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      06-30-2012, 05:34 AM   #37
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Drives: 630i
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL / London, UK

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Finished Leather

Isocyanate based ethyl carbamate (urethane) finished leather upholstery is used by 95% as OEM in modern automobiles. It comprises a multi stratum acrylic and polyurethane resin binder system covering over the leather hide; the top strata are the surface pigmentation (colour) and an abrasion resistant urethane is used to improve flexibility, fastness and adhesion to the leather, then two or three aqueous (water- based) pigmented base coat applications.

And then a clear aqueous (water- based) top coat is applied as the final stage of the finishing process, which usually includes additives to give it a soft feel (patina) and abrasion resistance, as well as a limited amount of ‘slide’ to assist in entering and exiting the vehicle. It also has micro-pores that allow evaporation and hydration (the passage of water vapour through a membrane or pore) they are not sealed per se as some chemicals penetrate it easily; others stay on top dependent upon their molecule size.

Modern tanning and coating processes leave leather dynamic and self-regulating with regard to the moisture content therein. Repetitive heat cycling causes the leather to lose moisture, resulting in the formation of creasing or surface cracks, which further leads to the leather shrinking; however the urethane remains stable, which may lead to delamination

Three Step Leather Care
Simple cleaning, hydration and protection are the three steps that will prolong the life of finished leather; urethane doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation

1. Clean - there are two cleaning-related factors that can cause your leather to wear prematurely. The first is dirt, and the second is oil, combined they become very abrasive, as dirt / grit and subsequent friction cause the finish to wear

2. Hydrated – when leather tanner’s talk about conditioning leather they are referring to its moisture content, re-hydration is used to restore or maintain fluid balance (transpiration and evaporation of moisture); not the replenishment or replacement of the fat liquoring, oils and / or waxes.

3. Protection - is essential as it will protect the surface finish with a sacrificial layer; this way you are not actually cleaning the finished leather's original surface, but cleaning from the surface of the protection. It also makes dirt easier to clean off

“Proper Finished Leather Cleaning and Care” -

Last edited by TOGWT; 07-01-2012 at 06:03 AM.