Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PROCESSES AND NEW APPLICATIONS FOR ANIMAL HIDES AND LEATHER

Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-Products

Title: Evaluation of hides, wet blue and leather using airborne ultrasonics

Authors
item Liu, Cheng Kung
item Latona, Nicholas
item Yoon, Seung-Chul

Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2012
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Citation: Liu, C., Latona, N.P., Yoon, S.C. 2013. Evaluation of hides, wet blue and leather using airborne ultrasonics. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 108(4):128-138.

Interpretive Summary: Hides and leather are visually inspected and ranked for quality, sale price and usable area. Visual inspection is not reliable for detecting defects, which are usually hidden inside the material. This manual assessment is non-uniform among operators, and often leads to disputes over fair price. Therefore, it is urgently needed to develop a non-contact method to accurately evaluate the quality of hides and leather. We previously reported the research results for airborne ultrasonic (AU) inspection using non-contact transducers to evaluate hides and leather. We demonstrated the ability of AU to reveal defects in hides and leather that are difficult to be found during visual inspection. Additional work has been done since our last report; here we present new findings using statistical analysis software to translate the AU scan imagine of a hide into numeric values that reflect the extent of defects and integrity of hides, which can then be used as a more objective grading system.

Technical Abstract: Animal hides are important agricultural commodities closely associated with rural economics and the well being of rural farmers in the United States. Approximately 90% of the hides produced in the United States are being exported, the remaining 10% are mostly tanned into leather. At the present time, however, hides and leather are visually inspected and ranked according to quality, sale price and usable area. Visual inspection is not reliable for detecting defects, which are usually hidden inside the material or under the hair in fresh hides. This manual assessment is not uniform among operators, and often leads to disputes over fair price. Development of a non-contact nondestructive method to accurately evaluate the quality of hides and leather is urgently needed. We previously reported the research results for airborne ultrasonic (AU) testing using non-contact transducers to evaluate the quality of hides and leather. We demonstrated the ability of AU to reveal defects in hides and leather that are difficult to be found during visual inspection. In this paper, we present new results on AU inspection, particularly using statistical data/cluster analysis software, in which we are now able to numerically present the C-scan results on leather and hide defects.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page