Investigating Mechanical Properties of Leather Treated with Aloe barbadensis Miller and Carrageenan using Existing Theoretical Models
Keywords:Crust leather, Adhesion, Mechanical properties, Theoretical models and relations, Aloe barbadensis miller and Carrageenan, Reinforcement theory.
Several studies have alluded to the possibility and importance of utilizing Aloe barbadensis miller and carrageenan to increase leather functionalities without impacting on the environment negatively and retaining the mechanical performance of the final leather. In order to understand the actual effect of Aloe barbadensis miller and carrageenan on the mechanical effect, there is need to understand the mechanism of reinforcement or weakening. This will enhance the scientific understanding of the processes of deformation and mechanical failure of the leather materials, and the connections between the structure, processing and their underlying mechanisms. This study presents the results of using the existing empirical models and semi-empirical equations to both predict the strength properties of leather treated with Aloe barbadensis miller mixed with carrageenan and determine their mechanism of strengthening/ weakening in the leather matrix. Prediction using the existing empirical models and equations show reasonable agreement with experimental data and can be used to explain the strengthening/ weakening mechanism. Results clearly indicate that adhesion is strong in fatliquored leather and it significantly influences the strength properties. Fatliquoring agents act as coupling agents that improve wetting and hence adhesion. The study recommends at most 3.784 % of the Aloe barbadensis miller and carrageenan by weight of crust and incorporation be done after fatliquoring process. Although parameters concerning leather matrix irregularities and particle sizes were not accounted for, the study suggests any processes that can increase surface free energy of the fillers to increase the work of adhesion at the interface such as filler sulphiting and surfactants.
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