China fi­nally makes a ball­point pen tip

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

It has eluded China for five years, but fi­nally the coun­try has de­vel­oped it: the tip of ball­point pens.

Mak­ing them re­quires high­pre­ci­sion ma­chin­ery and very hard, ul­tra-thin steel plates. Spe­cial mi­croele­ments must be added to liq­uid steel to make a qual­ity tip that can write con­tin­u­ally for at least 800 me­ters (2,624 feet), but the for­mula had long been kept a trade se­cret by for­eign man­u­fac­tur­ers, leav­ing im­ports the only op­tion for Chi­nese pen mak­ers.

With­out that abil­ity, China's pen­mak­ers who pro­duce 38 bil­lion ball­point pens have had to im­port the cru­cial com­po­nent from abroad, cost­ing the in­dus­try a re­ported $17.3 mil­lion a year.

Now state-owned Taiyuan Iron and Steel Co said it has mas­tered the pro­duc­tion of steel com­po­nents for pen tips af­ter try­ing for five years.

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