Soaking - Temperature of water

Temperature is another important parameter to which TFL's technicians pay special attention. In soaking, the correctly selected temperature range can pay dividends to leather quality and the economy of production. Handled inappropriately, the effects are not pretty to look at...

The temperature of water used for soaking is important as it influences the effect of any chemicals used to promote soaking. However, the temperature must not exceed the raw skin intolerance to heat. Soaking at too high temperatures can result in poor physical properties. In practice this critical temperature may be taken at 30°C and soaking would normally be undertaken at 26-28°C to provide safe margin of error. Lower temperatures may be used, for instance in overnight soaking where the lower temperature compensated for by longer time. However the temperature of soak can also influence such things as fat making particularly small skins more flexible and easier to soak at higher temperatures than they would be at very low temperatures. In enzyme soaking temperature is very important to optimise the activity of the enzyme. Regular checks should be made to control water temperature, even when using automated water mixing system.


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