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A plan for testing the composition of the pen nib


Yao SongYi

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这是一个酝酿已久的计划,包括分析老产笔尖和最近几年生产的笔尖铱粒成分和合金成分。

This long-awaited plan includes the analysis of the iridium and alloy composition of old nibs and nibs produced in recent years.

 

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其中的重点是化验现产百利金,万宝龙和派克,对于这三个品牌,除应化验成分外,也需确定是哪一种具体的铱粒型号。

Of course, the most important thing is Pelikan, Montblanc and Parker. For these three brands, not only the ingredients must be tested, but also the specific models must be determined.

目前,我厂内有从德国进口的三种铱粒,分别是海力斯AM、海力斯P5和海力斯E3。

At present, there are three kinds of iridium particles imported from Germany in our factory, namely Heraeus AM, Heraeus P5 and Heraeus E3.

IMG_20210801_152556.thumb.jpg.48730933e14bd3cc2b48bd87b9efb678.jpg

 

通过官方资料来看,AM其中是含锇的最高档铱粒,价格也是三种之中最高的,目前尚未测试具体的性能,但我认为其耐磨和耐腐蚀性能应该是最高水平。According to official data, AM is the most high-end iridium containing osmium metal, and the price is also the most expensive among the three. No specific data has been tested yet, but I think this one will be the most wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant. 

IMG_20210801_152847.thumb.jpg.f89c001bed990b0017ed229faf1b3587.jpg

 

IMG_20210801_152339_edit_382334960610930.thumb.jpg.fd57deedd97654990d23023af54afa91.jpg

 

相对应的中档P5型铱粒,这是一种官网对外资料中没有的型号,有较高的硬度,普通的砂轮无法切开,其有可能被万宝龙或者百利金所用。

In contrast, there is the mid-range P5 model. This is a mid-range model that is not available in official data. It has a higher hardness and cannot be cut with ordinary grinding wheels. I guess it may be used by Montblanc or Pelikan.

 

IMG_20210801_152444_edit_382468618929659.thumb.jpg.cb89b4a91707292d7d245cf63fc24398.jpg

E3型铱粒是低端型号,其价格较低,已大量在中国制造的金笔上使用,其有可能是LAMY所采用的型号。其耐磨性能不理想,中国大陆地区的学生在使用时很容易使其磨损出平面。

The E3 type iridium is the lowest-end, low price, and has been widely used on the golden pen in China. It may be the iridium used by LAMY. The wear resistance is not ideal, and a Chinese student can smooth it quickly.

 

IMG_20210801_152403.thumb.jpg.eeabb9713806293e8f07bb8bd4ff7639.jpg

因受疫情影响,化验计划已推迟了较长时间,近期我将前往实验室,到那时便可以最终验证确认。作为对比,将同时化验中国生产的617#,823#,601#型号的铱粒。

Due to the epidemic, the test plan has been postponed for a long time. I will go to the laboratory recently, and it will be verified and confirmed by then. As a comparison, I will also test 617#, 823#, and 601# iridium particles produced in China.

 

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如果时间允许的话,将会化验不同年份的百乐,写乐等日本笔和一些中国笔,并将其的成分变化制成一个可视化图。

If time permits, I will also test different years of Pilot, Sailor and other Japanese fountain pens and some Chinese fountain pens, and make a visual map of their composition changes.

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There is an important question that I forgot to write into the article. According to the official information Montblanc & Pelikan uses Heraeus products, which is why I use Heraeus products for comparison and confirmation.

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Great.....finally something solid.

 

Osmia from 1922 on, used an Osmium compound from a Heidelberg Professor.

On 8/1/2021 at 10:10 AM, Yao SongYi said:

AM is the most high-end iridium containing osmium metal, and the price is also the most expensive among the three.

 

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Hello Yao Song Yi

Thank you very much for your works in this very interesting test programme.

In March 1990 a little essay from Heraeus appeared where they informed their clients about the history of nibs and the incredients of tipping materials. It is not sure that their nomenclature is the same as today but I think there is no reason for change:

<<<<<<

Tipping material E3: Good to weld Ruthenium alloy, good to polish and ink resistant. For gold- and steel nibs.

Tipping material A3: Very good Ruthenium alloy, very hard, good to weld and polish, ink resistant. For gold and steel nibs.

Tipping material AM: High percentage Ruthenium alloy with Osmium. Very good weldings upon gold and steel nibs, not abrasive, very good polishing characteristics. Very good ink resistant.

