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Akkerman Ijzer-Galnoten Bl/zw (#10)


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#1 lapis

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 14:15

fpn_1511546151__akkerman_box.jpg

(Akkerman IJzer-Galnoten bl/zw = IJzer-Galnoten blauw/zwart = iron-gall blue/black = Akkerman #10)

1. Why I bought this ink

fpn_1511549118__akkerman_m215.jpg

2. First impressions
fpn_1511548917__akkerman_51.jpg

3. About the bottle

Practically everything about these bottles has already been said (I think), e.g. here and there, so here's just a note or two more on the subject, even if only for beginners. Also, be sure to visit Michael Richter's posting which has harvested almost 400 replies. First, it's a 150-ml glass bottle having a great shape and a marble in its throat (may I say that?) for an extremely easy and economic filling from the beginning to the end of the bottle's capacity. For a good picture, see Akkerman's site plus the many postings here in the FPN forum.

I myself find it very important (not remembering exactly who said what about this) that the whole bottle is extremely well balanced (sorry, I should have said "anchored") so as to avoid any knock-over and spillage while filling, as is unfortunately evidenced by Visconti's bottles. Moreover, the whole lid represents a stable, robust as well as comfortable creation in that it's very easy to open and close with no havoc. Best rival I know of in that line of quality would be the new MB's shoes' lids. Again, for a contrast, I'd say that inadequate lids are those of Noodler's. Now for a small note on the side: IMO it may have been better to parallel this most meritorious Akkerman container offering with a smaller start-size like Herbin's and Diamine's 30-ml bottles so that you could go on later and expand to the larger version of those brands if desired. OTOH, Akkerman ink has by all means a very good (i.e. low) price per ml of ink. For more on prices, please see below. I'm not complaining (honestly), but 150 ml is too big a bottle of ink for me right off the bat. That also increases shipping costs. Again, a nice advantage of the whole bottle is that my M1000 nib sees no problem; a thing you can't say about all other manufactures' bottles.

4. Pens and papers
fpn_1511548847__akkerman_rubi.jpg

fpn_1511546405__akkerman_avery80.jpg

fpn_1511546478__akkerman_hp80.jpg

fpn_1511546546__akkerman_cf.jpg

fpn_1511546624__akkerman_rhodia.jpg

fpn_1511546693__akkerman_moleskine.jpg

I then suddenly had the idea that EF, M, and B nibs aren't covering the subject enough... sooo... I whipped off to my store (where I don't work) and bought a Lamy Joy with a 1.5-mm nib. Hoping that that might fill the bill (in the sense of widening the variety), here's a photo and a scan for the sake of comparison. It is one and the same writing on Rhodia paper: first, the photo after 5 min of writing and then the scan after 5-6 min of the same writing:

fpn_1511550321__akkerman_joyphoto.jpg

fpn_1511550381__akkerman_joyscan.jpg

I have the feeling that this Joy job is noticeably darker than the blurb written with my 51 after 5 minutes (see below), implying that the wider the nib, the greater the darkening. At least the practically equivalent darknesses in this Joy photo and Joy scan seem to imply that my photos and my scans are not too indecent.

It was pointed out recently that the paper itself will have more to do with the final colour than the line density will; i.e. that the ink will dry darker on papers which have been processed with bleaching agents, and lighter on papers using little or no bleaching agents, like newsprint. I could not confirm this. First, for me, the wider the nib, the quicker the darkening. Secondly, any bleaching of and/or on papers does not seem to have any effect of the oxidation of the ferrous ions towards a darker iron content on the paper (although that might seem to be a logical step if any bleach is left in the paper). Two parallel examples demonstrate that here: (1) a piece of newspaper next to Avery 100 g/m2 as well as (2) apiece of ahh, y'know paper next to Rhodia paper all show roughly the same degree of ink blueness after 5 minutes:

fpn_1511548567__akkerman_tsp.jpg



fpn_1511548645__akkerman_ahh.jpg

As a matter of fact, that piece of ahh y'know depicts an ink blue noticeably lighter and/or bluer. Sure, I imagine that ahh y'know paper has been bleached but I don't think that there'll be all that much bleach left in it prior to use....

