In general, the weight of a leather hide varies, depending on how thick it is, its natural structure and how many processing materials it contains. The weight of the leather does not always matter that much. But for cars, aircraft and boats, every gram of weight saved boosts performance and benefits the environment. In other applications, like leather boots, shoes, jackets, motorbike suits, totes and other bags, opting for lightweight leather simply makes them nicer to wear or carry.
Why you should re-tan with Stahlite®
Automotive, aviation and marine leather applications must meet two criteria. The first one is to reduce weight. The second is to do this whilst maintaining the luxurious feel and the inviting appearance that consumers expect.
Our Stahlite® range delivers on both scores. Careful selection of processing products reduces the weight of a hide intended for automotive, aviation or marine upholstery by up to a third, whilst beautiful lightweight leather. This helps to cut fuel consumption and emissions. Yet Stahlite® maintains the leather’s normal stability, high strength and quality properties. With the incorporation of appropriate flame retarding materials into the process, it is indeed possible to make flame- retardant leathers for aviation and other mass-transit applications on the Stahlite system.
How does Stahlite® work?
The benefits of using the Stahlite® range speak for themself. But how does it work? Our Stahlite® range works its magic by replacing a large portion of weight increasing retanning agents and natural-based softening agents, also called fatliquors. It enables tanners to re-tan leather without over-filling or over-plumping the leather and it softens without adding much weight. All whilst enhancing the quality of the leathers and maintaining its valuable cutting area.
Lightweight leather that makes a real difference for car makers
Our Stahlite® range enables the production of high quality, lightweight leather that really makes a difference for car makers. Compared with traditional leather, lightweight automotive leather delivers weight savings of 7 to 8 kg, or up to 30%, in something like a very large or luxurious car or perhaps a mini-bus with a leather-trimmed interior. That is a potential saving of 0.4 to 0.5 g/km of CO2 from the vehicle and a very useful gain.
Production sustainability gains that make a real difference for tanners
Switching to the Stahlite® range also benefits tanners and the environment.
- Stahlite® leather can be produced quickly – re-tanning running time can be shorted by up to 40%
- Less electrical energy used and faster throughput in processing vessels
- Less water and processing products needed and very high uptake of chemicals by the leather
- Reductions of up 40-50% in COD and 60-70% BOD5 in retanning effluent and reduced volume
These are some of the real benefits to the Tanner from using the Stahlite® system.