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Waterproof, Permanent, Bulletproof, Archival, Eternal, Pigmented


dcwaites

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A question regularly pops up on FPN about the long term survivability of inks, and which is the best to use, and what do the above terms mean?

  1. Archival This generally means that the ink will last a long time without fading. What is a long time? That is usually defined by the person who says their ink is archival. HP says that archival means 80 years, which just happens to be how long their archival inks are supposed to last. Others say 100, 120 or 200 years, depending on the length of time their products are certified for. Museums would generally say that archival means 200~400 years. That is how long they expect specimen labels to last before needing to be replaced. For archival ink to last it also has to be on paper that will last. Some cheap paper will go yellow and brittle after only a few years, regardless of the quality of the ink used.
  2. Waterproof/Water Resistant This means that if you spill water on it, at least some of the written marks will be clearly visible and the words readable. There may be some spreading or fading, but you should still be able to read the document clearly.
  3. Permanent One might think that Permanent means just that – it doesn't fade, it doesn't rinse off with water. However, it depends on the manufacturer. Parker uses it to mean more water resistant and more fade-resistant than its Washable inks. Other truly Permanent inks are Noodler's Eternal inks and the Platinum Pigment inks.
    1. Washable The opposite of Permanent. If you get some on your clothes, then it will wash out more easily than the "Waterproof" inks.

Both terms are relative to each other and have no absolutely fixed meaning in this context. [*]Bulletproof This term refers to inks made by Nathan Tardiff that are designed to resist "all the known tools of a forger, UV light, UV light wands, bleaches, alcohols, solvents, petrochemicals, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, carpet stain lifters..." and the like, once it has dried on cellulose paper. Of course, they are also waterproof. However, this effect only applies to cellulose paper. It doesn't apply to Rock Paper, or to non-plant-based sheets such as genuine vellum or parchment (or to skin, for that matter).

  1. Wardens Inks Recently it was found that the Bulletproof inks could be faded with the use of special laser lights. The Wardens Inks are Bulletproof inks that have been upgraded to resist those lasers.

[*]Eternal These are inks made by Nathan Tardiff that are designed to resist "the effects of time – moisture, humidity, UV light, acids, water exposure, and many common detergents such as dish soaps and household ammonia, as well as alcohols and acetone". They are not as robust as the Bulletproof inks, but are what most of us would think of as "Permanent".[*]Pigmented The inks listed above are all dye-based inks. Their colour comes from staining the material it is written on. The inks listed below get their colour from particles of pigment that are enmeshed in the fibres of the paper.

  1. Carbon Pigments The oldest inks are based on very fine particles of carbon (soot) in a liquid. Carbon is a very stable substance that is naturally black. It doesn't fade or degrade. It is known to last over 3,000 years (i.e. we have documents written with carbon inks that are that old). If you want an ink that is guaranteed to last millennia, then use a carbon-based ink.
  2. Coloured Pigments Inks can be made with other coloured pigments. It is not known if they will also last 3,000 years, but documents made with pigments such as lapis lazuli and cinnabar have lasted over 1,000 years. Platinum make a Blue pigmented ink, and Sailor makes a Blue-Black (Seiboku) pigmented ink.
  3. Chemical (Iron Gall) Western Civilisation would not exist if it were not for these inks. In common use from about 600AD, Iron Gall inks precipitate a fine pigment of black iron III oxide as they dry. These inks are much easier to make, store and use in the quantities needed by monasteries and later by governments. Currently Diamine, Mont Blanc and Rohrer & Klingner (amongst others) make inks based on Iron Gall.

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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Edited by Sandy1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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I believe this brief and simple explanation should be pinned in this forum for future reference.

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Thank you. A succinct summary. :notworthy1:

 

Should that not be 'succ-ink' summary?

 

Thank you all for your comments.

 

A major (not quite magnum) opus on inks to follow...

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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I believe this brief and simple explanation should be pinned in this forum for future reference.

 

++

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+3 on pinning. +N if I read it even later.

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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Pigmented

Chemical (Iron Gall)

 

Great descriptions. Can I ask you to consult with Pharmacist and others to get a little more information for the Iron Gall section? Perhaps even separate it out into it's own section as it's such a oddball. Here's some bits I've picked up on FPN.

 

IG's pigment on paper, but dissolved in solution. The others are particulate suspensions.

IG's can last for a long time (kinda implied by grouping with the other pigments), but depends on the formula.

As it's a chemical reaction, it's also susceptible to chemical attack, e.g. bleach.

 

I'd also like you to add as a note, that the Bulletproofs often are water soluble when not bonded. Warden inks are often quite smeary when wet. And, e.g. Whaleman sepia, where the color changes, but still categorized as bulletproof.

