ALPA look to high fashion leathers1 January 2002
Italian leather chemical specialists, ALPA, launched several innovations at the Tanning Tech show. This year, the company have invested heavily in new product development, culminating in the launch of over 40 new products. The new pro-active strategy is aimed at putting ALPA's range of leather chemicals, particularly finishing products, closer to the high fashion and upholstery markets. A fashion show by the designer Mario Valentino featuring ALPA leathers was shown during Tanning Tech. ALPA have also invested heavily in upgrading their research & development laboratories in Santa Croce and Milan. The new laboratory in Santa Croce is now double the size of the previous building and both sites feature many new pieces of laboratory and pilot scale machinery. Some of the new products introduced are as follows: Ingrassante D3 is a semi transparent, straw coloured, fatliquor paste. The anionic, synthetic compound offers strong softness with excellent fullness and body. Ingrassante D3 releases a characteristic waxy and silky surface touch to the grain side, giving very mild results without looseness. Crust leathers featuring Ingrassante D3 have good finishing absorption properties and good lightfastness. This product is dissolvable in warm water and it can be used alone or in combination with anionic, non-ionic and amphoteric fatliquors. Ingrassante D3 is designed to be used on very soft articles such as shoe nappa, garment and gloving. When used on suede and nubuck, Ingrassante D3 provides a soft and velvet touch. The product has a dry content of 83% +-2% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 6.0 +-1. RPU H4 is a semi transparent anionic liquid, which is composed of an aromatic polyurethane in a water solution. RPU H4 is used diluted in metoxypropanol and/or alcohol as an intermediate adhesion bridge for successive finishing coats. This product is dilutable in water. It is a grafting polyurethane agent, which has been designed to resolve the finishing difficulties on problematic crust leathers. RPU H4 has a very fine particle dispersion which enables better penetration of the leather providing successful adhesion for subsequent applications. The product has a dry content of 20% +-1% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 8.0 +-1. Intan FF is a brown coloured liquid based on a polycondensed resin. The anionic retanning agent is formalin free, with good lightfastness, making it suitable for the treatment of wet-blue and vegetable tanned leathers. It is an ecologically-friendly resin, which has been designed to be used on softy leathers which are firm and have very fine and tight grains. Leathers retanned with Intan FF have good dyeing properties and high grain burst resistance. This compound is compatible with all anionic tanning agents and it is used in combination with syntans and/or vegetable extracts. The suggested quantity to be used is from 4-6% on shaved weight. Intan FF is appropriate for leathers, which require good buffing properties. The product has a dry content of 40% +-1% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 9.5 +-0.5. Akral K 02 is a white coloured, medium viscous liquid which forms a very soft elastic film. It is not excessively glossy and is only a little sticky. Akral K 02 is an acrylic resin in a water emulsion. It is non ionic and is particularly useful as an auxiliary in cationic finishes. The addition of Akral K 02 to ground coats - at a rate of 30/40 g/l - does not compromise the polishability and releases to give a closed pore grain with a slightly dull film. Akral K 02 can be used with either anionic or cationic mixtures as polishes or ground coats and diluted solutions are able to increase the covering and elasticity of the final film. The use of Akral K 02 in combination with ALPA's cationic polyurethanes (such as RPU K 040 - RPU K 050) provides extra covering and fastness improvements while maintaining a pleasant touch to the leather. The product has a dry content of 20% +-1% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 5.0 +-1. Alpatop HDR 028 is an acrylic copolymer in a water emulsion. The anionic liquid copolymer provides the leather with a high shine, for 'crystal' effects. Alpatop HDR 028 is used to give leather an aged appearance or 'antique effects' and after dry milling, it produces a 'micro crystalline' cracked finish film. Depending on the final finish and the kind of requested article, Alpatop HDR 028 is used in mixtures and/or directly as first stage coating. The product has a dry content of 25% +-1% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 7.5 +-1. Lustral Wax LL is a yellowish, semi transparent liquid wax. The anionic, synthetic wax in a water emulsion is very concentrated and gives the leather a dry but slippery touch. It is designed to give leathers a very bright final shine. Due to its high melting point, Lustral Wax LL develops the brightness properties in glazed finishes and by adding it in the final top coat, it is possible to optimise the leather repolishing, particularly when glazing. It also improves the finish resistance to water spot swelling. Adding small doses of Lustral Wax LL is recommended to achieve shiny top coats which will enable the tanner to obtain high gloss effects with good repolishability. The product has a dry content of 35% +-1% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 9.5 +-0.5. Lustral Wax SC is a partially anionic and non ionically charged mixture of waxes in a water emulsion. The liquid mixture enables darkening effects in finishing. Depending on the crust preparation, Lustral Wax SC can provide a lighter or darker shade on the leather's colour. It is possible to develop more deepening colour intensity with successive mechanical operations, such as polishing or ironing. Lustral Wax SC can be applied by itself or combined with other waxes and specific oils for pull-up effects. Lustral Wax SC is applied as an additive in finishing formulations on brushed or burnished leather effects. The product has a dry content of 40% +-0.5% and the pH (sol. 10%) is 10.0 +-1.0.