Now to go all the way, here's a couple of tiny experiments. First, I lined up two 25-ml beakers, each with exactly 2.0 ml of today's ink. I photographed these unabused inks, then pipetted into the beaker to the right of the next photo 20 µl of household bleach (containing 5% sodium hypochlorite). The next shot was after 5 seconds. Finally, after 5 minutes, a third shot:

Of course that corresponds to one drop in one piston-filler, undried. Thus, I swirled a swab onto the paper and after 5 seconds drew a new swab with a drop of bleach over it (to the bottom of the photo). Long story short: Of course bleach will inaugurate a chemical reaction on such an ink. It will, however, not darken the ink, but rather lighten it up.

fpn_1511548726__akkerman_bleachb.jpg

Good thing I don't use any bleach-containing papers!


5. Ink properties

■  Especially this iron-gall ink is quite wet, a characteristic little known for such inks. It is just as wet as its present-day "competitors" ESSRI and Pharmacist's Urkundentinte (Vintage Iron Gall Ink, issue of November 2011). I find it even somewhat wetter. That alone is already a very good quality of an iron-gall ink. I'll have to fish out my MB's and Lamy's iron-gall inks again but this Akkerman iron-gall ink is (if my memory isn't already down the drain) wetter than both R&Ks' and definitely wetter than Diamine's iron-gall ink.

■  Lubrication too is also very good, again even better than ESSRI's and Pharmacist's. That's a good deal here too because IMO iron-gall inks are also prone to have some ignition problems i.e. they often end up as slow-starters or sometimes skippers.

■  Saturation is about the same as that of other iron-gall inks, at least ESSRI's and Pharmacist's. These all have, in general, a fair to middling concentration, e.g. less than most of Noodler's and PR's but more than most of Herbin's and R&K's inks in general.

■  Shading is nice, but IMO hard to judge for sure since it is a very dark ink. I'd say about as nice as MB's. Better than Lamy's (although you can as usual implant this if desired by using a finer nib). But this Akkerman ink's shading is not quite as overwhelming as that of ESSRI's.

■  I see no feathering on any paper.

■  I also see no bleeding on any paper. Well, maybe a little wee bit on the cheapest recycling paper.

■  There is a distinct smell of phenol, yes, a fact that I do indeed still cherish these days because that'll ensure us a microbial non-contamination like that rendered in inks decades ago.

■  As to the "handling of water", here's a scan of a piece of Rhodia which was submerged in water for 3 hours:

fpn_1511547259__akkerman_bath.jpg

■  Maintenance: I find that this ink is easy to maintain. Washing and cleaning seems to be no problem. I also see no nib creeping. I have only used this ink for a week but I would still wash and dry the pen at least every few weeks after use, even for a refill of the same ink. MB says 3 months for their iron-gall ink. Let's say you write almost all day, every day with it... then I'd say clean it after every 2-3-4 fillings.


6. Colour migration

■  If you like, we can also say "colour change" here. Being an iron-gall ink, we see colour changes or migration over time of drying and oxidation on paper. This means -- for any blue-black iron-gall ink -- usually a shift towards a blacker blue-black.

■  Now we're getting down to business.... This ink starts off immediately as a very slightly greenish blue-black. In my own estimation, ESSRI starts off greener, and Pharmacist's even a tick greener. Also, IMO the wider the nib, the lesser the greenishness. After 1 to 2 minutes, we already have a darker blue-black, less green, but maybe with a hint of teal. See below. After 3-4 h, the tealishness disappears and the whole colour is almost black. Very nice! After 4 or 12 h, I'd say that the end-colour has been reached; it appears to have become even a very slight tick blacker. After 4 and 24h, I see no difference in darkening... but... I'll still leave it up to you. IMO, at least that is "game over".

■  One trouble I have is that I can't scan things fast enough to show you the colour changes which I see. Waaa! Also, maybe the light of the scanner can augment the oxidation of our ferrous ions? Therefore, here's a table of a few photos with indications of the times they were taken right after having written this one and only blurb (with a 51 B nib on Rhodia):

fpn_1511547320__akkerman_table.jpg

■  Ahh, c'mon you guys, gimmee a break, will ya? Sure, all of these photos had to be taken at different times of day under daylight, and they would have been better and/or more clearly elucidative with a standardized lighting e.g. flash and angle but this is all I have at the moment.

■  Now maybe you'll have to look at those shots twice (or even 12 times, har, har) to see the differences, but judging by this, my eyes say that the greatest degree (and/or acceleration) of darkening occurs somewhere between about 5 and 10 seconds.

■  Funny thing (again not all that hilarious) is that for such an ink, a demonstration of the colour migration would likely necessitate a video.

