The leather testing and research facility funded by LIA and operated by the University of Cincinnati has completed its historic relocation. Now officially known as the Leather Research Laboratory, the organisation occupies a brand new, $1.6 million custom designed facility at UC’s new satellite campus.

Utilising the most modern construction techniques, the laboratory is specially designed for the demanding requirements of curent leather research and testing. Coordinated with the opening of this innovative laboratory was the installation of a new Atlas Ci3000 xenon arc Fade-ometer costing $40,000. This complements a broad range of specialised research and testing equipment purchased during a recent strategic service upgrade programme totalling $140,000.

The new High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) utilises a photodiode array detector, providing the highest possible degree of accuracy and assurance in the analysis of important organics such as microbiocides, formaldehyde, and glutaraldehyde. The industry-standard computer controlled material testing machine and new hydraulic clicker are housed together in a dedicated physical testing room electronically maintained with a high degree of precision at 72°C and 50% RH to ensure maximum test result reliability.

The new equipment line-up is completed with a Fourier Transfer Infra Red (FTIR), Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), and automotive leather fogging tester complete with SAE prescribed glassware washer. The flexibility and effectiveness of the building design is maximised with the inclusion of a modern seminar and training room, enabling multimedia classroom activities to be efficiently integrated with laboratory demonstrations and practical training in the small-scale tannery, which includes a new full sized hand-spray finishing booth.

This ends 75 successful years at the former laboratory dedicated to the US leather industry by 31st US President Herbert Hoover, and heralds the beginning of an exciting new era.