A correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid applied to paper to mask errors in text. Once dried, it can be written over. It is typically packaged in small bottles, and the lid has an attached brush (or a triangular piece of foam) which dips into the bottle. The brush is used to apply the fluid onto the paper.
Before the invention of word processors, correction fluid greatly facilitated the production of typewritten documents.
Thinner originally contained toluene, which was banned when it was shown to be carcinogenic. Later, it contained 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, a skin irritant now widely banned under the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, and then the slightly safer trichloroethylene. Thinners currently used with correction fluid include bromopropane.
To avoid the inconveniences of organic solvents (safety and availability), some brands of fluid are water-soluble. However, those have the disadvantages of a longer drying time, and incompatibility with some inks (which will soak through them).
More recently, correction fluid has become available in pen form; the pen is spring loaded and, when dabbed onto the paper, releases a small amount of fluid. Compared to the bottled form, the pen allows a more even and thin application, and is less prone to drying out (since only a tiny surface is exposed during application) or clogging.
Generally, "Liquid Paper" and "Wite-Out" are used in the United States, Canada and Australia, while "Tipp-Ex" is used in Europe. Twink is the leading brand, and colloquial term, for correction fluid in New Zealand. In the US, White-Out and in the United Kingdom, Tipp-Ex are used widely as a colloquialism for correction fluid, and is probably the more prevalent term. In the English-speaking Caribbean the term "White-paper paste" is used.
Many brands offer "original" and "solvent free" (water-soluble) varieties, along with colored varieties for use on colored paper.
Publication No. EP2100749 Published on Sep. 16, Assigned to Widetech Manufacturing for Foam Tip Correction Fluid Applicator (Malaysian Inventor)
Sep 18, 2009; VIENNA, Austria, Sep. 18 -- Chin Cheng Quah, Malaysia, has developed a correction fluid applicator with foam tip. The patent has...