Tipping material A1C: The "flagship" of Heraeus since many decades with high Osmium percentage and other metals from the Platinium group. Extraordinary abrasive resistant on papers, very good welding and polishing quality and absolute resistant against inks.

<<<<<<<

I think that A1C is one of the oldest Heraeus Patents for nib alloys from 1919. They had been the first who were able to melt, isolate and rectify the metals from the Platinium group in a vacuum melting process. Especially Osmium is very vulnerable against Oxygen and in air it burns down immediately to Osmiumtetroxide. which has a characteristic  biting smell and is highly toxic. The natural found alloy had been called "Osmiridium". The grains which had been extracted from a 2 cm thick layer nearly all arond the world were welded as crude "bricks" upon the nib. The percentage of Iridium was very low (!) but its blue spectra lines were always good to see. So in anglo- american areas the nib tip had ever been so called "Iridium".

Mottishaw and Montgomery made many spectra of historic nib tips and found: "There is no Iridium in the Iridium". They published their articles "Where´s the Iridium?" and "How can we talk about Iridium" in the PENnant.

<<<<<<<<<

Parker tried to copy the Heraeus works and presented similar Patents, the competition in the early 20th was exorbitant. You can find different alloys in the Patent- listings. eg. Tungsten had been used and by adding Carbon, Tungstencarbide had been built, a compound which has been renovated when the ballpointpen came on display.

<<<<<<<<<<

For a long time in fountainpen history all tipping materials came from Heraeus. Bock made nibs for many many fountainpen producers. So it is not very interesting to look after nib tip "Pelikan- alloys" or "MB- alloys".

<<<<<<<<<

Thank you and Kind Regards

Thomas

<<<<<<<<<<

ps @ BoBo: High percentage Osmium alloys for nib tips had been developed by Heraeus, not by any unknown Heidelberg Professor

 

 

<<<<<<

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13 hours ago, Kaweco said:

ps @ BoBo: High percentage Osmium alloys for nib tips had been developed by Heraeus, not by any unknown Heidelberg Professor

 

Myth dies again...............Osmia and it's professor.

 

Heraeus is to me brand new to this thread..........

 

There was a thread where someone showed some of the rare earth compounds used in a couple US companies '20-30 nibs. Those changed often; every year or every other year......so it appears Parker, Waterman or which companies mentioned were chasing Heraeus.

 

No wonder the 'Iridium Point' Germany was used  not only on some nibs I have that were, '50-60's German made, but  is on the Chinese nibs......Heraeus is/was still making the "iridium."

The point is still "german" so to say.

 

 

It took WW2 to perfect the application of the 'iridium' points.....the pre-20's and 30's points were often lumpy and chunks fell off.

I imagine  most of the faulty nibs broke long ago, but if one has a pre-40's nib one should be super careful when 'smoothing' it or chunks could be ripped off and you'd have to re-tip the nib.

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Bo Bo Olson said:

 

..............

Heraeus is to me brand new to this thread..........

...............

 

Excluding this thread we had it in 37 postings.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

I found in one of the postings (thank you to "hari") this link:

https://www.heraeus.com/en/hpm/hmp_products_solutions/products_for_writing_utensils/pen_point_alloy_e3/pen_point_alloy_e3.html

.......Tungsten is also a "traditional" metal in this complex for nibtips which hardens the metal pellets to a Vickers hardness up to 1000 - 1100!!

Kind Regards

Thomas

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kaweco said:

Excluding this thread we had it in 37 postings

Some times Thomas, what is well known to one, is remembered.

 

What in my case wasn't remembered.....or was lost in the 'small print'.

 

If I had commented in any of the 37 posts, I'd not bet a case of beer so forgot.:blush:

 

I don't know why I never asked my self about the composition of German nib tipping.

I had read the thread where a fine poster listed  the many compounds  of the 20-30's US tipping.

I had made an assumption :sad: ...if I had thought that much. That the German nib tipping had done what happened to the US companies, much engineering of tipping compounds to save a penny.

 

Not buying an established product.

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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On 2021/8/8 at PM8点15分, Bo Bo Olson said:

神话再次消亡.......Osmia 和它的教授。

 

贺利氏对我来说是这个话题的新手..........

