In recent times, whiteboards have emerged as a staple piece of equipment, especially for instructors. They are available in classrooms, and you can also find compact versions of whiteboards in homes to allow lecturers to teach remotely.
Due to this, it is no surprise that a whiteboard marker has been attracting more attention. This marker is available in various colours, with great contrast and high visibility. The best part about using one is that you can wipe it off the surface without any noticeable residue left on the board.
But what allows the ink present in whiteboard markers to possess this property? Before diving into its working, let’s look at how they are different from permanent markers.
Understanding a Permanent Marker
The primary difference between these markers is the kind of polymer that each of them utilises. To elaborate, permanent markers use an acrylic polymer that is responsible for the pigment sticking on the surface. On the other hand, whiteboard markers use an oily silicone polymer.
A permanent marker is composed of three elements – a colourant, a resin, and a solvent. The ink resin in permanent markers is non-polar, meaning it won’t dissolve in water. This is why permanent marker ink is removed using a non-polar solvent like acetone.
With the working of a permanent marker transparent, let’s analyse how a whiteboard marker works.
The Principle Behind the Working of Whiteboard Markers
The whiteboard and its markers arose to substitute the traditional blackboard and chalk since they offered a far better option. For example, whiteboard markers were unaffected by water, unlike chalks, and were easier to wipe off from the board.
These markers targeted non-porous surfaces. This property allows them to work on other surfaces like mirrors, metals, and glass. Although their ink is very similar to a permanent marker, the primary difference is in the polymer used.
The ink comprises three elements – colour pigments, a chemical solvent, and a polymer. Since whiteboard markers use an oily silicone polymer, their ink is slippery and does not allow the coloured pigment of the marker to touch the surface of the whiteboard directly.
Due to this, you can wipe off this ink with relative ease from any non-porous surface. Not to mention, the solvent in the marker aids in the rapid drying of the ink. This leads to the ink getting attached to the surface instead of absorbed.
Moreover, these markers are targeted toward dry-erase whiteboards, which have a static charge to help the pigment stick better. But the issue is that these whiteboards may still hold some amount of pigment after multiple uses, creating a visible pattern of light pigments on the surface.
The most flexible part about whiteboard markers is that you can use them on any porous surface. So, these markers are the perfect fit for you if you are a doodling enthusiast or just someone who enjoys scribbling!
In addition, you can also purchase a whiteboard for your home to provide a perfect surface for these markers. After all, a whiteboard is not strictly limited to teaching purposes! Hoping this article helps you understand the fundamental differences between the two, how it works, and whether it’s the right fit for your purposes.