Investigating the Cell Rotary Conditioning Mechanism Using Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis
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Jeyapalina et al. established that dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) can be used to gauge the progression of leather drying. This work has now been advanced in order to understand the mechanism surrounding sorption/desorption of moisture during cell conditioning, e.g., cell rotary conditioning (CRC). This paper will demonstrate how the use of DMTA could be used to monitor changes in leather stiffness. A gravimetric moisture analysis was performed on identicalleather samples to gauge the progression of desorption. The change in storage modulus (E’) was coupled to the moisture content (leather moisture and atmospheric relative humidity) to obtain a better understanding of the physical properties (specifically stiffness) of leather during a drying process. The research presented illustrates how DMTA can indicate leather fiber response to changes in atmospheric humidity and facilitate real-time adaptation of drying conditions during leather dehydration. The use of a cell conditioning system allows a tanner to control the flexibility of the material through the tension applied and the drying conditions. DMTA shows that the favorable conditions inside a CRC unit result in detectable changes to the leather fiber, similar to findings by Abrahamson and Williams-Wynn. Using this technique a researcher can dry chromium-containing and chromium-free leathers in a manner that is highly customizable to produce desired physical properties. Difficulties experienced in chromium-free leathers can also be investigated in detail using this technique.