Is Ink Magnetic? 7 Facts You Should Know!

Natural ink is obtained from squid, octopus, and cuttlefish and has been used in pens, cartridges, MICR, etc., for centuries. Today, let us understand the magnetic property of ink.

Ink is paramagnetic and shows an attraction toward the magnetic field. The magnetic attraction is due to the presence of melanin. Melanin is a skin pigmentation denoted by the formula C18H10N2O4. The magnetic force imposed on the melanin tends to align it in the direction of the magnetic field.

Based on the chemical formula, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in melanin are diamagnetic, and only the oxygen element is paramagnetic. We shall discuss the magnetic behavior of different types of ink we use for various purposes in detail further in this article, covering all the facts.

Is pen ink magnetic?

The ink used to fill the ink pen is a mixture of dyes, water, stabilizing polymers, and additives. Let us discuss the magnetic characteristics of pen ink.

The pen ink is not magnetic and does not respond when placed a magnet near the ink. Well, it depends upon the type of mixture the ink is made up of, and the pen ink contains a diamagnetic solvent that weakly repels from the magnetic field; hence, it is not magnetic. It resembles octopus ink.

How to find if ink is magnetic?

We can easily recognize the magnetic material by placing the magnet toward it. Let us discuss if we can apply the same technique to tell about the magnetic behavior of ink.

We can identify the magnetic ink only when the magnetic dipoles get magnetized when electric signals are passed on the ink paper. If the ink contains ferromagnetic particles, it will attract the magnet when introduced closer to the magnet.

What is magnetic ink?

Magnetic ink is used in bank chequebooks, passbooks, currency, and financial documents. Let us discuss magnetic ink in detail.

Magnetic ink is an ink that contains particles having a magnetic characteristic and shows magnetic behaviour even in the absence of a magnetic field. Mainly, magnetic ink is composed of iron oxide particles that get magnetized while scanning or printing and align their dipoles in the field direction.

Magnetic ink is used to print MICR codes, IFSC codes, etc. As the ink gets magnetized on scanning, it decodes the information or code into characters, hence is used as the encoder. It also lasts for a longer duration without unfurling.

Is tattoo ink magnetic?

Different tattoo inks are made from ingredients like acrylic resin, glycerin, titanium dioxide, water, pigment, etc. Let us see whether tattoo ink is magnetic or not.

Tattoo ink is magnetic and gets magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field and during MRI scans. The magnetization of tattoo ink is because of the magnetic pigment concentration in the tattoo ink. Thus, the tattoo ink interacts with the magnet and absorbs energy from the surrounding.

Is printer ink magnetic?

The printer ink comprises carbon, resins, pigments, and additives. Let us see whether these ingredients make the printer ink magnetic or not.

The printer ink is nonmagnetic and has zero magnetic strength because of the presence of carbon which is diamagnetic that cancel out the magnetic behaviour of all the ingredients in the printer ink. The printer ink has no magnetic dipoles that show any interaction with the magnetic field.

Ink pen by Th145 (CC BY-SA 2.0 DE) from Wikimedia Commons

Is iron gall ink magnetic?

Iron gall ink is a purple-black and brown-black ink, also known as oak gall ink. Let us now discuss the magnetic behaviour of iron gall ink in detail.

The iron gall ink is magnetic because it is made up of iron salt, which holds ferromagnetic properties. It is produced from oak galls, hence the name oak gall ink, tannic acids extracted from vegetables, and gum, with the addition of iron sulfate, which makes it magnetic.


We can conclude with this article that depending on the ingredients added to the ink, it can be magnetic or nonmagnetic. The ink is magnetic if it contains melanin and ferromagnetic particles like ferrous sulfate and iron oxide. The diamagnetic solvent added to the ink reduces the magnetic strength of the ink.

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