 

有一个帖子,有人展示了一些美国公司 20-30 笔尖中使用的稀土化合物。那些经常改变的;每年或每隔一年......所以看起来帕克,沃特曼或提到的公司都在追逐贺利氏。

 

难怪“铱点”德国不仅用在我拥有的一些笔尖上,即 50-60 年代的德国制造,而且  用在中国笔尖上。..... Heraeus 正在/仍在制造“铱”。

可以这么说,重点仍然是“德国”。

 

 

WW2 才完善了“铱”点的应用……20 年代和 30 年代之前的点通常是块状的,大块脱落。

我想大多数有缺陷的笔尖很久以前就坏了,但是如果一个人有一个 40 岁以前的笔尖,那么在“平滑”时应该非常小心,否则大块可能会被扯掉并且您必须重新调整笔尖。

It should be said that until 2018, the fountain pens made in China all use the iridium point produced in China, and their models are 823# and 601# (this is the unified standard model in China, and products with the same composition produced by any factory can be used. This name).

In 2018, the factory in Jiangsu, China that made wear-resistant ball beads stopped production of these two iridium pellets due to profit problems. Only one factory in Shanghai is still producing 601#.

If necessary, I will introduce in detail the development of China's iridium grain industry, which has been around since the 1930s. The 1950s-1990s was a period of development and large enterprises were formed in Shanghai, Chongqing, and Jiangsu. After that and with the disintegration of state-owned enterprises, they gradually declined. Until now, Shanghai Heraeus is still hiring employees from the former state-owned enterprise to produce tungsten carbide beads for them.

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On 2021/8/8 at AM5点47分, Kaweco said:

你好姚松毅

非常感谢您在这个非常有趣的测试程序中所做的工作。

1990 年 3 月,贺利氏 (Heraeus) 发表了一篇短文,向客户介绍了笔尖的历史和小费材料的成分。不确定他们的命名是否与今天相同,但我认为没有理由改变:

<<<<<<

接装材料E3:可焊钌合金,抛光性好,耐墨性好。适用于金笔尖和钢笔尖。

接装材料 A3:非常好的钌合金,非常坚硬,焊接和抛光效果好,耐墨。适用于金笔尖和钢笔尖。

接装材料 AM:含锇的高比例钌合金。在金和钢笔尖上的焊接非常好,没有磨蚀性,非常好的抛光特性。非常好的耐墨性。

接装材料 A1C:几十年来 Heraeus 的“旗舰”产品,具有高锇百分比和其他铂族金属。对纸张具有非凡的耐磨性,非常好的焊接和抛光质量,并且绝对耐油墨。

<<<<<<<

我认为 A1C 是 Heraeus 1919 年以来最古老的笔尖合金专利之一。他们是第一个能够在真空熔化过程中熔化、分离和矫正铂族金属的专利。特别是锇对氧气非常脆弱,在空气中它会立即燃烧成四氧化锇。具有特殊的刺鼻气味且剧毒。这种天然发现的合金被称为“锇”。几乎在世界各地,从 2 厘米厚的一层中提取的颗粒被焊接成粗“砖”在笔尖上。铱的百分比非常低(!),但它的蓝色光谱线总是很好看。所以在英美地区,笔尖一直被称为“铱”。

莫蒂肖和蒙哥马利制作了许多历史悠久的笔尖的光谱,并发现:“铱中没有铱”。他们发表了他们的文章“铱星在哪里?” 以及 PENnant 中的“我们如何谈论铱”。

<<<<<<<<<<

帕克试图抄袭贺利氏的作品并提出类似的专利,20 世纪初的竞争非常激烈。您可以在专利列表中找到不同的合金。例如。使用了钨,并通过添加碳来制造碳化钨,这是一种在圆珠笔展出时进行了翻新的化合物。

<<<<<<<<<<<

在钢笔历史上很长一段时间内,所有的小费材料都来自贺利氏。博克为许多钢笔生产商制造了笔尖。因此,照顾“百利金合金”或“MB 合金”的笔尖并不是很有趣。

<<<<<<<<<<

谢谢和亲切的问候

托马斯

<<<<<<<<<<<

ps @ BoBo:用于笔尖的高百分比锇合金是由 Heraeus 开发的,而不是由任何不知名的海德堡教授开发的

 

 

<<<<<<

After inquiries, A1C has been discontinued. We have a manual from Heraeus in the 1970s. At that time, it was translated as "Halice"(海力斯) in Chinese. At that time, Heraeus still had many models. We have also consulted if we can order some discontinued models but did not reply, and we were told that there are only 3 varieties that can be purchased so far.

Heraeus is relatively arrogant in dealing with the Chinese market. We regret that we have not been able to order a batch of higher-end and more durable iridium particles.

But AM should be one of the more durable high-end iridium particles in the world, so our current high-end products are using this model.

