I don’t own a moleskine so I can’t verify it, but Joe from engraveyourbook.com claims that he had a ‘organic chemistry test’ done on a piece of the cover that informed him that it was composed of vinyl (PVC).
PVC fumes are highly toxic to breathe in and are also damaging to laser engravers’ innards. So if you are in the business of laser-engraving them, you may want to hold off until the safety (or toxicity) is verified.
Note that having a laser-engraved moleskine is probably not so bad, just wash it off to make sure there’s no dust left.
[note: if you have a moleskine, you can try ‘pulling’ a corner. If it stretches, its almost certainly vinyl.]
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I would like to note that PVC itself is not toxic–even fine PVC powders pose little to no threat. Rather, the fumes and smoke from burning PVC may contain toxic compounds.
(This isn’t a contradiction, but is instead more of a clarification…)
thanks for the clarification. for some reason i thought that since the fumes were not so good, that dust particles were not too hot either, but now i remember that its actually chlorine gas not particulate matter that’s toxic.
either way, the final product is safe, its the process that isnt too awesome.
Here’s the scoop on lasering moleskines:
Moleskine covers have PVC in them. PVC (aka Polyvinyl Chloride, aka vinyl) gives off chlorine gas when burned (lasered). However, when chlorine gas mixes with hydrogen (like in the air) it creates vaporized Hydrochloric acid. There is air in your laser (obviously), thus the reaction happens as soon as the material is lasered. It will be corrosive to the inside of your laser, especially the lens (since the lens is closest to the engraving surface).
There’s a way to check for the PVC (chlorine) content of any material, check online for a cool video that goes into checking for chlorine for laser material.
I m a laser etcher. I m looking for the “cool video that goes into checking for chlorine for laser material” mentioned above !