Effect of Gamma Irradiation on the Stability of Tanned Leather

Mercy Chebwogen, Kallen Mulilo Nalyanya, Tabitha A. Amollo , Simon Gachagua Mathenge

2024 / Volume 7 / Pages 550-568
Received 10 February 2024; Accepted 29 March 2024; Published 6 April 2024

Leather tanning involves several processes of converting putrescible hide to stable leather resistant to harsh environmental conditions. Severe conditions such as high temperatures and UV radiation, when exposed to the leather materials, cause degradation and decrease physical, chemical, and structural properties. The effect of gamma irradiation on viscoelastic properties and stability of tanned leather against thermal and photodegradation was studied using the Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) technique. The thermal stability of chrome and mimosa-tanned leather was inferred from the peak of storage modulus graphs. Gamma irradiation of samples with low doses increased the storage modulus of chrome and mimosa-tanned leathers. Doses up to 20 kGy decreased the stability of thermally aged chrome-tanned leather. However, for mimosa-tanned, there was an increase at higher doses as a result of gamma irradiation inducing additional bonds that enhance the stability of the tanned leather. Nevertheless, there is a variation in the stability of chrome-tanned leather at different doses of irradiation.

gamma irradiation, leather, thermal stability, photostability, viscoelasticity