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Turboweevel

Hi, guys!

 

My husband and I have recently gotten back into fountain pens (we both used them to write in school and then moved on to other pens like fineliners and gel pens). We've been reading everything we could find on fountain pens and FPN has been a very valuable resource!

 

We came across this thread from 2007, specifically this post, which mentioned nitinol as a possible material for a nib. My husband had some sheets of nitinol on hand, so he took a few stabs at making and writing with a nitinol nib. Here are the results!

 

http://i.imgur.com/La9KMsrm.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/HJKKzFGm.jpg

 

Not bad for something handmade, I think.

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graystranger

I have not heard of nitinol in over 20 or 30 years. I know the US Navy used it because it was very resistant to salt water corrosion and was not magnetic and could be used around mines that detonated from magnetic materials. Some Navy diving knives were made.

 

Here is more information on the alloy with its history, properties and applications. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_titanium

 

This alloy is a shape memory alloy. If heated in a fixed shape it could be bent into other shapes but quickly went back to its original shape with heat, something like 100 F.

 

I had a piece of nitinol wire about 3 inches long. I would wad it up into a ball, then toss it into a cup of hot water and it would straighten out so quickly it would jump out of the cup. Bend it into one shape, restrain it to that shape, heat it to something like 1000 F and that would be its new "original" shape it would spring back to. NASA used this property to design radio antennas that could be folded down into a compact shape to fit in a capsule. Once in orbit heater wires heated the antenna and it sprang into full operational shape. Don't know if it ever made it into space, but this was one of the applications touted at the time.

 

The company I worked for used small tubes of nitinol to seal leaking tubes in a nuclear power plant steam generator. The tube was made just larger than the inside diameter of the steam tube, then squeezed a bit smaller. It was mounted on a small resistance heater, pushed into the steam tube until it was at the leak in the tube wall, then heated. When it expanded against the wall it sealed the leak. It was intended to be temporary until the tube could be replaced.

 

This is very interesting. thanks for the post.

Edited by graystranger

Eschew Sesquipedalian Obfuscation

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Turboweevel

The company I worked for used small tubes of nitinol to seal leaking tubes in a nuclear power plant steam generator. The tube was made just larger than the inside diameter of the steam tube, then squeezed a bit smaller. It was mounted on a small resistance heater, pushed into the steam tube until it was at the leak in the tube wall, then heated. When it expanded against the wall it sealed the leak. It was intended to be temporary until the tube could be replaced.

 

That is so cool! We had some of the wire too and played around with making it spring in hot water. Using nitinol to fix leaks is a brilliant idea. The sheet we used is super-elastic at room temp so it was great for making a springy nib. You could spring it on a cold noreaster polar vortexy day but then a nice cup of hot water would bring it right back :)

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Being a metallurgical engineer, I always thought that idea would be interesting and was wondering why it hasn't been done before, and, furthermore, why nib manufacturers (the few ones remaining) haven't ventured in that alternative (or haven't publucized their results if they did). It is nice to see that you tried it and this is feasible.

 

I really hope someone, somewhere will commercialize a nib with Ni-Ti alloys of beta-titanium alloy...

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