The leather business unit of speciality chemicals company Lanxess is a leading provider of system solutions for the leather industry. The company’s portfolio comprises chemicals for all stages of leather production and Lanxess constantly offers innovations for all stages of leather manufacturing in order to best meet the challenges of the market. The leather chemicals portfolio is certified for ZDHC – Level 3.

Here are some examples that represent the very latest generation of products, which provide excellent beamhouse, tanning, retanning and finishing results.

Peltec X-Zyme SN is a newly developed, non-proteolytic soaking enzyme that ensures rapid removal of hyaluronic acid. Since Peltec X-Zyme SN has no proteolytic activity, it does not attack the collagen itself and is therefore also safe to apply in a prolonged soaking process. The product is applied in the soak at pH 9.0–9.8.

Peltec UEP EXP 4127 is a special liming enzyme that assists hair removal by loosening the hair roots, and thus the sulphide offering in the liming stage can be reduced. Peltec UNF EXP 4126 is a liming auxiliary free of amines and even free of nitrogen. It regulates the swelling during the liming process, leading to relaxed pelts with reduced growth marks and belly draw.

Peltec DAF EXP 4125 is a nitrogenfree deliming agent that does not contain any boric acid or boric salts. It disperses residual lime and promotes the removal of the chemically bound lime in the pelt by forming soluble salts, which can be easily washed out; thereby, the formation of lime blast on the pelts can be avoided.

Versatile products

Tanigan 3LF liquid is a unique syntan that is not only ideal for white leather with high light and heat yellowing fastness, but, due to its non-bleaching character, is also very well suited for dyed leather. It has a mellow handle with good tightness but low astringency, which provides excellent milling properties.

Tanigan UW is a new synthetic replacement tannin with very good light and heat yellowing fastness for the production of white leather. This product also imparts a tight grain and good fullness, together with a more mellow feel compared with traditional white syntans.

Retingan RLF is an anionic lightfast resin that provides strong selective filling properties and good grain tightness but with a softer handle. The low astringency gives a smooth flat grain. It is non-bleaching, produces full and brilliant dyeing, and is also suitable for white and pastel shades due to its good lightfastness.

Companies found to be breaking EU law by using chemicals in some products, including leather, that don’t properly follow legislation.

Levotan AT 02 is an aqueous acrylic retanning polymer for all types of soft leather, giving fullness and a pleasant mellow handle – it also improves the buffing and provides very good milling properties. Its slight bleaching effect also makes it ideal for white leather and pastel shades.

Levotan AM is a versatile amphoteric acrylic polymer for retanning of all articles including shoe upper, leather goods and automotive, imparting good tightness and very good fullness. Its amphoteric charge ensures rapid penetration, fixation and improves float exhaustion. It has much better dyeing yield than conventional polymers, and gives more intense and brilliant shades.

Levotan RV is a polymer-softening material specially developed to obtain a low VOC level. It reduces aldehydes (including acetaldehyde) and lowers the risk of chrome(VI) formation. In addition, it is particularly suitable for testing with heat pretreatment. It is ideal for the production of all kinds of chrome, chrome-free and vegetable tanned leather for the manufacture of all types of articles. Furthermore, it gives leather a lightweight character, a special silky feel and good dyeing properties.

Aquaderm Bottom LT is a medium soft aliphatic base and top coat PUD binder for high-performance leather such as automotive leather. Among other benefits, the product imparts low tack at embossing, together with excellent print retention and definition.

Poly-isocyanate cross-linking agents

Lanxess’s latest developments in the field of poly-isocyanate cross-linking agents are Aquaderm XL 1010 and Aquaderm XL 5010. In addition to imparting a very high level of physical properties, these products lead to a further reduction of VOC and/or smell, which is of high importance, particularly in automotive applications. While Aquaderm XL 1010 is virtually VOC and smell-free, Aquaderm XL 5010 offers a smell-free solution for applications where limited amounts of solvent are still required.

Another new product in the field of cross-linking agents is Aquaderm XL CD 40. This water-based and solvent-free carbodiimide cross-linking agent imparts enhanced physical properties, reduced tackiness at stacking and improved cut-through resistance during embossing.

A further vital product in Lanxess’ VOC/aldehyde reduction tool box is PRIMAL Fleshcoat AR-2 Emulsion. Applied as a flesh coat, this product greatly contributes to a significant reduction of undesired formaldehyde and acetaldehyde that may be emitted from leather.

Strongly solvent-reduced finishing systems require high-performing auxiliaries to ensure the best possible levelling of finishes. Aquaderm Fluid E is the latest member of the Lanxess range of flow agents with a strong levelling power for excellent physical properties.

Aquaderm Additive XF is a highly concentrated and BTEX-free high-performance silicone emulsion to meet the most stringent market requirements in terms of physical properties such as abrasion resistance. Lanxess has developed a new base coat auxiliary for all kinds of leather, particularly in countries with unfavourable climatic conditions like high temperatures and humidity. Euderm Filler M combines excellent covering power and dulling effect with a simultaneous reduction of tackiness. Furthermore, the product has a very good heat-yellowing resistance.

Eliminating unwanted VOCs

The trend of reducing and even eliminating unwanted VOCs from leather is not limited to automotive leather. Furniture upholstery leather is also driven by the important need to reduce solvents, as they are typically applied in, for example, intermediate embossing coats. The acrylic-based Hydrholac 3619 Emulsion offers an alternative to conventional intermediate embossing coats by reducing the tackiness of furniture leather at embossing.

Aquaderm X-Black CE is a highly efficient and fine-particle-size black pigment with a low-casein content for deep-black finishes, with excellent physical properties for many leather articles. Furthermore, the product contains no emulsifiers or dyestuffs that might lead to migration.

$217 million
Additional earnings from tariffs imposed by India on 28 US imports, including chemicals used in leather production.
Asia Times

The upgrading of leather finishing is sometimes like a walk on a tightrope – a balancing act between the best possible hiding of defects, and maintaining the natural look and feel of real leather. Applied by reverse coating, Euderm X-Grade BGS delivers the right compromise between these important requirements, enabling a high level of yield improvement, while maintaining the leather’s natural appearance.