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The chemistry of correction fluid

Correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid that is used to paint over writing or painting errors. Before the invention of word processors, correction fluid was the easiest way you could correct a mistake in a handwritten document.

How does correction fluid work and who invented it?

Normally correction fluid is applied with the help of a brush. The fluid is designed to dry quickly the moment it’s exposed to air. As it dries, a thin white layer is formed over which you can write to conceal the error. Before the invention of correction fluid an entire document had to be discarded if a single error was made. The first versions of correction fluid were made by the founder of Liquid Paper, Bette Nesmith Graham in 1951.

Components of correction fluid

Correction fluid is made up of many chemicals but the main chemical it comprises of is titanium dioxide which gives it the white colour. The white pigment is dissolved in a volatile solvent that evaporates easily. The other chemicals which make up correction fluid are naphtha, petroleum and light aliphatic mixed with the initial chemical. Other ingredients include resin, mineral spirits, colorants, fragrance and dispersant. Correction fluid also contains volatile organic substances.

Unused correction ink thickens over a period of time and hardens to become unusable. This is why manufacturers always provide a thinner with correction fluid to retain its liquid state.

Harmful effects of correction fluid

It is very harmful to inhale correction fluid. It contains compounds that are harmful for your health.

Tags :     naphtha     Everyday Chemistry     Correction Fluid     Volatile Solvent     petroleum    


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