Characterization of Mechanical Properties of Leather with Airborne Ultrasonics

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C.-K. Liu
N. Latona
M. Taylor
C. Eble
M. Aldema-Ramos


A nondestructive method to accurately evaluate the quality of hides and leather is urgently needed by leather and hide industries. Effects have been made to develop airborne ultrasonic (AU) testing method using non-contact transducers to evaluate the quality of hides and leather. We previously reported the research results demonstrating the AU technology for revealing defects in hides and leather that were difficult to be found during visual inspection. Recently new research was carried out to develop AU methods to nondestructively characterize the mechanical properties of leather. Observations showed a strong correlation between the mechanical properties of leather and the corresponding AU parameters based on the distribution of the transmission time (time of flight) through leather. We also used this nondestructive method to characterize the grain break of leather. Results showed the difference in grain break could be determined from the AUparameters collected from moving the AU sensors over a leather sample. Observations showed the poorer the grain break, the higher the time of flight distribution. In short, this study demonstrated that the tensile strength, stiffness, toughness and grain break could be nondestructively determined by AU.

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