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Did you know that there are four different types of pens in the modern world? These include ballpoint, roller, fountain and marker. For this issue, we will solely focus on ballpoint & rollerball pen.

A ballpoint pen dispenses viscous oil-based ink by rolling a small “ball”, usually 0.7-1.2mm and made of brass or steel.  The ink dries almost immediately on contact with paper.  It is reliable and inexpensive and has replaced the fountain pen as the most common tool for everyday writing.

A rollerball pen dispenses a water-based gel through a ball tip similar to that of a ballpoint pen.  The less-viscous ink is more easily absorbed by paper and the pen moves more easily across a writing surface.  This was initially designed to combine the convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth “wet ink” effect of a fountain pen.

Aside from testing its functionality and performance, we must also take into consideration about other safety measures. Each year, more than 20,000 people a year choke on pens and on average, more than 100 cases end in fatality.

SGS have an extensive network of experts throughout the world that possesses a vast array of testing protocols on EU & US client programs, ensuring that your product complies with all required regulations for different buyers in these markets.

As listed below, there are some tests or standards that are mandatory for both types:

Tests / Standardball pointroller ball
Cadmium Content                                              √
Organotin (Expressed as Tin)                                              √
Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF)                                              √
Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffin (SCCP) Content                                              √
Lead, Cadmium, Mercury & Chromium                                              √
Toxic Element Test (UK SI 2406)                                              √
Specification For Safety Caps & Specification For Closure (BS 7272)                                              √

However, different standards apply for Labeling & Performance Tests

tests / standardball pointroller ball
Labelling & Physical Characteristics ISO 12757-1 ISO 14145-1
Performance Tests ISO 12757-1 & EN ISO 9227 ISO 14145-1 & EN ISO 9227
For further information, please contact:

Mr. Kenji NG
t: + 852 2334 4481 ext. 1209 

Mr. Ronald TSE
t: +852 2334 4481 ext. 1813

Mr. Toby LEE
t: +852 2334 4481 ext. 1805

Get a Copy in PDF version: General Requirements and Test Methods for Ballpoint and Rollerball Pen

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.