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Thread: "Harsh Inks"

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Wow, never saw Iroshizuku on the 'avoid' list before...

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    I can tell you what inks are safe.
    How?

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Yes. Iroshizuku is on the list. It's the acidity. You want to look for inks that are in the neutral range. I thought Iroshizuku would be safe as well but it did cause a primary failure.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    Wow, never saw Iroshizuku on the 'avoid' list before...
    I've had few names in the vintage repair game tell me now. I'll confess I was shocked when I first heard it but now have heard it from a few places that Iroshuzuku is suspect for sac pens.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Yes. Iroshizuku is on the list. It's the acidity.
    Nope. Opposite. Some colors are exceedingly alkaline not acidic.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Yes. Iroshizuku is on the list. It's the acidity.
    Nope. Opposite. Some colors are exceedingly alkaline not acidic.
    This is what I mean.

    Every now and again folks post warnings about sac-killing inks, but no one talks specific chemistry in any consistent manner.

    Stub, if you know of a reputable analyst source that has determined specific measurable and relevant properties of inks that could affect pen longevity, please share. Things like "harshness" or "saturation" are not specific properties and may have nothing to do with an actual chemical interaction with a specific pen part (and its chemical components).

    For example, if "saturation" is nothing more than the relative concentration of dye in suspension, and IF highly saturated inks are "harsh" and dangerous, chemically, to sac longevity, then are we to conclude that ALL dyes are potentially harmful? My guess is that this has nothing to do with dye concentration, but I am no chemist.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    I've found in my testing that red/magenta inks are incredibly acidic, while blue inks outrageously alkaline.
    The safest inks to use are of course, green.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Stub, if you know of a reputable analyst source that has determined specific measurable and relevant properties of inks that could affect pen longevity, please share.
    I don't, other than what is out there on the net already (There is a list of ink phs, surprisingly hard to measure it seems, and the info on Binder's site, etc google around you can see folks have measured Iro asagao to something like a ph of 11). Look, do what you feel comfortable with. As I said I am no scientist and have nothing but super anecdotal and empirical experience based on comically small samples that would never hold up in a court of law, but when Sarj Minhas, Richard Binder, Brain Grey, Stacy Hills and a host of other people with way more experience then I converge on an answer that seems to jive with what I see, I go with that.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    I've found in my testing that red/magenta inks are incredibly acidic, while blue inks outrageously alkaline.
    The safest inks to use are of course, green.
    hahaha

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Stub, if you know of a reputable analyst source that has determined specific measurable and relevant properties of inks that could affect pen longevity, please share.
    I don't, other than what is out there on the net already (There is a list of ink phs, surprisingly hard to measure it seems, and the info on Binder's site, etc google around you can see folks have measured Iro asagao to something like a ph of 11). Look, do what you feel comfortable with. As I said I am no scientist and have nothing but super anecdotal and empirical experience based on comically small samples that would never hold up in a court of law, but when Sarj Minhas, Richard Binder, Brain Grey, Stacy Hills and a host of other people with way more experience then I converge on an answer that seems to jive with what I see, I go with that.
    yes, I have seen those "results"

    I just wondered if you knew of anything more

    thx

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    I've found in my testing that red/magenta inks are incredibly acidic, while blue inks outrageously alkaline.
    The safest inks to use are of course, green.
    Careful, someone may take you seriously.
    I guess black is both basic and acidic since it isn't in the spectrum you have. Does the paper turn white or clear with clear inks?
    Last edited by Hawk; August 10th, 2017 at 04:14 PM.
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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    yes, I have seen those "results"

    I just wondered if you knew of anything more

    thx
    I don't and likely never will. But all have to use our judgement based on what we do know and what sources we trust have to say.

    I used to be more willy nilly and just put anything in my pens but that has show me to have costs that I no longer feel I can shrug my shoulders at since I live so far away from anyone who can fix my pens, & repair stuff can't be sourced locally. The shipping costs alone are enough to make me want to be more careful and frankly I like many of the "safer" inks quite a lot anyway.

    Plus I had 6 pnuematic pens go down recently including some very recently restored and the common denominator was the ink and a recent infatuation with Iroshizuku Asagao (which I still dig and happily use in my c/c pens). All super unscientific but I could imagine a test tubes filled with sac material and ink hopefully in someone's future. heh.

