Viscoelasticity studies for a fibrous collagen material: chrome-free leather

Research paper by Cheng-Kung Liu, Nicholas P. Latona, Gary L. DiMaio, Peter H. Cooke

Indexed on: 23 Jun '07Published on: 23 Jun '07Published in: Journal of Materials Science


Chrome-free leather such as glutaraldehyde-tanned leather behaves very differently from chrome-tanned leather. Information regarding its viscoelasticity has not been previously reported. Hysteresis and stress relaxation are two essential properties associated with viscoelasticity. We have designed a cyclic tensile test to measure these properties to gain insight into the structural difference between chrome-free and chrome-tanned leather. Observations revealed that chrome-free leather tanned with glutaraldehyde has a higher hysteresis than chrome-tanned leather. Stress relaxation experiments, on the other hand showed chrome-free leather has very similar relaxation curves as chrome-tanned leather. Both leathers demonstrate a rapid decrease in stress for the first few seconds followed by a much slower decay thereafter. The chrome-free leather, however, has a greater initial stress than chrome-tanned leather, indicating a higher stiffness than chrome-tanned leather. Moreover, observations showed the viscoelasticity of leather was affected significantly by its fatliquor content. A decrease of loading energy in a cyclic stress–strain experiment resulted from higher fatliquor content in leather.