Formaldehyde-free melamine resin - Smit & zoon’s Safetan range

18 July 2016

Well known throughout the industry, Smit & zoon develops and produces chemicals used in the manufacturing and finishing of leather for shoes, cars, furniture, clothes and bags. As it increases its Safetan range, Leather International profiles what this newest addition can do for leather articles.

Safetan MW 005 is the fourth member of Smit & zoon’s Safetan range. It is an innovative, completely formaldehyde-free amino resin that really makes the difference when producing formaldehyde-free waterproof leather articles.

Safetan MW 005 addresses the strict need to meet uniformity of waterproofness, the requirements for formaldehyde-free processing and the upgrading of grain tightness.

A strong-filling and tightness-giving resin, Safetan MW 005 acts positively on the waterproofing process, showing no negative interaction, where conventional products show undesired interactions with the waterproofing agents applied.

Apart from its formaldehyde-free special chemistry and the incremental properties of grain tightness, MW 005 increases the possibilities for effective retanning of waterproof leathers and a wide range of other applications. The advantages of Safetan MW 005 are:

  • improved waterproofness uniformity and consistency in term of Maeser values
  • the degree of waterproofing in the looser-structured parts, where this class of products preferably and most effectively acts, is notably increased when Safetan MW 005 is applied
  • uniform grain tightness without overloading the grain and underlying fibres
  • increased intensity of dyeing.

Safetan MW 005 can be applied at various stages of the retanning process, yet optimal performance is obtained based on a different application per article. In all cases, however, a very even degree of through-neutralisation – not necessarily at a high pH level – is a prerequisite before applying the resin.

Performance results

The recommended application of Safetan MW 005 is not limited to its use during the processing of waterproof leathers, and can be used for a variety of articles where additional filling and maximum use of dyestuffs are desired.

Safetan MW 005 can be applied for shoe uppers in quantities of 2–5%, whereas the applied quantities depend on the specific needs of the material chosen.

Softer articles with milling pebble benefit from Safetan MW 005’s additional filling of less compact structures: smaller quantities suffice and it is recommended to apply 1–3%.

Safetan MW 005 is a very suitable retanning agent for quality upper leathers ranging from formaldehyde-free waterproof shoe uppers, children shoes and soft-calf nappas to furniture upholstery or garment leathers. Compared with common retanning resins, Safetan MW 005 does not harden the corium fibre structure, and keeps the grain supple and elastic. The filling of the loosely structured areas ensures a full and round body of the whole hide or skin.

Safetan MW 005 is based on a higher degree of renewable raw materials than comparable products. Its targeted use in the production of waterproof leathers improves the conformity of their properties and thus contributes to a reduction in the rejection rate of a valuable natural resource. Moreover, Safetan MW 005 is a completely formaldehyde-free retanning agent that neither requires any harmful substances in its production process, nor releases them into the environment during the leather’s life cycle.

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