight polybutene and low molecular weight polybutene. Viscosity of the base oil is 2000 mm²/s. by weight based on total amount of the follower.
Ink follower filled at the opposite end of tip attached, and in close contact with ink surface. Comes down with tightly sealing it, following the ink with the consumption of the ink.
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