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The Stencil: Rockets and Tattooing

June 02, 2016

Last week, we dabbled in particle physics- thermographic printing relies on the radiation of energy and conversion of that energy from one form to another. But lets put down our particle colliders because this week we’re applying rocket science to tattooing.

Specifically, we’re talking fluid dynamics and tribology. It’s going to be weird.

Lets begin by defining our terms. Fluid dynamics is a branch of fluid mechanics, and people who study fluid dynamics look at the ways fluids and gases move. Tribology is the study of relative motion, specifically friction. There is a great deal of cross over between these fields, which we’ll get into in just a second. But what is important to remember is the study of both of these sciences is really complicated- researchers in these fields are basically the only reason human beings made it into space. But what do these two sciences have to do with tattooing? Only everything.

When two surfaces pass relative to one another, the force that resists that motion is friction. That resistance converts kinetic energy- or “work”- into thermal energy- or “heat.” If we were to rub our hands together, we would feel them warm up. That warming sensation is the conversion of energy, and it is all thanks to friction. Whenever motion with friction occurs (i.e. whenever two surfaces pass in relation to one another) heat is generated. Think about tattoo machines and needles. The motors inside rotary machines generate heat, but so do the needles themselves. As the needle penetrates the skin, the metal of the needle rubs up against various layers of the epidermis and across the top of the skin as you drag your needle groupings across the surface of your clients skin. This generates huge amounts of heat, which activates the nerves in your client and can cause edema and needle burn. But it isn’t just the solid objects that are experiencing friction. All physical objects experience friction when they move in relation to one another, including all fluids and gases.

This is where fluid dynamics comes in. As fluids flow or move outside a vacuum, they are passing through or along something else, which means friction is at play. And because “fluids” means liquids and gases, that means fluid dynamics and aerodynamics go hand in hand. Tattoo artists work with fluids all the time- inks, soaps, water. And the way these fluids interact with (for example) human skin, paper towels, or other fluids impacts how a tattoo turns out. Case in point: RED Tattooing Gel.

RED Tattooing Gel was designed to reduce drag coefficient to as close to 0 as possible and decrease skin friction drag by using a super smooth, super “slippery” surface lubricant. As we decrease the drag skin friction, the resistance to movement across the surface decreases as well. That means that the smoother a surface is, the less energy that is converted from kinetic to thermal. And RED Tattooing Gel creates the smoothest tattooing surface on the market. This means less heat is created, allowing artists to work longer sessions- your client experiences less pain because their nerves aren’t activated to the same degree. The type of silicone that we used in RED Tattooing Gel isn’t just super smooth; it is also a great conductor of heat. That means what little heat that is created thanks to friction is almost immediately drawn away from the skin and dissipated into the air.

But RED Tattooing Gel does more than just reduce friction. It increases ink flow rates across the surface of the skin, which dramatically improves saturation and decreases the number of passes that artists need to perform. This has to do with the coefficient of drag and the fluid characteristics of tattooing inks. But don’t take our word for it. If you haven’t tried it already, request your free sample of RED Tattooing Gel. Demand more from your tattooing products. Make them work for you.

As always, leave questions, comments, observations, or your favorite ASCII art in the comments or on our facebook and we’ll address them next week. And follow us on instagram to see how artists are getting more out of RED. 

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