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Glitterati/pearl/mica And E415?


Intellidepth
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I've been perusing with interest the threads on additives to ink for sparkly purposes.

 

It's past midnight here and one of those connective thoughts has come to mind between two hobbies: hydrocolloids and ink. Therefore need a chemist to weigh in here.

 

Would food additive E415 Xanthan Gum in ultra tiny amounts (it's very very very effective) help suspend the glitter/pearl/mica particles when the pen/vial is still for more even and simpler distribution, yet due to it's unique shear-thinning characteristics allow good flow with just a shake of the pen?

 

For people unfamiliar with E415, page 87 of this collection of hydrocolloid recipes/characteristics contains some of its unique properties including pH tolerances etc. http://khymos.org/hydrocolloid-recipe-collection-v2.3.pdf

 

Random thought.

 

It's used in commercial non-food industries for its shear-thinning properties, as well as in food salad dressings etc.

 

I don't yet own semi-disposable pens nor the glittery/pearly/mica products to try this out, but I do have this...

 

post-119270-0-79417200-1421848115.jpg

 

Edit: now it's past 1am and I realised I hadn't made it clear why I thought of this. The particles in the inks appear to be settling out for members in the testing threads both in the vials and in the feeds and causing issues for some, so I was wondering whether xanthan might be a solution.

Edited by Intellidepth

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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Random thought..... Any thickening agent sounds just like a BAD.. .BAD idea for fountain pen ink. You want to use a dip pen?.. Go nuts... ;)

 

 

 

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Gum + Fountain Pens = Dead Fountain Pen

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



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Hi Cyber6, agree. Hi Amberlea, does that apply to all polysaccharides or just some?

 

Let me place an official disclaimer for experimentation: this idea is not suggested for any pens a person values; that can't be pulled apart to be cleaned easily; or that a person is not willing to place in the trash without regret in the interests of rather un-empirical but fascinating semi-scientific exploration.

 

However, people are already putting chunky objects in their ink and using sacrificial pens in their experiments, so...

 

As many are discovering, next to colloidal suspension, dehydration is the main issue which I imagine may also be a potential (but not necessarily irreversible) problem for xanthan also.

 

It arose in discussion here (link below) but wasn't trialled. Chemyst gave some other options however didn't clarify whether xanthan might be a viable possibility or not.

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/73639-keeping-particles-in-suspension/

 

Bluemagister (post #6 quoted below) lets us know it's used in gel pens (as does un-empirical wiki).

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/168271-zebra-sarasa-waterproof/

 

Blumagister:

Noodler's inks use water-soluble cellulose dyes that react and permanently bond with paper. True, pigmented gel inks use a pigment that gets trapped in the paper fibers after the hydrated polymer (often xanthan gum!) evaporates away.

Xanthan gum itself would not evaporate, however the water would, leaving the pigments plus xanthan behind. I am unsure about xanthan's dehydrated binding properties at a molecular level. But I could run some unscientific ink+xanthan+dehydration then water tests here to see if it would become soluble again or not.

 

According to wiki, isopropyl alcohol is used in Xanthan manufacture to precipitate it from its origin, so I'd steer clear of adding it to any inky product that contains alcohol. Water-based only.

 

Side note: according to Blumagister, cellulose is already used in commercial ink manufacture as well. I don't know if that comment applied to certain types of inks, or all types. I imagine dehydration issues would apply to that product also but don't know what happens at a molecular level. Need a chemist again. (Side, side note: I also have methylcellulose available .)

 

If I find the need to procrastinate in the next week or two, I'll try some inky xanthan experiments.

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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This is incredibly interesting! I had a look at the property sheet you linked. Now I'm no chemist but I think as long as you make sure the ink's surface tension is low enough for good flow, and that dried xanthan can be completely flushed out of a pen as you say, it should be ok. But definitely test it in a cheap pen.

 

I'm wary of this line:

 

The high at-rest viscosity gives excellent cling properties, for instance in tempura batters.

 

You might need to use a bulb syringe for a more forceful flush. Xanthan is shear-thinning after all.

 

The temperature-independence of the change in viscosity is a plus. Living down under I wouldn't want my ink to run out of my pen on a hot summer's day.

 

And since xanthan is a sugar you might need to add some extra preservative to avoid fungal growths.

 

If you do decide to experiment, please report back. :) Where are you sourcing your mica?

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Already procrastinating.

 

Here's a link to a patent for ink using xanthan in fountain pens. I haven't time to read it thoroughly but look who the patent owner is: Staedtler.

 

http://www.google.com.tr/patents/US5961703?hl=tr&cl=en

 

Back to uni study. Oops.

