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What is a Whiteboard

A marker board is a name for a glossy surface (usually white in color but is sometimes found in black) for use of dry erase or wet erase non-permanent markings. Whiteboards became popular in the mid-1990s and are now commonly found in schools, hospitals, conference rooms, business offices, and even homes. There are four commonly used materials for the surface: Melamine which is a resin-infused paper used over a substrate like hardboard, particle board or MDF. Melamine board is the least expensive and lowest quality dry erase surface available. Hardcoat laminate is another resin like dry erase surface that is often less porous and highly resistant to staining unlike a typical melamine surface. Painted steel or aluminum surfaces are generally a multiple layer of coatings made up of a base coat in color and a clear coating that is the dry erase component. The paint varies from electron beam cured, UV, or other types of coating systems. These boards generally have good quality dry erase properties and the steel type are magnetic and allow the use of magnets. The best quality surface is porcelain enamel-on-steel. This is a ceramic (glass) fired coating on steel. These are the most durable, longest lasting, least likely to stain or ghost, and highly scratch resistant. Porcelain dry erase boards do not absorb marker ink and are magnetic. Since it is glass, the porcelain surface can be cleaned with any non-abrasive cleaner like Expo whiteboard cleaner, Windex® (or generic glass cleaner), or even isopropyl alcohol for stubborn markings.

Dry Erase Board Calendars - Magnetic vs. Non-Magnetic

Whiteboard calendars are a great product for planning, scheduling, and organizing purposes. They are most frequently used in schools, hospitals, government agencies, business offices, and even homes. It is often asked why buy a magnetic dry erase calendar versus a non-magnetic one. Well, here are a few reasons why magnetic is considered the better choice. Most recognized would be that the magnetic dry erase calendar is more versatile because of it's ability to accept magnets which can be used for planning and organizing. A magnetic markerboard is generally manufactured using a steel face sheet that is treated with a porcelain or similar enamel coating which is baked on to harden and cure allowing one to use dry erase or even wet erase markers. A non-magnetic dry erase board is made of a hardboard type product that is painted or coated and then dried to cure and harden. Another pro for the magnetic dry erase calendar is that it is more durable and longer lasting, primarily because of the steel and the enamel coating. And finally, another key reason a magnetic dry erase board calendar is better than a non-magnetic one is that it is resistant to what is called in the industry as "ghosting". This is when writing on the board is erased but is still faintly visible on the face of the board. Some non-magnetic dry erase boards are very difficult to clean and maintain because of problems like this. So all in all, better quality, longer lasting, and easier to use.

How to Clean your Dry Erase Board

Most whiteboards are very easy to clean and maintain if you follow these few guidelines. Many porcelain dry erase boards may be delivered with a protective film on the surface to protect it during transit. This film must be removed prior to use. We recommend using a utility knife and carefully tracing around the inside edge of the trim around the entire perimeter of the board. Once this is complete, carefully peel the film back and away from the board. In order to ensure that your surface will function properly, it is extremely important to properly clean the board prior to its initial use. Using a clean, dry cloth and a non-abrasive liquid cleanser (Window or generic glass cleaner), gently clean the entire board to loosen any residue from the board. Then use a dry cloth to wipe clean the entire surface to remove all dirt and residue from the previous step. Next, using clean water, rinse the entire board and then with a dry towel wipe the entire board dry. The rinsing and drying steps are extremely important and if ignored may cause underperformance of the product. Porcelain whiteboards are much like glass and can be maintained in a similar fashion. whiteboards can be cleaned as often as required and will not be damaged as long as the proper cleaning methods are used. Here are a few tips to keep your board in optimal condition. We recommend only cleaners that have been tested to work on our dry erase products such as our #683 board cleaner, Expo whiteboard cleaner, or Windex (or generic glass cleaner). TEMP or isopropyl alcohol may be used to remove stubborn build-up caused by repeated use (recommended to use moderately).Please note that cleaners that are not recommended may leave a residual film that may cause the whiteboard not to function properly and result in customer dissatisfaction and may also void the warranty of the product. All dry erase markers will write legibly on our board but may not erase properly due to their composition. We recommend the use of our markers, Expo brand markers, or a similar solvent-based marker. If you use your board daily, we recommend that you clean the surface at least twice per week. In addition, it is important to know that leaving ink on the board for an extended period of time can lead to "ghosting". We recommend that you erase your whiteboard on a regular basis. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to clean your board following the steps outlined above to return the surface to its original condition. If someone accidently uses a permanent marker on a porcelain dry erase board, all is not lost. One trick would be to write over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker and then erase it. Generally, rubbing alcohol also works to remove permanent marker from a dry erase whiteboard.

How Cork is Made

Cork is composed of suberin, a hydrophobic substance, and because of its impermeability, buoyancy, elasticity and fire resistance, it is used in a variety of products (most common is wine stoppers). Cork consists largely of empty space because of its honeycomb-like structure. Its density is one-fourth that of water. Uses of cork consist of flooring material, shoe insoles, roofing panels, gaskets, safety helmet liners, bottle and wine stoppers, dartboards, bulletin boards, and cores for golf balls and baseballs. Cork is harvested from the cork oak tree, most commonly found in southwest Europe and northwest Africa. Cork is extracted only in summer months when the cork can be separated from the tree without causing permanent damage. When the tree reaches 25-30 years of age and about 24 inches in circumference, the cork can be removed for the first time (the first harvest almost always produces poor quality cork). Subsequent extractions usually occur at intervals of 10 years, though it can take up to 13 years for the cork tree to reach an acceptable size. Harvesters use a sharp axe to make two types of cuts : one horizontal cut around the plant (called a crown) at a height of about 2-3 times the circumference of the tree, and several vertical cuts called rulers or openings. To remove the cork from the tree, harvesters push the handle of the axe into the rulers. The sections of cork that is removed from the tree are called planks. The planks are then dried, washed, and cured over weeks or months to make the cork softer and more flexible. The best quality material is used to make natural cork products like wine stoppers. The poorer quality material may be ground and used to make composition or agglomerated cork often used to make floor tiles or corkboards.