Chennai – Specialty chemicals company LANXESS presented its comprehensive range of leather chemical products at the India International Leather Fair (IILF) in Chennai, India. On an exhibition space covering 135 square meters the Leather business unit showcased its extensive portfolio for manufacturing leathers for the footwear, clothing, furniture and automotive industries. This included mineral and synthetic tanning agents, preservatives, retanning and softening technologies, dyes and numerous finishing and upgrading products.
In addition to articles such as shoes, bags and garments, which demonstrate the versatility of leather in application and processing, LANXESS also presented a model of a unique on-site manufacturing to create value from by-products directly in the tannery. Another highlight of the trade fair was a presentation of innovative and patented technologies for the production of water-repellent through to waterproof leather.
“LANXESS not only offers a unique combination of state-of-the-art technologies from its own research, but also innovative retanning systems that enhance the quality of the end products. In combination with our worldwide, competent technical support, customers are able to process hides and skins into high-quality leathers,” says Dr. Thomas Brackemeyer, head of the Organic Leather Chemicals business line in the LANXESS’s Leather business unit.
Innovative retanning technologies
Fluctuating test results often lead to tanners using higher quantities of waterproofing chemicals than necessary to give a “margin of safety” above demanding specifications. Traditional waterproofing chemicals are based on fatliquoring agents, which means that offering excessive amounts causes other problems such as excessive softening of the leather. This increase in softness needs to be compensated, for example by adding more retanning agents. This in turn can increase the hydrophilic character, which needs to be compensated by adding more waterproofing agents, and so on.
With the correct beamhouse and wet blue processing and using fatliquor-free chemicals the waterproof performance can be optimized leading to savings in both time and costs. For this purpose, LANXESS’s portfolio comprises Levotan W and Levotan WRP which are both completely 100 percent fatliquor-free.
Waterproof with Levotan W
Levotan W is a patented functionalized silicone containing microemulsion. It can be used, with Levotan WRP, to manufacture all types of leather requiring waterproofing especially upper leather for example hiking boots and golf shoes but with high water vapor permeability, which translates into greater wear comfort. Leather made with this product displays a fine tight grain, light weight and a natural feel. Levotan W also yields high and reproducible results in Bally and Maeser dynamic tests as well as static water absorption. It offers high stability and avoids the risk of premature precipitation due to low pH, hard water or other electrolytes present in retanning, eliminating the risk of staining.
The system gives excellent dyeing properties, including a high level of color uniformity – across different batches and all kinds of hides and skins. The dyeing between flesh and grain is tone-in-tone, making it ideal for all types of waterproof leather, including nubuck.
Levotan WRP for medium to firm leather
Levotan WRP offers excellent product stability, even in cold water. It is indispensable for medium to firm leather and is even suitable for military applications articles with a tight grain. Even with relatively high application rates, the leather does not soften significantly. Levotan WRP has a very good penetration and distribution. Furthermore, an excellent, uniform dyeability is achieved. The treated leathers are characterized by a high filling, fastness and resistance to migration.
Unique on-site manufacturing plant for the production of
X-Biomer retanning agent
The Leather business unit at LANXESS has developed a production plant in cooperation with the Leverkusen-based research institute INVITE, with the aim of producing X-Biomer retanning agents from collagen-rich by-products that accumulate during leather-making and from organic biomass. The plant features a modular design and is intended for use directly on site and in place at tanneries. The practical tests are currently being conducted at the HELLER-LEDER tannery. A model of the plant is displayed on the LANXESS booth.
Patent leather is becoming increasingly popular
Patent leather is very trendy. LANXESS offers a range of new products for its production:
Baygen Compact HC EXP 2195 is a ready-to-use base coat compound for all kinds of patent leather finishes.
Baygen Compact HC EXP 2195 has a very good covering power, good fullness and low tackiness at stacking and during plating, together with very good adhesion and flex performance.
Baygen Hardener EH EXP 2205 is a polyisocyanate crosslinking agent for patent leather formulations in organic solvents imparting good flow and fastness properties. The product is specially designed for easy handling and for the use in combination with
Baygen TOP U 01 at an application ratio of 1:1. Such combination does not require the addition of any solvents for the application.
Bayderm X-TRA Gloss EXP 2246 is an aliphatic polyurethane dispersion used as a gloss component in aqueous patent and patent-like top coat systems. The product is commonly used as a sole binder in combination with suitable crosslinking agents and auxiliaries. Bayderm X-TRA Gloss EXP 2246 produces high gloss finishes with excellent transparency and very good physical properties.
Tomorrow’s leather trends – service for the leather industry
Twice a year, LANXESS presents the leather trends for the upcoming Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter fashion seasons, each with an eighteen-month lead time. In the collections, numerous leather samples are presented which reflect tomorrow’s trends in terms of colors, structures, feel and overall appearance. This service is a valuable aid so that designers, producers and suppliers can adapt to future trends at an early stage and transform them into creative, highly fashionable leather articles and trendy leather shoes.