Whiteboard Types – The first whiteboards were very expensive and were made of an enameled steel. Cheaper versions were then produced, including laminated chipboard, high-pressure laminates and steel boards with a white, usually polyester or acrylic, coating. Enameled whiteboards, also referred to as porcelain, and sometimes glass boards, have the advantage that markings can be erased completely; other materials tend to become stained over time. Enameled boards are more expensive and less used in commercial environments, but in more demanding environments with heavier use, such as educational establishments, porcelain boards are considered superior.
Other types of dry marker boards are also available, such as high gloss vinyl and coated paper, which can be rolled up, high-density two-part high gloss paints, glass and coated acrylics and polypropylene magic whiteboards which use static electricity to cling to walls, windows, and doors.
Clear marker surfaces, made of glass or specially coated acrylic, became available around the mid-2000s. They are generally manufactured from technical glass, e.g. for monitor screen filters, which is optically coated.
Whiteboard material can be bought in rolls, sheets, and pre-formed boards. Adhesive whiteboards come in either a sheet or a roll and feature a stick back enabling the user to create a custom size board or project with the material. Although adhesive whiteboard material does not come in a thick, hard glass or painted steel plate, the melamine allows for a flexible material while preserving the high-quality whiteboard attributes of other surface materials. Adhesive whiteboards allow for custom projects such as dry erase wall calendars, whiteboard tables, cupboard grocery lists, indoor games for kids, and more.
The whiteboard pen (also called a whiteboard marker or dry erasable marker) was invented by Jerry Woolf of Techform Laboratories and later patented by Pilot Pen in 1975. It is a non-permanent marker and uses an erasable ink that adheres to the writing surface without binding to or being absorbed by it. Applications range from temporary writing with acetate sheets (for use with overhead projectors) to whiteboards and similar glossy surfaces. The erasable ink does not contain the toxic chemical compounds xylene and/or toluene, unlike permanent markers.
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