Write lifetime testing

Write Lifetime TestingWe have a used a machine test system to discover how far different makes and types of ball point pens can write. Each of these tests is conducted under the same conditions which include the paper surface, the downwards force applied as well as the writing speed and acceleration.

 

We found the longest contour length recorded using just one pen was just over 2000m whilst the shortest was 0m as not every pen works out of the box! You will be familiar with scribbling with a ball point pen to get it to work. The human feedback in handwriting is a significant aspect to the use of a ball point pen. A machine system is less forgiving.

 

Average contour length for each type of pen

 

The graph shows the average contour length for each type of pen

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

The average contour length for all the pens tested was just over 900m. For some brands the contour length was almost half this length whilst for others the contour length was 50% more than the average. The consistency of contour length was quite varied for some brands and very consistent for others.

Now whether a ball point pen writes 2000m or 900m might not mean much to you. To help with this we have calculated the contour length of some every day writing tasks and these are listed in the table.

This means a 900m pen can write 5,114 phone numbers whilst a 2000m pen can write 11,363, while for letters the 900m pen can write 169 and a 2000m pen can write 375!

Task

Length (mm)

Signature

145

Phone Number

176

Name

296

Email Address

306

Address

847

Christmas Card

927

Sudoku Puzzle

1387

Crossword Puzzle

2576

Postcard

2701

Letter

5332

This research involved Professor Geoff Mitchell (CfAM) and has been funded in part by BIC.

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