At the 24 months progress meeting, held on the 28th of November in Moergestel, the Netherlands, the achieved results were presented and discussed. The general conclusion is that most of the research activities have been carried out except for parts of the tanning trials (some small scale trails and some large scale trials) and the practical shoe wear tests. On the other hand Driesen carried out more large-scale trials then originally planned.
The achieved results: improved abrasion resistance, water resistance, slip resistance, comfort - are still short of the targeted aims.
The best results have been achieved when the Acronal is introduced in a late stage of the tanning process. According to Mr. Driesen, the absorbed Acronal may completely seal the hide and block the retanning and bleaching process. The final result is sole leather with a good abrasion resistance and fair water resistance. No improvements in the equalisation of performance across best and worst areas of the bend are realised. Slip resistance properties are not yet known.
A major drawback is the appearance; the sole leather has a somewhat darker colour and defects are highlighted. From the shoe manufacturers point of view, an uneven colour is very undesirable; the sole leather would only be usable for a small market segment where the sole are painted afterwards. Other shoe manufacturing aspects like: cutting, gluing, channelling, milling, sand papering, painting of the side of the sole are all okay.
It is expected that it will be possible to alter the tanning process in such a way that good quality sole leather is produced with a uniform colour. It will probably take another 12 months of pilot trials before the right recipe is found as each trial takes about 2 months. See also section 6.1. The tanners Driesen and Cadete both intend to continue the pilot trials with Acronal in their tanneries.The shoe manufacturerers Van Bommel and Igmapa intend to carry out practical wear tests with future batches of sole leather.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
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