Xeros’ Polymer Technology enhances dye penetration into hides and skins. Figures 1 and 2 below show the level of dye diffusion through the cross-section of hides, treated conventionally and with Xeros’ Technology, using identical processing conditions.

Fig 1. Dye diffusion into the hide by the conventional process
Fig 2. Dye diffusion into the hide using Xeros’ Polymer Technology

The Xeros solution delivers a more efficient and uniform dye distribution throughout the hide, compared to conventional methods. Utilising the same quantities of dye in the retanning process, Xeros’ Polymer Technology delivers a more intense and uniform colour shade, compared to conventional processes. This is a result of improved dye absorption due to the enhanced mechanical action of Xeros’ polymer spheres.

Fig 3. Bovine hide made by the conventional process
Fig 4. Bovine hide made by Xeros’ Polymer Technology

Similar to dyes, fatliquors are also distributed more uniformly into the hides when utilising Xeros’ Polymer Technology. Figures 5 & 6 below demonstrates an improved penetration of fatliquor resulting in enhanced aesthetic properties of leather. (The fatliquor is stained to highlight the distinction between samples for review purposes)

Figure 5. Fatliquor distribution in a bovine hide made by conventional process
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Figure 6. Fatliquor distribution in a bovine hide made by Xeros’ Polymer Technology

In addition to effective delivery of standard tanning and retanning chemicals into the leather, Xeros’ Polymer Technology significantly improve the penetration of high molecular weight syntans, vegtans and dyes into the fibre structure in a shorter period of time compared to conventional processes.

The overall amount of water, washing plus processing, required for Xeros’ Polymer Technology is about 62% less than that is used in conventional methods. Results of trials shown the COD and BOD of effluent to be equivalent to that of the conventional process despite only 38% water being used. Therefore, not only the volume of effluent is reduced proportionally, the high exhaustion rates of chemicals and dyes in the hide reduces the overall COD and BOD in the effluent.

The mechanical properties of crusts produced with Xeros’ Polymer Technology are equal to or better than those produced conventionally. Figures below compare some of the key mechanical properties of matched pair leathers produced with and without Xeros’ Technology.

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Figure 7. Comparison between tear strength, stitch tear resistance and tensile strength values in Xeros and conventional crusts

Figure 8. Comparison between percentages of elongation at 100N and at break for crusts made conventionally and by Xeros Polymer Technology

Xeros’ Technology utilises millions of polymer spheres in the retanning process. These polymer spheres are loaded into the drum with the hides, enhancing the mechanical action and improving diffusion of chemicals into the hides. The spheres which reduce the quantities of water and chemicals required for treating the hides are recovered at the end of each cycle. The spheres are then cleaned and regenerated for use in subsequent cycles.