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Effects of bating, pickling and crosslinking treatments on the characteristics of fibrous networks from un-tanned hides

Liu, Cheng-Kung, Latona, Nicholas P., Taylor, Maryann M., Latona, Renee J.
Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association 2013 v.108 no.3 pp. 79
acids, air filters, biobased products, collagen, crosslinking, glutaraldehyde, industry, leather, liming, markets, physical properties, product quality, raw materials, United States
Globalization of production and markets for raw animal hides and finished leather products has resulted in new challenges to the U.S. hide and leather industries. These challenges include overcoming relatively high U.S. energy and labor costs; meeting environmental imperatives; quantifying, maintaining, and improving current hides and leather product quality; developing new processes and products; and improving utilization of waste. One of our efforts to address these new challenges is to develop new uses and novel biobased products from hides to improve prospective markets and to secure a viable future for the hides and leather industries. 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 that have been processed to remove the noncollagenous materials through the hair removal, liming, and bating steps. An earlier study was devoted to understand the effects of a key processing step--dehydration on the resultant fiber networks. This study focused on the understanding the effects of processing steps such as bating, pickling and crosslinking treatments on the morphology and physical properties of the fiber networks derived from un-tanned hides, which will be the starting material for constructing air filters and green composites. Results showed that glutaraldehyde treatment yielded a highly open structure, in which the fibers are well separated from each other. This could be partially attributed to the action of acids during the pickling step. Such fibrous structures are favorable for constructing fibrous products such as air filters and fiber reinforced green composites. The results of this research could lead to the production of high quality fibrous products such as high efficiency air filters or fiber-reinforced green composites.