Last year, Italian leather chemical manufacturers Biokimica SpA took a step forward in the development and creation of a number of new products. This has been aided by the completion of a new laboratory covering an area of about 750 square meters in the Santa Croce Sull’ Arno tanning region in Italy.

The laboratory is divided into wet-end and finishing and is equipped with more than thirty test drums, four spraying cabins, three rollercoating and two ironing machines. The new facility also includes a new physical testing laboratory, which has been updated to test new leathers thoroughly. The new facility complements Biokimica’s other laboratories in Ponte a Egola and Arzignano.

A number of new products were highlighted at the Tanning Tech show. For the beamhouse, they include the following:

Ecovit SH/F: The product answers both the latest ecological requirements and qualitative results required by finished leather products. This product has been developed from the Ecovit range (Ecovit SG/M, Ecovit SH, Ecovit SG) which has been designed as part of Biokimica’s low environmental impact liming system. The range includes hair save, partial hair burning and enzymatic liming treatments.

With Ecovit SH/F, it is possible to obtain very open leather, clear of any keratin residuals, using a reduced quantity of hair removing agents such as sodium sulfide. Ecovit SH/F is also a caustic free product thus reducing transportation problems and making storage easier.

Biobase: Biobase is a new basifying agent. It permits the tanner to basify the chrome float in total safety and can be used with high chrome exhaustion systems.

Biokimica have also introduced a number of retanning compounds. They are as follows:

Bioplem MC/ARREDO: A retanning compound designed for economic and quick production of upholstery leather. Bioplem MC/ARREDO can be used in percentages varying from 22-25% and has an affinity with the fibres, which allows complete uptake in a short time. Therefore, the retanning down time is reduced to three hours. The retanned leather is soft and lightweight with a pleasant odour.

Biotan BGM: A complete retanning agent which is particularly good for filling empty skins. It has been designed to be used on goat and sheepskins. It used in percentages varying from 3-5%, where it gives good fullness keeping the grain fine and elastic.

Houghto BN/1: A coadjutant for fatliquoring that is mostly used during retanning of soft articles such as sheepskin garment leather or softy upper leather. It is used in moderate quantities from 1-2% mixed with other fatliquoring agents. Houghto BN/1 provides outstanding softness and a very good touch without modifying the properties of lightness and resistance.