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Noodler's Ink Bulletproof-Ness Test


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I work in a regulatory chemistry lab so having basically everything resistant ink is a must for archival & forgery purposes. Where I'm at we're under EPA regulations (vs. ISO or TNI) so it only says indelible ink. The majority of the inks I use are Noodler's bulletproof inks & have been approved by our QA/QC officer. Since Noodler's inks are not ISO or anything else certified I decided to do my own tests with some of our common solvents in the lab in case an auditor ever asks about it. My test wasn't anything super scientific but should be enough to show anyone the permanency of the ink. While I was at it I figured it's nice to share my results with you.


The test: I filled a beakers with 6 common solvents we use in our lab. The solvents are Hexane, Acetone, Ethyl Acetate, Methylene Chloride, methyl tert butyl ether(MTBE), and Methanol. I wrote the name of each ink on plain copy paper and let it dry overnight. I then let it soaked each piece of paper in the corresponding solvent for at least 1 minuet. During the soak I agitated the piece of paper several times in an attempt to force the ink to wash off. And for reference I wrote the name of the solvent the paper was placed in with a black Bic pen. After soaking I removed the paper and placed it on the counter to dry.


Edit: One other note, the ink labeled Noodler's Teal is a 1:4 mix of Bad Green Gator and Bad Blue Heron respectively.


This first picture is of everything before it was soaked in solvent. And please forgive my bad handwriting as I was scribbling the names and wasn't worried about penmanship.


Edited by MadAsAHatter
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Now for the results:


This picture is after the paper was soaked in solvent and allowed to dry.


In most all cases the ink stayed put regardless of the solvent it was placed in. Noodler’s Zhivago, Lemontov, Blue-Black, Air Corp Blue Black, and Dostoyevsky had very slight running when placed in Methanol but nothing significant. The most significant result was Tolstoy. It remained intact in Hexane and MTBE, Had slight feathering out an Ethylacetate and nearly washed out all together in Acetone, Methylene Chloride & Methanol.



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Interesting results! Thanks for the comparison!


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Thank you very much for sharing this experiment! The colors being compared on those sheets is also a great reference. Now considering getting a bottle of Lermontov. Did Lermontov used to be violet and then reformulated to blue?

Edited by Intensity

“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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Thanks for doing this. Proves what I've thought (and said) all along -- Kung Te Cheng is pretty much EVERYTHING proof! Good to know about 54th Massachusetts and Heart of Darkness -- I like those as well.

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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Interesting tests :thumbup:
I guess we can’t really quibble with the makers’ claims about the robustness of these inks :)


Has anyone here previously posted images of similar tests performed with the solvents that are commonly available outside of labs (ethanol, bleach, ammonia, and sodium hydroxide)?

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Late to the party but wanted to thank you for posting this

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very impressive evaluation of the "bullet-proof-ness" of these inks. I liked the details and the images.

Thank you so much.

To all -- Stay well and safe in these challenging times

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Thank you for your tests.I will look for some of this inks. I will try them on my every day pens to see how it behaves with them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Great job! Thank you.

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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

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  • 3 months later...

Awesome test!


I am a life scientist and have been using pigment gel ballpoints for 20 years in the lab to prevent an errant spill from wiping out invaluable data. I tend to use only Noodler's bulletproof inks in the lab notebooks and anything that needs to stand the test of time although Sailor's kiwaguro, Seiboku and Souboku and Platinum's Pigmented Black and Blue are also excellent. I like to mix Platinum Pigment Blue and Black at 4:1 and stash it in Pilot V pens for portable note taking.


Not everyone needs this kind of endurance, but if you do, you really do.


I like Noodler's Black, Roller Eel Black, Aircorps Blue Black and Zhivago for lab notes.

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