 

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On 2021/8/8 at AM5点47分, Kaweco said:

你好姚松毅

非常感谢您在这个非常有趣的测试程序中所做的工作。

1990 年 3 月,贺利氏 (Heraeus) 发表了一篇短文,向客户介绍了笔尖的历史和小费材料的成分。不确定他们的命名是否与今天相同,但我认为没有理由改变:

<<<<<<

接装材料E3:可焊钌合金,抛光性好,耐墨性好。适用于金笔尖和钢笔尖。

接装材料 A3:非常好的钌合金,非常坚硬,焊接和抛光效果好,耐墨。适用于金笔尖和钢笔尖。

接装材料 AM:含锇的高比例钌合金。在金和钢笔尖上的焊接非常好,没有磨蚀性,非常好的抛光特性。非常好的耐墨性。

接装材料 A1C:几十年来 Heraeus 的“旗舰”产品,具有高锇百分比和其他铂族金属。对纸张具有非凡的耐磨性,非常好的焊接和抛光质量,并且绝对耐油墨。

<<<<<<<

我认为 A1C 是 Heraeus 1919 年以来最古老的笔尖合金专利之一。他们是第一个能够在真空熔化过程中熔化、分离和矫正铂族金属的专利。特别是锇对氧气非常脆弱,在空气中它会立即燃烧成四氧化锇。具有特殊的刺鼻气味且剧毒。这种天然发现的合金被称为“锇”。几乎在世界各地,从 2 厘米厚的一层中提取的颗粒被焊接成粗“砖”在笔尖上。铱的百分比非常低(!),但它的蓝色光谱线总是很好看。所以在英美地区,笔尖一直被称为“铱”。

莫蒂肖和蒙哥马利制作了许多历史悠久的笔尖的光谱,并发现:“铱中没有铱”。他们发表了他们的文章“铱星在哪里?” 以及 PENnant 中的“我们如何谈论铱”。

<<<<<<<<<<

帕克试图抄袭贺利氏的作品并提出类似的专利,20 世纪初的竞争非常激烈。您可以在专利列表中找到不同的合金。例如。使用了钨,并通过添加碳来制造碳化钨,这是一种在圆珠笔展出时进行了翻新的化合物。

<<<<<<<<<<<

在钢笔历史上很长一段时间内,所有的小费材料都来自贺利氏。博克为许多钢笔生产商制造了笔尖。因此,照顾“百利金合金”或“MB 合金”的笔尖并不是很有趣。

<<<<<<<<<<

谢谢和亲切的问候

托马斯

<<<<<<<<<<<

ps @ BoBo:用于笔尖的高百分比锇合金是由 Heraeus 开发的,而不是由任何不知名的海德堡教授开发的

 

 

<<<<<<

We don't have a No. 5 Bock nib, because the size of No. 6 and above is relatively large, which makes it difficult to put down the inspection table. And it takes a long time to temporarily purchase from abroad, so Pelikan, Montblanc and Parker will be used as representatives for the time being.

We also wanted to test some pen nibs to determine the type of iridium particles. For example, Montblanc in the 1990s may use A1C, but this result may be inaccurate, because the factory will more or less have some mixed use, which makes it difficult to confirm the model.

 

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Why then is or was there so many Chinese pens with Iridium Point Germany on Chinese pens?

1 hour ago, Yao SongYi said:

It should be said that until 2018, the fountain pens made in China all use the iridium point produced in China,

 

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Bo Bo Olson said:

那么为什么中国钢笔上有这么多带有德国铱点的中国钢笔?

 

Except for the wear-resistant ball factory in Shanghai, which cooperated with Germany in the 1990s, none of the other nib factories had previously purchased German iridium on a large scale. All Chinese-made stainless steel nibs marked "Iridium Point Germany" are actually made of 188# iridium made in China. Even the lowest-end Heraeus E3, only gold nibs are used in China. This should be said to be an act of deceiving consumers, because Chinese consumers once believed in the quality of German manufacturing, which led to the emergence of many counterfeit goods.

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@Yao SongYi, thank you so much for doing this analysis. I'm really looking forward to the results.

 

Sure, I guessed already that tipping alloys of different composition (and hardness) are used, somehow related to the value of the nib. I managed to wear off about 1/3 of the tip on a 1980's cheap Waterman Maestro by writing ca.  2.5 litre of ink with it over ca. 20 years. It surprised me, when I noticed the wear.

 

@Kaweco and @Yao SongYi. Is there more information available, besides composition of the tipping alloys?

