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xandrostheorthodox

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xandrostheorthodox

Greetings, folks, I'm Xander.

 

I have a question about Iroshizuku ink. This may or may not be the place to ask this.

 

Is Pilot Iroshizuku a low-sodium ink? According to a maintenance tech here in my fab, I can get my fountain pen fab-approved so long as it is low-sodium.

 

Thanks!

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What's a "fab" in this context? And low sodium? Really? We hear about pH all the time, but this is a first for me. Why does paper care about sodium - honestly curious about this one.

 

There are sodium test kits, but it seems like the dyes in the ink will interfere with being able to read the results.

 

http://camblab.info/wp/index.php/how-can-i-test-sodium-is-there-a-test-kit-for-sodium/

 

Amazon appear to have various salt meters (though not the ones mentioned in the article). I work in a lab (though I'm in IT), and now I'm wondering if we have such a meter and if it would be unharmed by ink, and if so, whether I could convince the scientist in charge of it to do a test... (I suspect we don't, but rather than we have more sophisticated tools for this, and that it would be too expensive to do it for free, but when some more folks get here, I'll ask.)

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OK, I asked two scientists. We do not have a salt / sodium meter (not the kind of testing our customers want). They also thought the low sodium requirement was weird, so now we're all curious.

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I am guessing the original poster is referring to a semiconductor "fab" for making computer chips, where sodium and other positively charged ions can cause contamination.

 

The long answer: It depends on what dyes go in the ink. A lot of dyes are what's called direct or substantive dyes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substantive_dye), and those bind to cellulose in paper. Unfortunately, they typically come from the chemical plant as sodium salts (a combination of anionic organic molecule ion and cationic sodium ion) and inks made from them would have sodium ions in them. Sure, there are other dyes that do not contain sodium and might not pose a problem at your work. But a lot of inks are made from multiple dyes, and you only need one dye to be a direct dye to have sodium contamination. And ink manufacturers don't really tell you what dyes they mixed to make an ink, much less the chemical formula for their dyes.

 

Pure iron gall ink made of only tannic acid and iron sulfate would not have sodium. Unfortunately, iron gall inks also have normal dyes added to them to make the writing legible as you write (oxidation of iron ion gives iron gall inks their characteristic color, but that takes time), and those dyes might contain sodium ion.

 

The short answer: Probably not. I imagine that one could come up with a fountain pen ink formula that contains no sodium. But I am not aware of any ink maker intentionally making an ink that's sodium free (I would be happy to proven wrong though...!).

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While the question was directed at FP ink, there seems to be an assumption that ordinary ballpoint inks meet the low sodium requirement. And I don't think we can answer that in the affirmative. Maybe they use graphite pencils exclusively.

 

Iroshizuku inks are not known for being cellulose-reactive.

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Thanks for the explanation, Aelie! :) Now it all makes sense!

 

I'm thinking we need to forward this to some of the chemist-ink-makers (De Atramentis, Noodler's, KWZI) and let them play - they might enjoy the challenge. ;)

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While the question was directed at FP ink, there seems to be an assumption that ordinary ballpoint inks meet the low sodium requirement. And I don't think we can answer that in the affirmative. Maybe they use graphite pencils exclusively.

 

I wondered the same thing - how do you know commercially-available pens (pencils?) don't have sodium in them? (Perhaps the OP's facility stocks "approved" writing utensils?)

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The short answer: Probably not. I imagine that one could come up with a fountain pen ink formula that contains no sodium. But I am not aware of any ink maker intentionally making an ink that's sodium free (I would be happy to proven wrong though...!).

I could whip one up off the top of my head. Gallotanic acid, water, glycerin, Prussian blue for color. Classic iron gall, zero sodium.

Physician- signing your scripts with Skrips!


I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

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One extra problem is that sodium is a common contaminant for alkali salts. I don't know how pure the dyes would have to be to pass muster.

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What about pigment inks, such as Noodler's or Sailor's Nano Pigment varieties?

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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The most important thing, how low concentration of sodium means that ink is low-sodium?

 

To my best knowledge all dye and pigment based inks contain sodium.

 

Iron gall ink made from pure ingredients will be virtually sodium free. But it has to be without a dye.

I have a lot of tape - and I won't hesitate to use it!

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The most important thing, how low concentration of sodium means that ink is low-sodium?

 

To my best knowledge all dye and pigment based inks contain sodium.

 

Iron gall ink made from pure ingredients will be virtually sodium free. But it has to be without a dye.

 

:thumbup: Yes, we need Xander to come back and tell us his specs! :)

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Just like Aelie I assume the fab is some sort of semiconductor clean room. So before looking into bringing your ink into the clean room, I would suggest to get some paper out and test how the combo behaves. If they are critical about the sodium content (they don't want to spoil production runs), they should also be about the paper used. It will be lint-free bonded and coated to prevent dust and it might take some time to dry. Check this forum for clean room paper or tyvek, some writing samples with different inks are available.

You mention Iroshizuku, but that is a line, no? So different colours, meaning different chemicals. And the need to check all of the variants you would like to use. The simplest way might be to ask the manufacturer. Analysis will typically way to expensive for this single purpose (at least in my world). OCArt refers to an MSDS, however this is a safety sheet, and it fits a large number of inks as you can read. Basicaly it says that you you get the paperwork right for shipment and that you are dealing with a coloured solution that is safe to transport and use. It does not give you the analytical content of each of the inks, let be that you could deduce whether there is a high concentration of sodium ions in it.

Also consider some other elements: a common solvent used is IPA, be sure that the pens you intend to use are compatible with accidental contact with this solvent. Cleanroom Sharpies have PP bodies and are considered safe. Also have a look at the packaging of these. Double packaged, clean room compatible. Any idea about the transfer of your inkwell yet? Would your fab manager allow sneaking in your pens ad inks without the right entry procedure?

 

Ik ontken het grote belang van de computer niet, maar vind het van een stuitende domheid om iets wat al millennia zijn belang heeft bewezen daarom overboord te willen gooien (Ann De Craemer)

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The most important thing, how low concentration of sodium means that ink is low-sodium?

 

To my best knowledge all dye and pigment based inks contain sodium.

 

Iron gall ink made from pure ingredients will be virtually sodium free. But it has to be without a dye.

Prussian Blue would be sodium free. Pure Fe(CN)6.

Physician- signing your scripts with Skrips!


I'm so tough I vacation in Detroit.

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Details are fractal once you start digging, it seems...

 

I followed the link to the Writing Desk's generic document. It says nothing about sodium, though I noticed with interest that safety glasses are recommended for eye protection.

 

 

 

The Writing Desk has this generic MSDS for fountain pen inks https://www.thewritingdesk.co.uk/downloads/SDS_ink.pdf

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Herbin claims you can drink their inks. Perhaps they would be interested in a low sodium line for their customers who need to reduce their intake of sodium without cutting down on their intake of ink.

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