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Hero 234 Carbon Black ~ Water Resistance Test


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a few days ago I was lounging over at the Ink forum and some of our fellow memebers express their concern that they can no longer get their needed permanent black , the fabled Platinum Carbon Black. And I though to myself, hey others made permanent ink also and having some time on hand I dedicate some time to investigate how one of the old formula work out, namely the Hero 234 CArbon Black.


The test is not anything scientific and only trying to mimic how the ink deal with real life accidents; and here's the result :


* Test no.1 is to mimic artist use of ink , Canson 180g Watercolor paper was used, text was put onto the paper, and let sit for 10 min, then smeared with waterbrush, excessive water blotted with facial tissue




* Tesat 02 is to mimic having water spilled when doing normal daily writing, Kokuyo Gambal notebook paper, procedure same as test 01




* Test 03 is to mimic accidental water damage when dealing with document well finished, text was put onto paper, and let dry overnight, then is immersed and left in water for 30 minutes, paper used is engineer's stenograph paper ( very fine smooth surface, very light grade )




* Tesat 04 is to mimic water damage in storage, same paper and procedure as test 03, again let dry overnight, then smear with water brush then let it go under running water for 30 min.




I say the result speak for itself. It Also show the one character that this old formula had, its slow drying property, as depicted in Test 01 and 02. As side note, Hero had actually 4 different kind of carbon ink, the 84, 214, 234, and 440; and also a non carbon permanent black, the 254. The 234 as picked simply because its the only vintage ink between the lot and having some interesting property. Its more formulated like a calligrapher's ink than fountain pen ink in that it had very high carbon content and that it do use ( plant based ) resin. In fact on its packaging its proclaiming suitable for calligraphy ( by that the made mean small text Chinese brush and pen calligraphy ). ITs known to clog pens if one do not use the pen inked up frequent enough. I've used this ink since way back as a school kid and what more can one ask for a bottle of 55ml which only cost say 3.00 to 4.00 US

Edited by Mech-for-i
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  • A Smug Dill


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  • Mech-for-i


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Had a bottle for less than a day. Mine was terrible: smelled like junk, was very dense yet feathered like crazy on any kind of paper, smeared a lot... Dumped it into the sink straight away

Edited by sciumbasci
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LoL. Yes its thick alright and not liking to be thinned down either; its just the property of it being made like a calligraphy ink , in particular Chinese traditional solid stick ink for brushes. This is what made it so bulletproof after it dry up when it did; slowly. Thats why it smell so too. Anyone who have practice Oriental brush calligraphy using traditional ink know what I mean. This traditional formula using resin and the thickness change the way a pen would feel in most cases. Making them quite a level smoother. But for certain its not for everybody. The demanding routine it required is simply not user friendly for todays consumers


Which explain why Hero made the 214 and 440 Carbon ink which is more akin to fountain pen ink. The 84 is aspecialist ink for drafting. And the non Carbon permanent ink for office / legal document use.


Everytime I open up my bottle of 234 it remind me of days when I am just junior school kids. Fond memory *

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  • 4 years later...
On 2/18/2017 at 6:15 PM, Mech-for-i said:

Everytime I open up my bottle of 234 it remind me of days when I am just junior school kids. Fond memory *


Pelikan 4001 Brillant-Schwarz smells even more strongly than Hero 234 of Chinese sumi ink. It's one of the reasons why I greatly enjoy using the former, even if it isn't the best-performing black ink in terms of permanence or sheer blackness on the page.


I have a bottle of Kobe INK Story (outside of its numbered series) Bokkou 墨香 ink, but I still haven't opened it up after all these years, so I can't tell you whether that also smells like sumi ink.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is an older posting but it fits with what I am using right now.  I'm coming to the tail end of a bottle of Hero 234.  I had terrible times with it years back, it would clog things up something fierce and be a general hassle to deal with.  I even tried a glass nib pen and it was difficult getting cleaned off of that.  But for the last month or two it has become a daily black and I've managed to tame the beast, at least enough for my purposes.  It has been running through a nicely tuned Hero 901, the black and gold model with the golden cap and designs.  The pen was dreadful and needed some patience to be something besides a dart.  They finally came together and I am very pleased.  I have run a fill or two of an Indian made black ink, Daytone, through the pen once in a while just to flush it out.  Performance has been great.  I did not approach the challenge unaware.  I have several Chinese carbon black inks courtesy of TaoBao and I've learned to enjoy them.  So, it is possible to get better results with these inks but one has to respect their properties and capabilities.  I find them a lot of fun and it's a learning experience.  Others will have different experiences and I can understand their dread of this type of ink.

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