The Quality of Leather Estimated from Airborne Ultrasonic Testing of Hides

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Cheng-Kung Liu
Nusheng Chen
Nicholas P. Latona


High-quality hides are paramount for competitiveness in both domestic and export markets. Currently, hides are visually inspected and ranked for quality and sale price, which is not always reliable when hair is present on the hides. Advanced technologies are needed to nondestructively and accurately characterize the quality of hides and enable one to estimate the qualitative and mechanical properties of leather. We were the first to carry out research for airborne ultrasonic (AU) methods to nondestructively characterize the quality of hides. The developed nondestructive method is based on measuring the AU waves transmitted through the hide samples. Research results demonstrated that the average amplitude distribution received from the ultrasonic wave transmitted through the hide samples yielded the best correlation with the AU test variables: gain, speed, and frequency. Observations showed AU parameters derived from the average distribution values for amplitude (AMPa) and time of flight (TOFa) have a correlation with the quality of leather. This study demonstrated that the fullness, overall characteristic, tensile strength, stiffness, elongation, and toughness of leather could be nondestructively estimated by the ultrasonic quantities obtained from AU testing of hides.

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