Submitted to: Proceedings of American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2010
Publication Date: August 21, 2010
Citation: Liu, C., Latona, N.P., Liu, L.S., Ramos, M. 2010. Polymeric coatings containing mixed tocopherols to improve the UV and heat resistance of leather. Proceedings of American Chemical Society, Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering. PMSE Preprints. Pub no. 366. Technical Abstract: Hides are the most valuable coproduct of the meat packing industry. The US is the world’s 3rd largest hide producing country and currently produces approximately 35 million cattle hides annually. Hides are commonly tanned and processed into leather through many sophisticated chemical and mechanical operations. Leather products are constantly exposed to outdoor environments, therefore UV and heat resistance are very important qualities, particularly for non-chrome-tanned (chrome-free) leather. In recent years, we have addressed this problem and focused on an environmentally friendly finishing process that will improve the UV and heat resistance of leather. Tocopherols are well-known antioxidants commonly used in the cosmetic and food industries. Moreover, tocopherols have been reported as potent free radical scavengers and highly protective agents for collagen fibers against UV and heat damage. Our previous research on alpha-tocopherol showed that it significantly improved UV and heat resistance of leather. Mixed tocopherols are more abundant and are produced from a renewable source such as soybeans. We have investigated its potential to be applied to leather for improving UV and heat resistance. Experiments were conducted by adding 5 to 12% mixed tocopherols to the grain layer finishes of chrome-free leather. The treated samples were tested in a weatherometer, where they were exposed to artificial sunlight at a high temperature. Colorfastness and mechanical properties tests showed that mixed tocopherols significantly improved UV and heat resistance of leather.