Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Roughing of leather using a blasting technique

The proposed novel approach to roughing, i.e. the use of grit blasting techniques to remove the upper layers of the leather, requires a large capital investment to implement and this would clearly be a controlling factor on it's uptake in the sector. The quality monitoring technology developed within the project however is to be designed to be standalone and be applicable to any roughing system. This feature is seen as crucial as such a system could be used by any shoe maker and would potentially have a large market, and once implemented would reduce the costs involved in quality monitoring when implementing automated systems.

The effectiveness of air propelled abrasives in removing the surface layers of the leather in order to optimise bond strengths were unknown at the time the project started. Whilst the grit blasting process will remove leather the resulting surface finish and the amount removed are crucial factors in the resulting bond strength. In addition it is essential that the process can operate at linear speeds appropriate to the speeds required for roughing a complete shoe, i.e., one shoe in 10 seconds. Preliminary trials using a simple linear test rig were arranged such that the various parameters (differing blast angles and grit speeds/ densities) involved could be varied in a controlled way and to enable samples of materials to be experimentally roughed. The process very soon proved that it was very viable. Further trials were carried out with both leather and synthetic samples. The surfaces were roughed with varying parameters and independently tested by each of the RTDs following the same test procedures. The samples were also examined using the proposed control sensors in order to determine a method of measurement, which would rank the samples in the same order of bond strength as were the results of the testing.

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Herschel Building
United Kingdom
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