Press Releases

2016-08-04

Sustainable leather production with no compromises on quality

LANXESS at the 2016 All China Leather Exhibition, August 31 to September 2, Shanghai New International Expo Center, Hall 2, Stand E03

Company presents technologies for waterproof leather, anti-soiling topcoats and crust leather

Cologne/Shanghai -

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS provides one of the most extensive portfolios of leather chemicals. At the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) taking place in Shanghai from August 31 to September 2, 2016, the company will showcase its products, processes and systems for the efficient and sustainable production of a wide variety of leather articles. “This year, our trade fair exhibit focuses on new developments for the manufacture of waterproof leather products, a new fluorine-free product for anti-soiling topcoats and a modular system for sustainably produced crust leather,” says Luis López-Remón, Head of the LANXESS Leather business unit (LEA).

Suitable for outdoor activities

LANXESS has developed Levotan W, a functionalized silicone-containing micro emulsion for the production of waterproof leathers. It is easily dispersible in the float and can be homogeneously incorporated in the leather to promote even dyeing. It can be used, for instance, for the manufacture of lightweight upper leathers for hiking and golf shoes that are waterproof but still breathable, which translates into greater comfort. “Leather made with this product displays a fine grain, high water vapor permeability and a natural feel. Moreover, Levotan W yields high and reproducible measurements in both dynamic tests to Bally and Maeser, and static tests to determine water absorption,” states Dr. Thomas Brackemeyer, Head of Business Line Organic Leather Chemicals (BL OLC) in the LANXESS Leather business unit.

Lasting protection against soiling

In addition to its fluorocarbon-based anti-soiling additives, LANXESS now also markets a halogen-free product. Aquaderm X-Shield HPS effectively reduces the soiling of light-colored leather and improves its cleanability. It is applied as usual to the leather as a topcoat and adheres to the surface. “Light-colored leathers are still the trend, but they are a challenge for leather producers because soiling is more quickly visible on these color tones,” says Brackemeyer. “With our new anti-soiling additive, we now offer a fluorine-free alternative for achieving proven Aquaderm X-Shield protection. We see great potential for this sustainable innovation in the automotive, furniture and upper leather industries,” he says.

New modular system for sustainable crust leather

Crusts are open-pore, unfinished leathers. A new modular system is now available for so-called “green crust” leather, used to produce sustainable leather products. The system includes products, processes, competent support and on-site technical service. Named “X-Crust Technology” it further includes the enzymatic X-Zyme process for the beamhouse steps, developed together with Denmark-based Novozymes A/S, the global market leader in enzymes: using two microbially produced enzymes in soaking and liming considerably increase the quality of the hides, reduce the amount of waste and significantly improve the efficiency of the entire process. The easy-to-use kit also includes the chrome-free tanning material X-Tan, the highly concentrated, eutectic preservative U-Tec G for wet blue, wet white and vegetable-tanned leathers, and retanning materials from the Levotan X-Biomer line. The latter are based on biodegradable polymers that are derived from renewable raw materials and functionalized for retanning applications in a biotechnological process. With these products, chrome-tanned leathers can be produced that even meet the stringent technical requirements imposed on automotive applications and children's shoes, also with regard to rising demands and voluntary zero discharge standards.

Dr. Dietrich Tegtmeyer, Vice President Leather Industry Relations and Head of Global Product Development for Crusting at LEA, will be telling the leather industry more about this subject in his presentation, “X-Crust Technology – A conceptual approach to sustainable crust production” on August 30, 2016, in Shanghai at the Leather Forum Tannery of the Future.

Sustainable Leather Management for added sustainability

Sustainability has become essential in the leather industry. The demand for ecologically safe leathers is on the rise. In its Sustainable Leather Management program, LANXESS offers innovative technologies that more strongly support the production of sustainable, ecologically compatible products and processes in the leather industry, without making any compromises on quality. The company’s products offer measurable advantages when it comes to reduced emissions and a lower CO2 footprint, helping to save energy and protect the climate. In addition to more efficient production, processing and recycling, the objective is to manage the raw material and the associated waste even more responsibly. In its efforts, the specialty chemicals company already ensures compliance with the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MSRL) issued by the brand campaign for Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC).

For more detailed information on products and services for the leather industry, go to our website at www.lanxessleather.com.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.9 billion in 2015 and about 16,600 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through ARLANXEO, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, LANXESS is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.