How does India-rubber and ink-eraser erase pencil and ink marks?

Erasers have been making our lives easier for a very long time now. As the saying goes, once done, cannot be undone. But, fortunately, with erasers, we can not only redo it once but, in fact, multiple times. For different types of marks and stains, erasers of different materials are used, with India rubber being the most common of them.

India rubber erasers are quite an important part of any student’s stationery. These erasers are very versatile. Their basic use is to erase pencil or sometimes even pen marks. Surely, this product has changed the style of elementary school. It gives the learners a chance to go over their mistakes.

Almost every single person has used this product in their school life. But the real question is, how many of them understand the concept behind its function? How do these erasers work? Let’s discuss.

When India-rubber erases pencil-marks on paper or ink-eraser erases ink-marks on paper, or pumice-stone rubs out ink-stains on our skin, what happens is really the same thing in each case. These all follow a similar principle of the method. It is the rubbing, or the friction, that rubs away the outer layers of the paper or the skin, and in the process, removes every mark that they may contain.

While we’re at it let us see what friction is; it is a force that works in the opposite direction of movement. In this instance, this works against the direction of the eraser and removes the layers of paper.

Let’s discuss each type of eraser separately for easier understanding.

1. Soft India Rubber

Made of natural rubber, this type of eraser is used to remove pencil marks from paper. It cannot be used for pen marks or other sorts of stains. This rubs away only a small amount from the surface-layer of paper. This doesn’t work for pen marks but is strong enough to get rid of pencil-marks. The reason behind this is that pencil marks are not very stubborn. They only deposit a thin layer of carbon on the surface of the paper that can easily be erased with minimal friction.

2. Knife-Edge Rubber Eraser

This is a much stronger type of eraser as compared to soft India one. Just like other types, this eraser also acts on the principle of friction. That too, in the same manner. When you rub it on the paper, it removes a thicker layer of paper. Therefore, due to its stronger strength, it works great in eliminating ink-marks from paper.

But, why do the ink-marks need a stronger eraser? Well, ink is a liquid; it has the potential to penetrate deeper into the layers of paper. As opposed to just being on the surface layer like a carbon pencil. This penetration makes it harder to remove, and thus we require a stronger knife-edge rubber eraser.

3. Pumice Stone Eraser

Pumice-stone is the hardest material to be used as an eraser as compared to the rest. It is used to get rid of stains from our skin. Just like other types, this one also works on the forces of friction. To use this product, we rub our fingers with it, and it removes ink-stains that are otherwise very hard to get rid of.

Our skin tends to absorb stuff. When we spill ink and get stains on our hands, the ink is absorbed in our skin. Due to the irregular surface, it becomes challenging to clean these marks. India rubber or even knife-edge erasers could never remove the stains from human skin.

But, due to the hard surface and strong friction potential, the pumice stone eraser works efficiently for this purpose. It gets rid of all the stains, and as a side benefit, it exfoliates our skin too.

Now we know how an eraser works. But, let’s just imagine what our lives would have been without them. We cannot even imagine surviving a single school day without having them in our geometry box. And the fact that it works on a simple principle of science makes this invention even more praise-worthy.

How we can appreciate science in our day to day life is simply fantastic. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate this beautiful field and the great researchers who bring new products every day to make our lives easier.