Permanent markers are a type of marker pen that is designed to create permanent writing on an object. Generally the ink is waterproof and is capable of writing on a wide range of surfaces from paper to metal. The most common types of pen tips on permanent markers are bullet or chisel, however other types, such as fine liner tips, are available.
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Invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal, a permanent marker, unsurprisingly, is used to mark things permanently. Permanent markers, until the 1990's, were made using Xylene or Toluene. These chemicals provide a permanent effect but are hazardous and can sometimes damage plastic surfaces. Modern permanent markers now use an alcohol solvent such as ethanol or isopropanol. This has a number of advantages. It is certainly safer for the user, is more environmentally friendly, dries more quickly and also smells a lot better!
Permanent markers are designed to write on everything from glass, to metal, to stone. Generally the liquid is at least water resistant and some markers are designed to withstand boiling water (laundry markers), whilst others can withstand heat up to 400 degrees centigrade (paint markets).
Permanent marker pens come in a variety of tip sizes from, ultra fine to wide (0.5mm – 12mm) and usually come with either a chisel tip, allowing a choice of fine or broad lines, or bullet tip which has a rounded end for a more uniform line.
Most permanent markers aren’t necessarily permanent and can be wiped off using a cleaner containing ethyl acetate. Others can be removed by drawing over the marks with a dry erase marker, particularly if on a non porous surface such as a whiteboard as the dry wipe markers contain acetone.
Permanent markers have become very industry specific and specific ones have been designed for:
Laundry Markers - Boil proof labelling of textiles
Tyre Markers - Opaque lacquer finish in white for writing on rubber
Grout markers - Opaque lacquer finish for improving the colour of the grout between tiles
Industry Painter - Highly permanent colour paste ideal for writing on rough surfaces and rusty metals
X-Ray marker - Fine tip Radiograph marker for marking and lettering on X-Rays
Paint marker - For highly opaque marking of virtually all materials such as glass, plastic and metal. Used extensively by the Military
Permanent Markers Features to Consider……..
Tip - Permanent markers are available in either chisel tip or bullet tip. Chisel tip markers are ideal if you need to draw lines, they can create a thin line and a thick line thanks to the two sides of the chisel tip. Bullet markers are best suited to writing and drawing. A small number of markers have both tips, one at either end, however this is fairly uncommon and the choices of colour is limited.
Barrel - Barrels are manufactured from both plastic and metal. The advantage of metal being they offer more durability.
Colours -Permanent markers are available in single colour packs and also multi coloured packs. The most common colours are black, red and blue, however the choice of colours is vast and includes silver, gold and metalics.