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Pigmented

Chemical (Iron Gall)

 

Great descriptions. Can I ask you to consult with Pharmacist and others to get a little more information for the Iron Gall section? Perhaps even separate it out into it's own section as it's such a oddball. Here's some bits I've picked up on FPN.

 

IG's pigment on paper, but dissolved in solution. The others are particulate suspensions.

IG's can last for a long time (kinda implied by grouping with the other pigments), but depends on the formula.

As it's a chemical reaction, it's also susceptible to chemical attack, e.g. bleach.

 

I'd also like you to add as a note, that the Bulletproofs often are water soluble when not bonded. Warden inks are often quite smeary when wet. And, e.g. Whaleman sepia, where the color changes, but still categorized as bulletproof.

 

These are just definitions. I am nearly finished doing a longer article that will go into the types of inks in more details.

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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Permanent One might think that Permanent means just that – it doesn't fade, it doesn't rinse off with water. However, it depends on the manufacturer. Parker uses it to mean more water resistant and more fade-resistant than its Washable inks. Other truly Permanent inks are Noodler's Eternal inks and the Platinum Pigment inks.

 

I was under the impression that "permanent" is a synonym for "water resistant". If anybody's been using this term differently in the industry, I wasn't aware of it. To me it would seem more natural to fold this into the previous entry and call it "water resistant/permanent", and reserve "waterproof" as a catch-all for the various bulletproof/invincible/eternal/pigmented inks which don't contain any component that washes out..

 

It may be possible that some company long ago used the term "waterproof" for their permanent inks, but many of us would consider that false advertising if they did so today -- since we have truly waterproof fountain pen inks on the market now.

 

 

Bulletproof This term refers to inks made by Nathan Tardiff that are designed to resist...

 

Let us note that the Private Reserve counterpart is "Invincible" ink. A more general term for these inks (and the Noodler's "Eternal" inks too) is cellulose-reactive, because they bond chemically with the cellulose content of paper.

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Permanent One might think that Permanent means just that – it doesn't fade, it doesn't rinse off with water. However, it depends on the manufacturer. Parker uses it to mean more water resistant and more fade-resistant than its Washable inks. Other truly Permanent inks are Noodler's Eternal inks and the Platinum Pigment inks.

 

I was under the impression that "permanent" is a synonym for "water resistant". If anybody's been using this term differently in the industry, I wasn't aware of it. To me it would seem more natural to fold this into the previous entry and call it "water resistant/permanent", and reserve "waterproof" as a catch-all for the various bulletproof/invincible/eternal/pigmented inks which don't contain any component that washes out..

 

It may be possible that some company long ago used the term "waterproof" for their permanent inks, but many of us would consider that false advertising if they did so today -- since we have truly waterproof fountain pen inks on the market now.

 

 

Bulletproof This term refers to inks made by Nathan Tardiff that are designed to resist...

 

Let us note that the Private Reserve counterpart is "Invincible" ink. A more general term for these inks (and the Noodler's "Eternal" inks too) is cellulose-reactive, because they bond chemically with the cellulose content of paper.

 

I am using and defining the various terms as they are found and used on bottles of ink. The most commonly labeled 'Permanent' ink is Parker Quink 'Permanent' Blue, Blue-Black and Black. In that context it is definitely not what you and I would term as permanent. I am trying to explain these terms to those who have just joined the FP community.

 

I had forgotten about PR's 'Invincible' inks and didn't know that they, too, were cellulose-reactive. And again, I am simply trying to explain to novices what it means when you find the term 'Bulletproof' on a bottle of ink.

 

Don't forget, this is a Glossary, not an encyclopaedia. As I said above, the 18-volume encyclopaedia* on inks is to follow...

 

 

 

 

*Beware, may contain traces of hyperbole.

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“Them as can do has to do for them as can’t.


And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”


Granny Aching

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I am using and defining the various terms as they are found and used on bottles of ink. The most commonly labeled 'Permanent' ink is Parker Quink 'Permanent' Blue, Blue-Black and Black. In that context it is definitely not what you and I would term as permanent. I am trying to explain these terms to those who have just joined the FP community.

 

It seems to me like you have it mixed up. I would indeed call Quink "permanent" ink, as opposed to washable. Much of it will wash away, but it leaves a stain behind -- just like black Sheaffer Skrip, Noodler's Dark Matter, Private Reserve Velvet Black, and any number of others. This is the traditional way that "permanent" or "water resistant" ink has long worked.

 

"Waterproof" ink is the relatively new thing, at least for fountain pens, and encompasses both the cellulose-reactive (Bulletproof, Eternal, Invincible) and pigmented types.

Edited by tonybelding
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Thank you.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Clear and succinct.

 

Awesome.

 

How is this not pinned yet? Where's a moderator when you need one?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing"-Socrates

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