Capillary action is the ability of liquids to flow in a narrow space without the help of external forces such as gravity. This is actually why pens leak how the ballpoint pen works in the first place. When the tip comes into contact with the fabric, capillary action will tend to pull the ink out and spread it.
Here are the main reasons why pens leak
* Temperature change: When the temperature rises, the pen often leaks. For example, people tend to walk with a pen in their shirt pockets. However, the human body will increase the heat of the ink liquefaction and push it to the nib or end of the pen according to gravity. No matter how well you cover it, temperature plays a vital role when it comes to pen leakage.
* Capillary action: If you have ever noticed, sometimes the ink from the fountain pen spreads when it comes into contact with paper or fabric. What actually happens is that the ink is pulled out to the surface it touches (and is absorbed in the case of the fabric) without gravity or external force. This is called capillary action. In fact, this happens even when the nib is pointed upwards when it is placed in a shirt pocket.
*Scratches on the tip: If a person writes at too large an angle with a pen, the part holding the ball will wear out on paper. Therefore, if the tip is scratched, the ink may leak out. The ballpoint pen transfers the pen’s ink to the paper by rotating the ball on the paper. For this reason, it is ideal to write at an angle greater than 60° when the ball rotates.
*Manufacturing defects: Many people may not believe it, but defects are a common cause of pen leaks. This is especially true when you choose cheap, high-quality pens, which are not designed to last. However, this varies from brand to brand. Of course, the heating and placement conditions are significant, but sometimes this is also due to the caliber of the pen. Therefore, when it comes to pen leakage, defects play a certain role.
*Destruction of the tip: The tip has a very delicate structure, in which a thin ball is assembled at the tip of a thin metal tube. Therefore, even if you use a pen to penetrate an object or drop it from the nib to the floor, the nib will be damaged. Of course, if it is deformed and the ink starts to leak, you shouldn’t be surprised. Indeed, it is important to know how the leak occurred. However, this is only part of the solution. Here are some simple ways to combat leaks:
*Positioning: As a general rule, using the correct location to store your pen goes a long way in preventing accidental leaks. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended to store them horizontally at home or vertically, if they are in your pocket. Keeping the nib down is asking for trouble. If you carry them with you, it is recommended to place them horizontally in the box.
*Storage: In order to avoid accidental leakage, it is also important to store the pen correctly. It is best to keep it in a cool space at home and avoid heat and high temperature, because heat can cause the air in the pen to expand and force the ink to flow out. The pen should also be capped and retracted. When storing safely, you should not have any problems unless the problem lies in the pen itself.
Different types of pens and their leakage methods
*Leaking ballpoint pen
The first reason is body temperature. As the pen heats up, the ink liquefies, which allows it to ooze from the tip. The small grease plugs in the ink reservoir will also liquefy, which means that ink may flow out from both ends. Keep in mind that this can happen in hot weather and when the pen is stored on your person. Secondly, the capillary action that is the core of the ballpoint pen’s function means that when the pen comes into contact with the fabric, the ink will be pulled out of the pen and absorbed into the fabric. This can happen, despite and against the law of universal gravity, so it will happen at any angle-even if the tip of the pen is pointed upward in the shirt pocket. Unfortunately, ink spreads particularly well in fabrics. Personally, I carry my ballpoint pen in my handbag with me and have never had any leakage problems. However, it is recommended to store them vertically (and cover or retract them).
*Roller ball pen leaks
Due to their function, the ink in ballpoint pens is thinner than ballpoint pens. It is usually a water-based ink, which is more similar to the ink used in fountain pens than ballpoint pens. The combination of this ink and the nib provides a usually smoother writing experience. However, because the ink is thinner, it is more likely to leak than a ballpoint pen when exposed to heat. That being said, you shouldn’t have any problems when you are away from heat storage. Store these pens vertically where possible and always cap or retract them.
*Leaking fountain pen
Fountain pens are known for leaking water, and modern fountain pens are much less likely to leak water than early fountain pens. In fact, in general use, a fully functional pen will not leak. If your fountain pen leaks, it needs to be repaired. Keep in mind that a little bit of ink on the nib is relatively common, and there is nothing to worry about—this is called “nib creep” and does not affect the function of the pen at all.