Exploding pen

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Rene T

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May 20, 2011
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Farmington NH
I started a new hobby last year making pen and pencil sets using a mini lathe. I made a set for a friend of mine and she gave them to her grandson for graduation. Now he's taking flying lessons. The other day he went up in the air flying and had the pen and pencil set in his flight bag. Apparently, the ink cartridge exploded leaving one heck of a mess. I know we have several pilots on the forum so I'm wondering if anyone has heard of this happening before.
 

RVfixer

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Aug 12, 2012
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Perhaps you were too good in your manufacturing.  Maybe you need a small hole in the pen body to let the expanding air out.  I don't think the ink supply exploded, I think a pressure built up inside the pen body and forced the ink out.  I flew for many years and always had a pen in my pocket also.
 
O

Oscar Mike

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During the time I was a student pilot, I always carried a couple of pens in my shirt pocket, no issues at all.
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
RVfixer said:
Perhaps you were too good in your manufacturing.  Maybe you need a small hole in the pen body to let the expanding air out.  I don't think the ink supply exploded, I think a pressure built up inside the pen body and forced the ink out.  I flew for many years and always had a pen in my pocket also.
Except as altitude increase pressure decreases
Reread and changing answer
There is no increase in pressure inside the pen body but a decrease in external pressure which creates a pressure differential which forces the ink out.
So for all intent RVFIXER is probably right about ink coming out because of pressure.
 

Rene T

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I don't believe pressure built up in the pen body. There is clearance around the pen tip where it exits the pen body so any pressure would escape there. 
Now the pen cartridge is somewhat sealed. I'm thinking that's what exploded or imploded.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Was it a fountain pen or a ball point?  There are basically 3 types of pens (Well 4 if you count the old fashion pens that you needed an inkwell every few letters, like a quill pen)

Fountains pens today use a sealed cartridge. I can see not an explosion but an "Discharge" of ink if air pressure is cut in half due to altitude.

By the way one of the two most important things in life isa positive Altitude
The other is a vertical Attitude.

Regular Ball Point. I don't see this happening.

Sealed pressurised "Space Pen" possible but doubtful.
 
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