■  Of course, your own pen on your own paper will give you your own observations. Note that the darkening -- attributable to an oxidation of the ferrous ions in the ink -- takes place just as easy under water or when covered with a book on your desk, as it does when open to fresh air.


7. Drying time

All of the scans included in this review were done 24 h or more after drying. Exception: the following dryout scan was done right after the last writeout of the potential drying time in seconds. I.e. the numberings in seconds were wiped off right after that number of seconds of writing. The first writeout on that sheet (saying what it's all about) was however done about 15 minutes earlier. Whew!

fpn_1511547373__akkerman_dryout.jpg


8. Comparable inks

Today, for this mini-comparison, only a 100-µl swab and a word or two, using a Pelikano with an M nib were used (that's why I always stock up a cleaned arsenal of 8 of these). These swabs consist of one single anointment with 100 µl of ink followed by a single, then a double then a triple layer on paper. All of these inks here are all on one sheet of Avery 100 g/m2 paper. The differences between this ink and Scabiosa and Salix are of course obvious. MB's Midnight Blue and Lamy's Blue-Black are both a hint redder, while ESSRI and Pharmacist's iron-gall inks are both a half a hint greener (to my eyes). Don't forget that when in doubt, you can (and should) always keep an eye on the colour of the water while washing out your pens!

fpn_1511547419__akkerman_8igs.jpg

These are the scan colour differences seen after 4-8 h, and they all are obvious; we are already acquainted with these inks from other reviews.

However, the actual migration speeds are different, too. After "only" -- or should I say "even"? -- 20-30 minutes, MB and Lamy seemed to have darkened the most. Akkerman's darkening is in the same league as that of Diamine's, ESSRI's, and Pharmacist's. Both R&Ks are (and remain) different colours, anyway. No, I'm not saying that migration speed is any important criterion.

Also, this optical disputation online bears a cunning resemblance to that which I see on paper.

Finally, a real and decent comparison with the other 7 iron-gall inks would have to be put forward by a posting all on its own here. That is to follow soon (well, maybe).


9. Availability

AFAIK, this ink -- like all of the 31 Akkerman FP inks -- is available only directly from the manufacturer in Den Haag, Holland. They also accept PayPal. After my ordering and paying, I received the bottle two days later. Okay, I'm just around the corner but I still imagine that any shipping (presumably by plane, train and truck, har, har) to the Bay or the Great Barrier Reef areas wouldn't take all that much longer.

As re orders, inform yourself as to prices of shipping per numbers of bottles. And, as seen here on the forum, you might want to facilitate this job as a group order.


10. Prices

As mentioned earlier, however large the whole bottle is, the price is still only 11 (European) cents per ml, which is the same price per ml for R&K's inks. These are only to be topped off by Pharmacist's and ESSRI's iron-gall ink prices which are 1 and 2 cents less per ml, respectively. All other ion-gall inks are considerably more expensive:
fpn_1511548785__akkerman_prices.jpg

For those in need, basics like Pelikan 4001s (30 ml) and Waterman (50 ml) are each 13 cents per ml while CdA (30 ml) and Iroshizuku (50 ml) weigh in at 47 and 48 cents per ml.


11. Summary

■  Expensive but for the price per ml and bottle alone it's absolutely worth the money.

■  IMO a good all-round iron-gall ink. It's wet, it requires no special maintenance, and the enormous colour migration is very appealing.

■  It's invulnerable to any contact with water.

■  The final colour (after a day or so of oxidation) makes it look "very trustworthy", bearing in mind that you're looking for a good signature colour on an important document.

■  Although some iron-gall inks may be darker, they can at the same time have a greener or redder tinge to them.

■  Whether or not this blue-black iron-gall ink may be the "best ink" or the "purest blue-black colour of such inks", I'm not sure, but I think it is now my favourite.



fpn_1511547513__akkerman_gezondheid.jpg



Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


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#2 inkstainedruth

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 14:38

Thanks for the review. I particularly appreciate the side-by-side comparison with the other IG inks (I hadn't known that Akkeman did an IG, but I have the Diamine Registrar's Blue-black in a pen at the moment and then was going to swap out Salix and see how that compared to the RBB. I don't have ESSRI or Pharmacist's Vintage, but was considering trying both at some point.
I would be interested in the longer-term color shift results (say, after a few days to a week).
You say the Akkerman is somewhat expensive, but the per ml price suggests that it's a lot less expensive in the long run than many of the other brands (including the RBB -- the most expensive!). Of course, here in the States, the price has to be moderated by the shipping costs (the shipping charges on ESSRI are more than the ink costs, for example).
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
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#3 Laura N

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 14:48

What an excellent and thorough review. Thank you so much.

