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|Pelikan Level 5 Stub!
More Nib images from a Scanning electron microscope
By Bruce Robinson

The following article shows some SEM images of a Pelikan Level 5 nib which was converted to a stub in Utah .

There are some features which may be of interest.

The pictures are "looking down at the inverted nib" images, which show some of the shape, but not all the three-dimensional effects.

The bright section is the "iridium", which like most modern pens contains no iridium, but is an interesting alloy of tungsten, ruthenium and nickel. An x-ray spectrum is shown below..

It is brighter as the heavier elements reflect electrons more strongly than the lighter elements of the bulk of the nib. The dark part of the nib is the basic stainless steel, and a spectrum showing Cr,Fe, and Ni is below.


Close up of level 5 nib showing hard alloy

The image above is a close-up of part of the nib, which shows the hard alloy, which has two (or more) distinct phases, with dendritic crystals growing in a matrix. There may be three phases, perhaps or just two. The brighter tungsten-rich crystals are probably harder than the darker matrix, so polishing has created some differences in height between the softer and harder material. This image, and some of the others show some defects in the original material of the nib (which may not have been exposed in the Pelikan original prior to stubbing). It also shows a few residual shaping and polishing marks. The bottom section of the nib does not touch the paper, only the end.

The stub was based on an original broad nib, and is a very pleasant "fine-stub", similar to or a bit narrower than the Pelikan Script 1.0 stub.

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