Through our Massey collaboration we have access to the Australasian Synchrotron in Melbourne. This equipment has already provided us with an amazing amount of detailed information about the structure of leather and the effects of processing utilising the SAXS beamline. Prof Haverkamp and his team are now evaluating the Infra-Red Microscope attachment to locate leather processing chemicals in the cross section of hides and skins with great success. By teaching the instrument to fingerprint each retanning agent, it produces amazing images highlighting their distribution, as can be seen in the accompanying image.
Our next trials will investigate fatliquor distribution and compare with physical test data on crust leathers.