Backfoaming of leather
& other substrates

This article presents a technology (currently patent pending) developed for the automotive industry that avoids the difficulties associated with backfoaming leather. This process was developed in cooperation between BASF and Isotherm for the European automotive industry and introduced to the US market by Linden Industries.

The conventional method of producing back-foamed leather components is a multi-step process that involves high labour costs and a high reject rate. These are process steps such as sealing the seams, coating the leather with film, positioning the leather in the respective mould and spraying the PUR material onto the leather. The carrier material is then applied to the liquid PUR and pressed into the final mould. Typical problems that occur during this process and lead to high reject rates are hardening and shrinkage of the leather grain on direct contact with the monomers (orange peel effect), leakage of the PUR from the seams and adhesion problems.

The new backfoaming process eliminates the back coating and the possible formation of an orange peel effect, as well as the sealing of the seams and the adhesion problems. The reduction in the number of process steps reduces the cycle time and therefore also the work of the machine operator.


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