Is Technology Killing the Romance of the Pen?
May 19, 2011 § 2 Comments
We have taken delivery of the new Parker Sonnet Rose Gold fountain pen. On first sight it is quite stunning with its copper toned, brushed gold finish. Technically, rose gold is a gold with a higher copper content than traditional 18ct gold. The finish is the equivalent of a gold plated pen giving it colour and durability without the cost of pure gold.
Looking into the detail of the pen, however, reveals not even ‘gold plating’ but PVD! I have touched on this technology in my earlier blog ‘has your pen experienced magnetron sputtering’ where I highlighted the delightfully titled magnetron sputtering process. This is a colourful description of one of the processes used to produce the finish known as PVD or physical vapour deposition.
In the context of pens, the principle of PVD is similar to traditional electro-plating in that a fine coating of metal is applied to the components surface. However, PVD is a vaporisation-based system which involves the coating of the pen at an atomic particle level. In principle, the pen component is placed in a vacuum and the mineral to be used for the coating is blasted with a high-energy beam of electrons, vaporising the atoms on the mineral’s surface and firing them onto the component’s surface. The process is more precise than traditional electro-plating offering a more durable finish capable of retaining finer surface detailing.
Unfortunately, while this technology offers benefits to both manufacturer and customer, the name is rubbish! PVD, TVP, DDT, PVC. Can’t somebody come up with something that doesn’t sound like a plastic fly killer and restore at least some of the romance?