Thank you very much for sharing such valuable information in your web site. I am not an engineer and my English is not very good, however you explain the design and ingeneering dynamics of a fountain pen in such an intelligible, simple way that reading your site become an intellectual trip for me in a capillarry action world.
I want to ask a question about nib design. Is it possible to design a full flex pen by using composite materials in the nib? For example; fiberglass, carbon fiber, kevlar, NTPT (north thin ply technology) composites are very flexible (can be flexible in a nib), corrosion resistant materials.
My theory about why manufacturers don't use these materials is; firstly the demand on a full flex pen is not enough to counterbalance the research and development costs. Secondly, composite materials that can be used in the nib secction doesn't have the sufficient hardness, scratch resistance to be used in the tip section.
Thank you for your praise. I am of German background... English as a second language...
And you are so correct, without capillary action there would be no life.
A flexible nib out of plastic and composite materials? What an intelligent question. Yes, of course, I can say, easily. Everything, which can be utilized for capillary action can be used as nib material. It was done so in the past, quills, squashed sticks of bamboo and brushes.
What is your definition of a nib? How far can you stretch your imagination?
in the last 40 years, there have been many innovations in this quarter. The fibre pen or marker uses a piece of felt of all sorts of material. Some have their fibres all mangled and squashed up, some use the fibres all lined up. if plastic, the tip would be heat treated to compact it, make it stiffer, thinner and longer lasting.
My all favourite is the mono fibre. It is a drawn plastic fibre using a similar idea like the spider's gland to make the filament for its web. As far as I know, it was invented and produced by the Japanese firm Pentel.
I would like to invite you to buy some, cut the tip with a sharp knife or blade and clean the small bit in methylated spirit or poly ethylene glycol, if you have. Put it under a microscope and be ready for a wonderful surprise. I love using them, the way they write and their forgivingness to handling.
the reason for using metal, tipped with a hard-metal ball is the longevity of the tip. and the shape is purely traditional. Therefore, even if you want to stay with the traditional shape of a nib, of course, you can make it out of anything, which is flexible, is hydrophilic and can be tipped with some lasting material.
Thanks again for your fascinating question. I have been carrying this idea with me since my time as a pen ingeneer, but never found a companion on this idea.