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Ink And Nitrocellulose

quink ink celluloid vacumatic ink vue nitrocellulose

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4 replies to this topic

#1 SilverPearlVacumatic


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Posted 16 March 2016 - 21:35

Hello Everyone,


Quink seems to be a reputable ink and is generally considered safe.  The original composition used isopropyl alcohol as a solvent.  This is known to dissolve nitrocellulose (celluloid, pyroxylin, et cetera), but was advertised to accompany the Parker vacumatic that had a barrel of exposed nitrocellulose.  The advertisements for quink emphasized the harmlessness of the chemicals it was made from.  The current recipe for quink, as I understand, contains no isopropyl alcohol, but does contain diethylene glycol, which is still a solvent to nitrocellulose. 


I have come across a few posts which warn that quink or vintage quink can damage celluloid, but half of the time they seem to be confusing it with superchrome.


I have personally never seen celluloid pens that appear to have been dissolved from the inside out. 


Is quink safe for celluloid pens?  Has anyone come across damage from inks that are solvents to the barrel that they are held in?  Do other inks contain solvents that dissolve nitrocellulose, but result in a neutral pH and pass other safety tests?  Did Parker line the barrels of third generation vacumatics with a chemically robust plastic (as I have heard rumored)?


Any advice would be appreciated.

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#2 amberleadavis


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Posted 22 March 2016 - 17:47

Hmm.... I'm going to move this to the Parker forum, because you haven't gotten any responses here.

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#3 richardandtracy


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Posted 22 March 2016 - 20:35

I was unaware that Quink ever had IPA, I knew it had Phenol, but if it had IPA, I missed it. It would be a real surprise if it used to have IPA, simply due to its volatility, really wouldn't stay in the pen for long before evaporating.

Do you have references for the claims that Quink contains diethylene glycol? I'd like to check this out myself. I have two celluloid pens, one an Onoto and the other is a Delta. Both gorgeous pens, both of which I have filled with black Quink with no visible effect in a couple of years of sporadic use.

Of all the inks I have, I do regard Quink as the most harmless, and possibly most boring.



#4 SilverPearlVacumatic


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Posted 23 March 2016 - 00:32

I googled "MSDS Parker Quink" and I found this:




Some other common inks contain ethylene glycol and glycerol.  Does anyone know if these harmful to nitrocellulose?


Has anyone had bad results with certain inks and celluloid?

#5 FarmBoy


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Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:51

I'm reasonably sure that there were no MSDSs written for the 1930s formulation of Quink.

I'm also reasonably sure it is safe to use Quink in old pens.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: quink, ink, celluloid, vacumatic, ink vue, nitrocellulose

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