My interest is in understanding why some nibs (and nib tips) have more or less affinity to ink. I guess, it is caused by the metal or alloy surface wetability. Besides knowing the composition (and hardness) of the tipping alloy it would also be interesting to measure the wetability of the material (maybe from a flattened ball by water droplet angel?)

 

What is your opinion about wetability?

One life!

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On 2021/8/12 at PM6点09分, InesF said:

 

@姚松义,非常感谢你做这个分析。我真的很期待结果。

 

当然,我已经猜到使用了不同成分(和硬度)的尖端合金,不知何故与笔尖的价值有关。我设法在 1980 年代廉价的 Waterman Maestro 上写了大约 1/3 的笔尖。大约 2.5 升墨水。20年。当我注意到磨损时,这让我感到惊讶。

 

@Kaweco 和 @姚松义. 除了接装合金的成分外,还有更多可用信息吗?

我的兴趣是了解为什么有些笔尖(和笔尖)对墨水或多或少的亲和力。我猜,这是由金属或合金表面的润湿性引起的。除了知道接装合金的成分(和硬度)之外,测量材料的润湿性(也许是从水滴角压扁的球?)

 

您对润湿性有何看法?

The size of iridium particles is too small to be easy to detect surface tension, but this is a direction for exploration. I will consult the laboratory in the near future. However, correspondingly, the polishing and grinding of the iridium particles will affect the ink flow direction and the capillary force of the paper.

The current way to improve and guide the ink flow is generally electrolysis or electroplating. At present, there is a cutting-edge processing method that can change the surface properties of the metal through plasma groups, which is also a direction for processing the pen tip in the future.

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16 hours ago, Yao SongYi said:

The size of iridium particles is too small to be easy to detect surface tension, but this is a direction for exploration. I will consult the laboratory in the near future. However, correspondingly, the polishing and grinding of the iridium particles will affect the ink flow direction and the capillary force of the paper.

The current way to improve and guide the ink flow is generally electrolysis or electroplating. At present, there is a cutting-edge processing method that can change the surface properties of the metal through plasma groups, which is also a direction for processing the pen tip in the future.

Hi @Yao SongYi.

Thank you for sharing your insights! I didn't think about surface modification before, this is the next rabbit hole to go down...

Now as before, looking forward to the upcoming data!

One life!

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On 8/12/2021 at 5:06 AM, Yao SongYi said:

....................... Even the lowest-end Heraeus E3, only gold nibs are used in China. This should be said to be an act of deceiving consumers, because Chinese consumers once believed in the quality of German manufacturing, which led to the emergence of many counterfeit goods.

Am I reading correctly? A Chinese company buys the cheapest version of nib tips in Germany and manufactures expensive gold nibs in China for their own consumers and fountain pens for the world market and consumers feel deceived by the apparently poor German quality and should therefore Germany be held responsible for counterfeit products? This really is the funniest version of the story of why more and more counterfeit products are popping up. I always thought that the manufacturers of counterfeits feel particularly clever because they have saved development costs and are swimming on the wave of advertising the original product.

Heraeus has certainly invested a lot of money in the development of high-quality nibs. Osmium has become very expensive and this may have caused the production of A1C to be discontinued. I do believe that Heraeus has good reasons why they do not want to hand over samples of their alloys to an analytical laboratory.

It's not arrogance.

@InesF: I am pretty sure that Yao knows the difference between surface tension and wetability. These terms correlate by the Young formula but I don`t know about surface tensions of solids. Actually your sugestion for experimental determination of of wetability are ok when the pellets are so ductile that they don`t break.

(I think there is a problem of the automatic translation.)

But I am pretty sure that there are no problems with bad wetabilities of clean (!) and smooth metals. Metals carry electrons especially at the surface and a water based ink is polar. And in the end the hydrostatic pressure will bring enough ink across the nib tip.

The real problems are thin films of fats and oils which came from fatty dusts in households and fats from hands rinsing over the collar of the section. I have some historic repair kits for Pelikan and Kaweco school pens, where stationary shops can make short repairs or substitutes in-house. In each manaual of the kit we can read the warning: "Don´t touch the feed or the nib!" The ink flow will be limited. This also touches upon suggestions from our pen- buddies to try repairs of misalligned tines. Most hazardous is a treatment of the nib with metal polish grease which often contains caranauba wax. This hydrophobic compound will enter the feed and the area below feed and nib.

Kind Regards

Thomas

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I have datasheets of atleast five types of Tipping from Heraeus accumulated over the years. Counter-intutively, higher hardness(HV) of the tipping material does not lead to a longer service life of the tip. There's more to it. 

 

 

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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