Leather has been a versatile and much sought-after raw material for many centuries. Since it is only available to a limited extent, it has been produced synthetically for several years. Of course, man-made leather should also have the same good material properties as natural leather. The Research Institute for Leather and Plastic Webs in Freiberg, called FILK for short, is engaged in researching and improving corresponding material properties.
The FILK is an independent, non-university research institution and accredited testing laboratory. The thematic focus of the research work is on flat-flexible polymer materials such as leather and its natural raw material collagen as well as material composites based on synthetic polymers.
For the second time since 2004, the research institute has acquired a creep rupture device from Hegewald & Peschke to equip its testing laboratory. In the plant, leather samples are examined for their behaviour under climatic influences, whereby 5 test positions for each clamping with fixed length and with constant load are included. In the first variant, the sample with 100mm length is firmly clamped and recorded with the aid of a load cell, which forces the sample develops through shrinkage processes. This is important e.g. for the evaluation of materials for solid coverings, in order to be able to estimate the danger of tearing at seams.
At the other test points, the specimen is also clamped with a length of 100 mm, whereby the lower clamping device is very light and the specimen is practically not loaded. The amount by which the sample shrinks is observed via a displacement measuring system. This makes it possible, for example, to select materials for parts that are to remain as dimensionally stable as possible under the influence of temperature and/or humidity.