Basic chemistry

Why does an eraser erase the pencil ?

What is a pencil eraser made of?


Why an eraser erase the pencil ?

Composition of eraser and pencil
why eraser erase the pencil

Composition of eraser and pencil is listed here. Even if the process looks rather soft, when it erases a line of pencil (or ink), the eraser literally tears the fibers of the paper.

A sheet of paper is made up of thousands of vegetable cellulose fibers, which are kinds of intertwined filaments. The surface of the sheet is rough.

Composition of eraser  and pencil

The pencils of a pencil is, in turn, made of graphite organized in thin sheets. When written on a sheet of paper, small amounts of this mine settle on the surface and get stuck in the mesh formed by the cellulose fibers .

The gum , in turn, is composed of rubber or materials plastic synthetic.

Erase a pencil line

Let us first remark that the material which composes the rubber adheres readily to the graphite which constitutes the mine. In addition, when rubbing the gum on the paper, it spreads the fibers and can tear them up. Graphite is released and sticks to the gum. The residues of rubber, graphite and paper form the peels that are then swept away with a backhand.

Erase a stroke of ink

A line drawn in ink from a ballpoint pen differs from a pencil line in that the ink colors the paper by diffusion . To erase it, use the blue end of the eraser. It consists of fine particles of pumice stone that will allow to damage the paper a little more during the rubbing and to remove the part of the paper which has been tinted.

An eraser is much more effective because it acts by chemical reaction . The ink remains on and in the paper but becomes colorless.

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