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Effects of Dehydration Methods on the Characteristics of Fibrous Networks from Un-tanned Hides

Liu, Cheng-Kung, Latona, Nicholas P., Taylor, Maryann M., Latona, Renee J.
The Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association. 2012 v.107 no.3 pp. 70
biobased products, collagen, freeze drying, hides and skins, leather industry, modulus of elasticity, product quality, tensile strength
To improve prospective markets and to secure a viable future for the hides and leather industries, it is important to develop new uses and novel biobased products from hides. We hypothesize collagen fiber networks derived from un-tanned hides can be utilized to prepare high performance green composites and air filters, of which both have a great market potential. Collagen fiber networks were obtained from split hides after the bating step in the tanning process in order to remove the noncollagenous materials from the hides. This study was devoted to understand the effects of a key processing step--dehydration on the morphology and physical properties of the resultant fiber networks, which will be the starting material for constructing air filters and green composites. Five dehydration methods were investigated and observation showed solvent- and freeze- drying yielded the lowest apparent density indicating a higher degree of separation in the fibrous networks that will be favorable for further processing into useful products. SEM observations also confirmed the fibers were more separated from solvent- and freeze-drying than those from other the dehydration methods. Mechanical testing showed the lower apparent density led to lower tensile strength, greater elongation at break, lower Young’s modulus, and higher toughness. The results of this research will be useful for the production of high quality fibrous products and green composites.