On my monitor it looks just like Diamine Registrars Ink.

#4 Sandy1

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 14:55

:clap1:

:clap1:_:clap1:
:clap1:_:clap1:_:clap1:

:bunny01:


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#5 reprieve

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 22:45

Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a comprehensive review! I was especially interested to read about this particular ink's wet flow and good lubrication--all of my iron gall inks (I use MB, R&K, and Diamine) are on the dry side. Now I'm wishing I had ordered this one when I ordered my other (non iron gall) Akkerman inks.

#6 lapis

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:11

Thanks for your thanks, everybody!

Ruth, I was waiting for something like that. Of course, I always save my originals for scans and photos, especially for fading and -- now in the case of IG inks -- for any possible, further darkening. I thought of at least one week, one month.. maybe even a year.... I don't think I'd need to wait any longer. Somebody here (I forget who and where) said that they made sure not to publicize any pictures of IG ink writings until at least a week or more, to ensure that they got the last straw.

Mike

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#7 raging.dragon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:12

What an excellent and thorough review. Thank you so much.

On my monitor it looks just like Diamine Registrars Ink.


They look pretty much identical on my monitor too, while the other inks are quite noticably different.

#8 saintsimon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:13

The Akkerman inks are most likely (neither confirmed nor denied, but quite obviously) Diamine inks. Some are from Diamine's standard line-up, like Shocking Blue - Majestic Blue or this iron gall one, while other inks are exclusive to Akkerman, like Voorhout Violet.

#9 adam11

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:45

Thank you for extensive review and photos.
Yes, I can confirm this; I have Ijzer Galnoten and Blauw-Groen and this are Diamine Registar and Teal.

I wouldn't call Ijzer galnoten an ink with good lubricating properties; quite the opposite. The one I have is far less lubricated than MB Blue Black, Lamy BB or even Pelikan BB.


The Akkerman inks are most likely (neither confirmed nor denied, but quite obviously) Diamine inks. Some are from Diamine's standard line-up, like Shocking Blue - Majestic Blue or this iron gall one, while other inks are exclusive to Akkerman, like Voorhout Violet.



#10 Keyser

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:27

is there a place i could buy an empty akkerman bottle (don't like the ink itself)?
On a quest to find the best black ink there is {on hold until i come up with good criteria}. Test subjects:
Caran d'Ache Carbon; J. Herbin Perle Noire; De Atramentis Black Edition - Black; Lamy Black; Montegrappa Black; Parker Quink Permanent Black; Pelikan Brilliant Black 4001; Sailor Kiwa-Guro Pigmented Nano Black.
Not final list, PM me with further worthy test subjects

#11 lapis

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:28

The Akkerman inks are most likely (neither confirmed nor denied, but quite obviously) Diamine inks. Some are from Diamine's standard line-up, like Shocking Blue - Majestic Blue or this iron gall one, while other inks are exclusive to Akkerman, like Voorhout Violet.

I have to deny this, at least in respect to the blue-black iron-gall. The crudest chromatographic effects demonstrate this:

1. Take two identical, clean, tall glasses filled to the same amount with tap water (e.g. 300 ml). Then drop in with the greatest care and gentleness 50 µl of one ink into one glass. Ditto other ink into the other glass. Akkerman's hits the bottom in 15 s whereas Diamine's takes 20 s. After 5-10-15 min you can see that D's is a tick redder but also but definitely darker. A's sample has diffused more into the surrounding water but D's remains more in the form of a dense cloud, still at the bottom of the glass. I.e., D's is much more concentrated and/or saturated, at least more insoluble.

2. Primitive TLCs using ordinary kitchen towel show that there are also differences in the blueness and also analyte mobilization rates.
A's may be based on D's but they are IMO not the same. But, I must confirm that they both smell the same. It's the phenol. For me, a nice plus-point.

Mike

PS: actually, all I really want to do is write with the darn stuff...

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#12 lapis

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:30

is there a place i could buy an empty akkerman bottle (don't like the ink itself)?

Why don't you mail Akkerman and ask them (just don't tell them that you don't like the ink.)

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#13 Laura N

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 13:06

Thank you for extensive review and photos.
Yes, I can confirm this; I have Ijzer Galnoten and Blauw-Groen and this are Diamine Registar and Teal.

I wouldn't call Ijzer galnoten an ink with good lubricating properties; quite the opposite. The one I have is far less lubricated than MB Blue Black, Lamy BB or even Pelikan BB.