 

Edit: sansa, nice points/ideas you've just mentioned. Checked my cupboard and I have Luster Color titanium dioxide white sitting in there (from another old hobby, cake decorating). Have no idea of its micron size tho, nor its reactivity with other agents. I would also rather experiment with specified particulate sizes if I ever got a pen to put anything like this in.

Edited by Intellidepth

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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You could just measure the micron size. Use a series of progressively finer sieves with known mesh sizes, or a high-powered microscope.

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Well, I do agree that something must work... I love my glitter gel pens.

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



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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out 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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BTW, you may want to reach out to ink makers like KWZI and Pharmacist. I think InkStainedRuth and perhaps USMCmom are also knowledgeable ink makers.

 

Remember to test first with dip pens.

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



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out 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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I was thinking of heading to the dollar store tomorrow to look for luster dust/cake glitter but look where a quick Google search got me!

 

http://bakingpleasures.com.au/c23/Luster-Petal-Dust

 

It's an Aus-based site, prices are similar to Amazon's, and shipping fees are reasonable too. Granted there's no size measurements or anything (I've yet to see a product that does) but you can kind of tell the relative size from the lustre. Still, I asked.

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Did you check out the other thread? I sent some of the luster cake dust to TheRealScubaSteve when I found some at our dollar store.

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



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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out 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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A note that the patent mentioned above didn't record any results for the formulations of inks with xanthan in them for fountain pens, despite covering themselves off for the patent. The formulations they used for fountain pens did not contain xanthan. But (from memory) neither were they attempting to suspend particles in fp ink.

 

I've read around 8 patents now re inks with xanthan in their formulas that also mention fountain pens. Xanthan has been used in fibre-tipped pens (which I found intriguing) and ballpoints of various types. One patent mentioned the forming of a film on the tip of the fibre tipped pen that served to keep the ink from drying out in the barrel and that did not affect writing performance. Personally, this would make me potentially cautious about xanthan in fountain pens, but there is no evidence for or against it yet that I can find. Either the companies tried xanthan in fp's, found it didn't work, so didn't specifically record it in their patents for direct protection (they all used indirect methods though), or they have access to better chemicals that do a better job for the purposes they were seeking (which did not include particulate matter like we are discussing here).

 

I've begun experiments. I'll only post pics for experiments that have some value. As the quantities of the xanthan and luster dust aren't scientifically accurate, I'll post pics when I reach that point.

 

Experiment 1: 200ml water, ~1/32nd tsp xanthan, and ~1/32nd tsp luster dust titanium dioxide white. Appeared successfully suspended when still and after a few hours, however 24 hours resulted in a lot (but not all) settling.

 

Experiment 2: 150ml water, 1/32nd tsp xanthan, and ~ 1/32nd-1/20th tsp luster dust. Mixed this morning, so will report back after at least 24 hours.

 

Note that if you are attempting to mix xanthan with water, a stick mixer like a Bamix is necessary for dispersion/hydration so as to engage the shear-thinning properties for distribution.

 

I am running with low quantities of xanthan as if too much is incorporated, a) it'll trap air bubbles, and b, will be too thick for flow through fountain pen feeds.

 

I'm starting with water as I suspect that the best way for luster dust+xanthan to be incorporated affordably into ink for most of us is to make up a cheap solution such as water, xanthan, and dust, then add it in small amounts to 5ml ink in sample vials. I'm guessing most of us can't afford to use 150ml ink at a time in experiments or even want that amount of glitter ink :)

 

So, I'm aiming firstly for the weakest solution that suspends the particles, then will aim for a more concentrated version for ratio:ratio dispersion with ink.

 

If there is anyone who wants to join in with their own experiments, in Australia xanthan is available Coles supermarkets from the gluten free section, and luster dust from cake decorating stores. I'm happy to share my xanthan (and methylcellulose) within Australia via mail, but not overseas, as I suspect zip-lock bags with unidentifiable white powders may get held up in customs. lol.

Edited by Intellidepth

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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This will be very exciting! We look forward to the results.

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



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out 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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Did you check out the other thread? I sent some of the luster cake dust to TheRealScubaSteve when I found some at our dollar store.

 

Yes, but I must have missed that post.

 

 

So, I'm aiming firstly for the weakest solution that suspends the particles, then will aim for a more concentrated version for ratio:ratio dispersion with ink.

 

Once you do get the result you're looking for, I'd be interested in seeing a dehydration test to then see how washable the suspension is... before it encounters a feed. :)

 

Why increase the dust:xanthan ratio after your first experiment reported settling?

