LASRA’s Dr Sujay Prabakar introduced new insights in chrome tanning at the 7th Freiberg Leather Days on June 13.
In his presentation, Dr Prabakar gave a technical overview highlighting LASRA’s recent research looking at in-depth studies of how chrome tanning affects the protein structure of hides or skins.
Chrome tanning is the formation of covalent complexes between the carboxyl groups of the collagen with chromium (III) ions. Dr Prabakar explained that many factors contribute to the stabilisation of the collagen matrix. LASRA has been studying indicators from techniques such as SAXS (x-ray scattering), SANS (neutron scattering) as well as proteomics to investigate the molecular-level interactions of chrome with collagen.
Aspects such as hydrothermal stability, the role of solvents, natural cross-links, masking and the importance of bound water in a “waterless” chrome tanning system, which was first developed by LASRA, was presented.
The 7th Freiberg Leather Days conference took place between June 13-14 in the eastern German town of Freiberg and is co-organised by FILK and the VGCT.