Evaluation of (Re)tanning Effect of Leather Chemicals

Royal Smit & Zoon is continuously researching sustainable alternatives to leather testing, for the development of new products. Our scientists examine the use of a model to test new products, in order to save large amounts of leather and avoid the disadvantages of inevitable variations and non-standardised wet-end recipes encountered in regular testing on real leather.

You can read more about our ongoing research into sustainable alternatives in our published whitepaper.

In the large portfolio of retanning chemicals, it is important to distinguish between the effect of different chemicals on leather in order to effectively develop new products that can deliver differentiated functionalities. However, the traditional route for such a process is, very tedious and costly due to the fact that 1. Tests need to be done on leather, which is a natural material that presents inevitable variations making comparison tests rather difficult to reproduce; 2. Reliable results require large amounts of starting material (leather) and work since full wet-end recipes need to be applied for each set of tests; 3. Wet-end leather application recipes are rarely standardized in a simplified manner to ensure that the obtained results will have a real predicative character.

In order to effectively and efficiently screen newly developed leather chemicals in a less costly manner, we set out to develop an affordable, standardized model system that can simulate the natural substrate of leather. and accompanying analytical tests that can provide direct correlations of what can be expected when certain retanning chemicals are applied.

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