Daft Punk are not only wearing leather jackets... they also wrote the soundtrack for our R&D department

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | August 2019

Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger

I have been working at TFL since 2013 as a fatliquor chemist in the R&D department. During these six years with TFL, requirements for automotive leather underwent a big change which of course had a big impact on our work and development projects.

Market trends and regulatory requirements may change at any time and also at any time during the development of new products. Therefore, it may happen that targets are being adjusted during the development and additional targets have to be considered that have not even been taken into account before. We have to react very fast to upcoming market trends or regulatory changes and be very open and flexible.

When I started in 2013, the most important properties for automotive leather were gravimetric fogging with a limit of 3-5 mg (100°C/21°C, 16h) together with a very good softness. TFL products already existing at that time were e.g. CORIPOL® SLG as a main fatliquor and CORIPOL® AT as a companion fatliquor for extra softness.

In 2014 and 2015, the desired requirements for automotive leather changed, thus heat fastness was getting more important. Additionally, for the first time reflectometric fogging values of 60% (100°C/21°C, 3h) had to be achieved and the requirements for gravimetric fogging were reduced to a maximum of 3 mg (100°C/21°C, 16h). On this basis, CORIPOL® ESU was developed and launched in 2015. It provided good gravimetric and reflectometric fogging values and significantly improved fastness properties compared to a lot of automotive fatliquoring agents on the market at that time and it was usable on chrome as well as on chrome-free articles providing a good tightness and milling break of the leather.

In 2015 and 2016, there was a high interest in sustainable materials with extremely low fogging and emission potential. TFL rose to the challenge and in 2015 CORIPOL® AV was launched, a very versatile and cost-effective product providing a very good fogging and emission behaviour with very good softness. On top of that, TFL developed an ultra-low emission fatliquor, - CORIPOL® LE (launched in 2016), based on sustainable material which achieved much better values than ever before in any respect with reflectometric fogging values of more than 80% (100°C/21°C, 3h) and emissions of 25-75 µg/g in VOC and 25-200 µg/g in FOG (VDA 278).

The odour of leather was a hot topic in 2017 and 2018 in the automotive industry and as a consequence CORIPOL® LEO was developed and launched beginning of 2018 which is an odour optimized version of CORIPOL® LE. We even wanted to go one step further and additionally to CORIPOL® LEO developed a washing and fixing aid to eliminate already existing unwanted VOC's and bad odour in the wet-end process: SELLA® Tec DEO.

Technical progress and game-changing new products are a result of an ambitious and continuous development process that takes permanent regulatory changes and market trends into account. This requires a lot of hard work, openness and flexibility. Only if we are faster and always improve ourselves we can be stronger! The band Daft Punk puts it in a nutshell:

Work it
Make it
Do it
Makes us stronger
More than ever
Hour after hour
Work is
Never over!

Nina, Germany

Wet-end expert at our R&D department
#icelandichorse #goodmusic
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