A paper clip (or paperclip) is a tool used to hold sheets of paper together, usually made of steel wire bent to a looped shape (though some are covered in plastic). Most paper clips are variations of the Gem type introduced in the 1890s or earlier, characterized by the almost two full loops made by the wire. Common to paper clips proper is their utilization of torsion and elasticity in the wire, and friction between wire and paper. When a moderate number of sheets are inserted between the two "tongues" of the clip, the tongues will be forced apart and cause torsion in the bend of the wire to grip the sheets together. They are usually used to bind papers together for productivity and portability.
Paper clips usually have an oblong shape with straight sides, but may also be triangular or circular, or have more elaborate shapes. The most common material is steel or some other metal, but molded plastic is also used. Some other kinds of paper clips use a two-piece clamping system. Recent innovations include multi-colored plastic-coated paper clips and spring-fastened binder clips.
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