Submitted to: American Leather Chemists Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Liu, C., Latona, N.P. 2005. Lubrication of leather with mixtures of polyethylene glycol and oil [abstract]. American Leather Chemists Association Meeting. Paper No. 10. Technical Abstract: One of the problems associated with leather quality is that traditional lubricants ("fatliquors" consisting of oils and surfactants) do not promote the retention of essential moisture, making the leather fibers prone to over-drying. An adequate moisture content is essential to the physical properties of leather, such as softness and mechanical strength. We have recently developed a formulation of lubricants that consists of a mixture of oils and low molecular weight polyethylene glycol (PEG). Results indicated that leather treated with PEG mixtures significantly increased moisture retention due to the humectant effect of PEG on the leather fibers. Observations also showed that the tensile strength of treated leather improved with proper PEG concentrations in the lubricant mixtures. Also, PEG-treated leather showed increases in mechanical strength, after it was heated at an elevated temperature such as 90 C. We also used Box-Hunter's statistical experimental design method to derive a second order polynomial equation that precisely describes the relationship between the moisture retention and three major independent variables: PEG concentration, temperature, and treatment time.