45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2017) - Silver Medal
In this project, a novel polymer with spring-like chains is inserted between the collagen fibres by cross-linking to the active terminal groups of leather. Those chains will work as a “spring mechanism” to support the fibre network so that the leather can spring back to its original shape after pressure deformation.
This innovation tackles the decreasing recovery property of leather after being stretched or bent due to the intermolecular interaction such as hydrogen bonding between collagen fibres. It is an alternative solution to current methods of restoration that use chemical-softening to shorten polymer chains or mechanical-shaking which is only a physical interaction. It helps leather achieving a durable recovery effect.