Facing the automotive challenge

24 October 2005

Automotive leather has become a worldwide trend creating new challenges for the retanning and fatliquoring of leathers that need to meet the highest standards, ie fogging, VOC, heat and lightfastness, density, elongation, softness, odour, migration, free formaldehyde, hazardous substances etc. To meet all these requirements, Clariant have developed several new retanning agents and fatliquors. Grain tightness and empty flanks are important issues with regards to the cutting yield. Amino resins are normally used but have a tendency to produce a high amount of free formaldehyde and this has limited their use. Clariant's Tergotan ARF (RD01 016) powder gives an extremely low free formaldehyde content whilst retaining all the properties of an amino resin. Fullness and roundness is a must in order to highlight the natural characteristics of leather. Sandotan SCU liquid is a sulphone-based retanning agent, specifically designed for chrome-free leather with improved fullness, grain tightness and softness. Combining with Tergotan TSP (RD04 001) liquid, an organic resin of an ester copolymer, will help to further improve grain tightness, keeping a full, brilliant dyeing. Density, light and heat resistance is an extremely important key point for automotive leather. Here, fatliquors play a decisive role, not only giving the leather the necessary softness and handle but also by achieving the highest standards of density and light and heat resistance. Derminol ALE liquid will help to fill this characteristic together with a tight fine grain on both chrome and chrome-free leathers. Short processing times are desired, but the quality and aesthetic properties of the leather should remain intact. Derminol COA liquid is a combined neutralising, retanning and fatliquoring product that allows very short processing times and simple recipes without compromising the leather characteristics. For shoe upper leather, Melio 11 L 25 is suitable for classic, hand-sewn and brush-off corrected grain leathers. The product offers a tight grain with a smooth surface and an excellent cover. It has very high flexometer values and prevents the development of orange-peel. Bavon Oil WR-601 is an oil and wax for water-resistant pull-ups on water-resistant crust. It is a soft finishing oil that can be used on different pull-up articles. The product maintains Maeser/Penetrometer values and provides a gentle pull-up with a slight darkening of the surface. It maintains the natural look of the leather and lends an elegant, rich and silky feel. Bavon Wax WR-653 is a soft finishing wax, mainly for water-resistant crust. It can be used for different pull-up articles and maintains Maeser/Penetrometer values. It offers a strong pull-up effect, helps darken the surface and has a rich, luxurious silky-wax feel. Aqualen Top LN.A is an environmentally-friendly solution for high gloss finishes. The end product is similar to classic patent leather and is very glossy and has excellent filling properties. It is compatible with other dull Aqualen topcoat products and offers superior fastness properties when crosslinked with Aqualen AKU. It is possible to achieve a 'wet look' by using an appropriate basecoat and is suitable as a high gloss intermediate coat for brush-off effects. There are also two new additions to Clariant's Aqualen range of aqueous top coats. Melio 09 P 43.A is a fast, high performance top coat duller with a superior hydrolysis performance. It offers an excellent abrasion resistance and generates intensive shades, including jet black. Melio 09 L 34 is a clear, high performance acrylic for top coats for use on high wear top coats as it offers very high abrasion resistance and excellent hydrolysis resistance. It forms a very smooth film and is particularly suitable for automotive use.

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