Leather chemicals manufacturer BASF will present “process innovation” at the APLF exhibition in Hong Kong (March 29-31) that it says will help its customers meet ecological requirements while enhancing product quality, especially for premium and automotive leathers.
This process innovation predominantly uses polymeric chemistry to avoid conventional syntans and vegetable extracts during wet-end processing, BASF said, adding that this results in “a simplified process with high light-fastness and dyeing efficiency, together with low residual monomers in the leather”.
Matthias Halusa, the company vice-president for leather chemicals, said in the build-up to APLF: “The landscape in the leather industry today is very dynamic. Performance and ecological requirements have become more demanding and sophisticated. Staying close to our business partners has helped us to customise our solutions to meet differing needs.”
In the premium leather segment, combinations of polymers such as Relugan RS, AG and Soft AP can help reduce the quantity of conventional process chemicals required, the company said, leading to lower water consumption and salt content in the effluent tanneries produce. Doing away with conventional fatliquors will also minimise carbon footprint, as the water processing temperature can be lowered by as much as 15°C.
It added that the overall solution also results in less chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in effluent, by up to 25%.
Visitors to APLF will also find that new automotive leathers applied with the latest polymeric solutions have significantly improved tear strength properties, BASF claimed. Using the next generation of top coat finishing with Astacin Novomatt DD and AR also results in what it referred to as “highly durable leather with a long-lasting matt finish”, and it said the leather also enhances consumer safety with lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fogging and odour.
The BASF booth will also feature valure technology, a transfer coating technique that can be applied to a wide variety of high-quality flexible substrates, including leather, to achieve surfaces “with a character that is soft, warm to the touch, and visually attractive”.