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Hi sansa, yes, that's why I'm hoping a chemist/scientific/hobbyist/ink maker with xanthan experience happens to drop in to let us know if it forms some type of cross-linked film when dehydrated, or whether hydration would solve a feed/dehydration issue. It has a slimy texture when very concentrated, not tacky. I didn't find any threads here on fpn that went this far into it. I have not looked into scientific material on xanthan yet (no time). I had the products, so I thought I'd just see what happens. Without putting it anywhere near a feed.

 

[edit: the film on the fibre tipped pen mentioned earlier may have been due to some other product in the ink - I don't know. And I can't find the patent right now to post the ingredient list of that formulation. I deliberately didn't attribute the film formation to xanthan however thought the observation was worth mentioning in case it was related to xanthan.]

 

I reduced the water rather than upping the xanthan to save wastage in overall volume I didn't need in Exp 2 and to concentrate the suspension mix. A fluid drop of a quarter volume (50ml) is a fair difference with xanthan. So I went with a gut feel and upped the dust slightly as the pics of dust/glitter shown on other threads use (visually) far more dust than I had ventured with in the first experiment. I just hoped the ratio might work. I'm still using conservative dust amounts comparative to the images in other threads, preferring to have less xanthan and a little sparkle than more xanthan and a potentially unuseable product (too thick) for potential fp use (hope that's enough caveats :)).

 

Experiment 2 result: it's become evident since this morning from partial settlement that there are two sizes/weights of particles in the lustre dust. There is a fine distribution remaining suspended throughout that reflects nicely but subtly in torchlight (the water is opaque), however there are larger sized particles settled on the base of the jug. Thinking I might double the xanthan by adding an equivalent amount again (another 1/32nd tsp) to the existing mix and see what happens.

Edited by Intellidepth

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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Experiment 3: (1/16th tsp xanthan total) looked really really great at 12 hours, largest particles settled at 24 hours (less settlement than Exp 2), and significant settlement at 36 hours. Upping the Xanthan again by another 1/16th for Exp 4.

 

Edit: Experiment 4: Here's a pic just after Exp 4 was mixed (the torch's LEDs are reflected on the glass to the right). It gives some idea of the level of luster dust in the mix I'm working with. This mix maintained surface tension between two fingers to about 2mm before breaking. Bubbles have been trapped in the initial mix of Exp 4, so will watch to see if they slowly surface over the next 12-24 hours.

post-119270-0-34154500-1422431415_thumb.jpg

Edited by Intellidepth

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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BTW, you may want to reach out to ink makers like KWZI and Pharmacist. I think InkStainedRuth and perhaps USMCmom are also knowledgeable ink makers.

Hi amberlea, should I do that via PM? Not sure of protocol. Thanks.

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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Yes, they haven't checked in on this thread (and I hoped they would). So send them a PM and the link to this thread. I think what you are doing is wonderful.

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



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out 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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BTW, you may want to reach out to ink makers like KWZI and Pharmacist. I think InkStainedRuth and perhaps USMCmom are also knowledgeable ink makers.

 

Remember to test first with dip pens.

Not me. You may be thinking of Fiberdrunk, who has played around, IIRC, with both iron gall inks and ink made from pokeberries. I did comment on the thread about the glittery inks, because I've used luster dust when doing cake decoration and making edible molded sculptures out of stuff called "sugarplate" (the medieval and Renaissance version of gum paste), and that got mentioned in that thread. But when I've used it I've nearly always painted it on the surface, mixing the powder with alcohol (something clear like vodka) or with something like rosewater.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Thanks for dropping in Ruth with your input, and amberlea for the direction re PMs.

 

Experiment 4: good news - the particles are successfully suspended after 24 hours. Unfortunately so are bubbles. I strongly suspect suspension of bubbles is a problem for fp's on multiple levels, but my main thought is that if it's strong enough to do that, then ink will not flow, defeating the whole purpose.

post-119270-0-57526800-1422521142_thumb.jpg

 

Thinking about options from here. Probably incrementally back off the xanthan to find an optimal particle suspension without bubble suspension level somewhere between 1/16th and 1/8th tsp total in 150ml fluid.

Noodler's Konrad Acrylics (normal+Da Luz custom flex) ~ Lamy AL-Stars/Vista F/M/1.1 ~ Handmade Barry Roberts Dayacom M ~ Waterman 32 1/2, F semi-flex nib ~ Conklin crescent, EF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen EEF super-flex ~ Aikin Lambert dip pen semi-flex M ~ Jinhao X450s ~ Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting Nib ~ Sailor 1911 Profit 21k Rhodium F. Favourite inks: Iroshizuku blends, Noodler's CMYK blends.

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