The Akkerman inks are most likely (neither confirmed nor denied, but quite obviously) Diamine inks. Some are from Diamine's standard line-up, like Shocking Blue - Majestic Blue or this iron gall one, while other inks are exclusive to Akkerman, like Voorhout Violet.


Excellent. I like Diamine.

#14 jandrese

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 13:19

Wow, thanks for the great comprehensive review and comparisons! I'm gonna have to get some of this ink.

#15 tenney

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:19

Have you had any issues with this (or any other) iron gall ink causing problems with the pen?
--
Glenn (love those pen posses)

#16 wastelanded

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:50

What an excellent review, bravo!! :clap1:
"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#17 GeeTee

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:10

Great review!!!!

#18 lapis

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:23

Thank again, everybody.

As to the question "Have you had any issues with this (or any other) iron gall ink causing problems with the pen?", I must say "No". Now, let's be careful. Since this gets asked a lot, there may well be some bad things which some of us may have experienced with some pens. As you can expect, I've used them all in all of my pens and never had a problem. To go into more depth (because this is IMO a good question in general, but especially for IG inks), a few points:

1. I never leave a pen filled with an IG ink but unused for more than 1-2 months (with the cap on, of course, and out of the heat). Remember, MB said for their IG ink"... it is important to clean the pen regularly", but they didn't say how long you are allowed to leave the pen unused. I'd say that if you use any ink in any pen at least a few minutes per day, then that fluid movement will hinder any adverse dryout and/or clogging.

2. Washing and cleaning is no problem; it just takes a little longer than purely dye-based inks. I fill and empty the pen with luke-warm tap water up to 20 times, until I see no more coloring of the water. W/a I use a glass of water with a few drops of dishwater soap/detergent in between. I do that seldom; only when I've forgotten to wash earlier and there may have been some dryout. Then I then leave the pen, filled, for 1-2 days under water. You can be surprised how much ink residues get expelled over this time. Finally, I fill and empty with distilled (or kitchen-filtered eg. Brita) water a few times, then empty everything and dry everything off with ahh, y'know paper and let the pen dry out in fresh air for 1-2-3 days.

3. But yes, of course, some of our 7 IG inks may be harder to remove than others. I did not find this ink to be more difficult to handle than any of the others. As usual -- to be really fair -- we'd need to get 7 specimens of one and the same pen, fill all, use all, clean all... but I don't think I'll do that.

4. Now for the good part: Since Pelikan nibs are so easy to remove, I prefer using these for IG inks. I clean the nib itself, barrel itself, and let both stay under water as said above. That's also the type of thing I do with pens' converters. Wash, clean, dry everything separately. Still, I've never yet seen any problem with any pen using any of the above 7 IG inks. E.g. with my 51 (50 years old), Aurora Optima, Sheaffer Crest.

5. I can't say that an IG will will never "stain" any part of any pen... but... getting back to my 51, the sac is still in good shape. It is of course rather dark (likely from a lot of the other inks used too) but it has in no way become etched out or made porous or brittle.

6. Finally, my experience has shown me that at least all of the presemt-day IG inks are more than okay. Just make sure that you keep 'em clean. My wife often says she wished that I kept myself as clean as my pens.

To be serious, don't worry, be inky! Keep clean!! Keep your chin up!!!

Mike

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#19 tenney

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 22:09

Thanks, Mike. I've asked a similar question of a friend about the carbon inks... Roughly the same answer which is rephrased as: No problem if you practice good ink / pen hygiene by just using every inked pen at least once a week. Somehow I thought that just having IG in the pen and nib would cause problems.
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#20 raging.dragon

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:06

Thanks, Mike. I've asked a similar question of a friend about the carbon inks... Roughly the same answer which is rephrased as: No problem if you practice good ink / pen hygiene by just using every inked pen at least once a week. Somehow I thought that just having IG in the pen and nib would cause problems.


The acid in IG ink would quickly destroy non-stainless steel, but good quality modern stainless steel nibs seem to be immune. Gold and titanium nibs definetly won't be harmed by IG. If a pen has any aluminum, brass or non-stainless steel components in contact with the ink, there's a good chance IG will corrode or destroy them. However, few good quality pens have such parts. Ebonite and most plastics are highly resistant to acids and thus it's unlikely IG ink will damage plastic components.

It's also worth keeping in mind that most European and American inks are acidic, and a few are just as acidic as IG inks.






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