Erasable pens have been here for quite some time but it isn’t as highly marketed as the other pens. Thus, the number of people familiar with this isn’t much high. When people first hear about removable inks, they’re mesmerized and why shouldn’t they be? It’s not common and pen inks are always considered lasting.
These pens can be quite useful for some and having one of these could be a fun way to spend some time. If you’re interested in knowing the underpinnings of an erasable pen as well as want to know about what they can be used for then this guide is for you. The hype for these is useless unless you know how they work.
How do erasable pens work?
Okay, let me make one thing clear to you – these pens are not actually erasable. But how these removing mechanism works is quite fascinating.
Let me start by explaining a little about how erasers remove pencil marks to make a solid ground for your understanding here.
What happens when you write with a pencil on paper? The graphite from the pencil creates markings on the paper and that’s what we see. When an eraser is rubbed on the graphite markings, the eraser actually doesn’t take the graphite away.
It removes some portion of the paper’s surface and that tricks us into thinking that the eraser is removing the pencil marks, which is actually a whole different case. It takes away the graphite containing paper bits. That’s basically the simplest explanation of how an eraser works with a pencil.
Now let’s come to talk about erasable pens. Are they similar to pencil erasers? Not entirely. They have similarities but work on a different principle.
Have you seen heat mugs? Did you notice they have a different print, color, or photo on them depending on the temperature of the fluid on the mug? That happens because of a type of rubber used there that changes color and creates hide and show an effect from differences in the temperature.
This is what happens with an erasable pen, too. The ink of an erasable pen consists of a color, a color temperature control mechanism, and a type of rubber. When you write with an erasable pen on a piece of paper it looks similar to a regular ballpoint or gel pens. But the main difference here is the temperature control mechanism.
As you scratch a piece of rubber on the erasable ink, the friction generates heat, which starts to change the color and finally, makes it transparent. What’s happening here is the color isn’t disappearing. The ink is there. What you wrote on the piece of paper is there too. But everything is transparent now.
If you use other sources of heat on the ink then the effect will be totally the same. It’s the heat that’s making the color transparent. The movement of an eraser isn’t playing a role here other than generating heat. That’s basically the gist of how these pens work.
But are these worth their popularity?
It depends. These are not for all. If you’re just curious about the science behind all these then maybe you can grab for yourself a piece. But should you use these regularly? To decide, keep reading the following points on why these can be chosen –
If you use pencils and erasers regularly then you know what happens every time you try to rub the pencil marking off the paper. There will always be some bits of pencil markings left as well as the removed paper sometimes can be clearly visible if you’ve rubbed multiple times on the same area.
Have you tried removing pen marks from paper? With an eraser it’s possible. Because erasers don’t remove the ink, they just take a thin layer off of the paper. But pen inks are strong and you’d have to rub much harder on the paper to take them off completely.
Doing so, it isn’t unlikely to see a paper getting a hole from over eraser scratching.
Erasable pens can be considered as the best of both worlds. The eraser doesn’t remove paper layers, nor does it leave bits of ink here and there. It’s making the ink transparent as much as possible. You can’t expect 100% transparency here but at least the ink won’t be easily noticeable even from a close look.
Temperature change = Fun
You can make science experiments with an erasable pen. To make the ink transparent: heat it up. Afterward, cool it down to make it visible again. This can be a super fun experiment for kids and adults alike.
Be careful about using these
Don’t use erasable pens for taking tests or for assignments. If the test papers are kept under a heated area the ink will get invisible and will make matters worse.
These are good for personal use or for some fun. It’s better if you stay away from using these in serious cases.
Though erasable pens aren’t as popular worldwide as they’re in Japan, they are one of the best and most fun inventions out there. Having an erasable pen can be a good way to create fun games by making colors transparent. Or maybe it might be useful for you if you’re someone who always makes writing mistakes.