    It is funny though how invested folks are in this being "wrong" and deconstructing the notion of hichroma inks. etc.

    If you like a heavy die load and are willing to bear "possible" costs of more frequent sac replacement and picking melted goo from your pens go for it.

    I have decided I love my Sheaffers more than I love Iroshizuku or Visconti Blue. Plus like I said, I can still use those inks in other pens but my Sheaffers will drink more "boring" inks for now.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    I don't know, but I suspect pH is not the issue one way or the other except insofar as it may impact what happens when switching between acidic and alkaline inks without adequate cleaning. I had Ballistol (pH supposedly in the 8-8.5 range) in a small dropper bottle with a black rubber bulb until I noticed that the bulb had swelled to 2 or 3 times its original size and felt "sticky". It seems to me more likely that this is the kind of action that causes sacs to fail. The question which nobody has yet answered with respect to fountain pen inks is why.

    As for saturation, in my dryout experiments with various Noodler's inks, and a few others, I did not find that the increasing concentration did anything. Historically, the saturation of inks was more at issue with respect to ink flow and "clogging", not so much with sac failure. I think in this context it would be a correlation only, not the causative factor. There may be more of this, that, or the other that gets added to the ink in order to achieve good flow when saturation is high.
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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    1. I gather that pH *ALONE* is not the only factor but I also imagine extreme readings such as the rather severe alkaline readings of Asagao are not helpful.

    2. Die load: Ron Zorn claims that diluting highly saturated inks by 10-20% noticably helps prolong sac life.

    Perhaps ink saturation works at more at a "threshold" level like radiation.

    I don't know, all I can do is read the sources make a judgment for myself that I deem reasonable.

    You can get hit by a car crossing the street. That doesn't mean you live your whole life on one side. You take acceptable risks but I guess but in my case, since I like Waterman Blue I am good to go anyway.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    ..., since I like Waterman Blue I am good to go anyway.
    oh Stub. You seemed so reasonable until this bit about Waterman Blue...

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    at some point over the last 5 years I did read a post about someone who did a study with various sacs immersed in various inks, and, if I remember right, had only one failure over something like a three-month period. But I don't recall clearly and I don't remember who or where.

    I only own one pen with a sac and I only put black inks in it and the ink never stays in it for more than a month (I rotate my pens and keep them out of use more than they are in use). I am not afraid of any black ink in it cuz if it can't take 30 days of ink out of, say, a year, then the sac must be made of paper or the ink has toluene in it.

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    ..., since I like Waterman Blue I am good to go anyway.
    oh Stub. You seemed so reasonable until this bit about Waterman Blue...
    If you are hating on Waterman Florida Blue meet me after school in the back alley.

    I WILL FIX YOUR WAGON, (er, snorkel)!!


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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    9.6 pH is severe? We're talking about the pH of toothpaste or hand soap. I have no reason to doubt that Asa Gao is hard on sacs. I just don't think that's why. I think alkaline inks require different preservatives or different concentrations of preservatives. Maybe that's what it's all about, i.e. a downstream consequence of being alkaline.
    --
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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosea View Post
    9.6 pH is severe? We're talking about the pH of toothpaste or hand soap. I have no reason to doubt that Asa Gao is hard on sacs. I just don't think that's why. I think alkaline inks require different preservatives or different concentrations of preservatives. Maybe that's what it's all about, i.e. a downstream consequence of being alkaline.
    I'm no expert. I don't know.

    On the other hand ever have toothpaste in your mouth a really really really long time?

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    Default Re: "Harsh Inks"

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    On the other hand ever have toothpaste in your mouth a really really really long time?
    No, but I've had sac fragments in various "evil" inks for more than year in a more or less vain attempt to validate the claims these guys make on a regular basis. The only conclusion I could really draw from all that effort was that there might be something to it, but it turns out to be pretty damned hard to melt latex sacs with fountain pen inks when you're trying to. Maybe it's a "watched pot never boils" kind of thing.

    Your experience with Asa Gao is encouraging in its consistency, however. Once I read it, I started thinking of using the 1ml or so of Asa Gao I have left in a sample vial for another run. It might work this time. OTOH, I don't care anymore, especially since I regard Asa Gao as being pretty far down the list of favorite blues. I actually sold my bottle.
    --
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