Finished leather upholstery is used by 95% as OEM in modern automobiles. It comprises a ~ 150 µ (6 Mil) 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
Cleaners and conditioners remain on the surface, it’s (urethane) protected leather as liquids other than water vapour (due to the size of its smaller molecules) will not pemetrate.
• Identifying characteristics - this type of surface; it will also have an even shine.
• The water-drop absorbency test- water drops will ‘bead’ on the surface
• Absorbency rate -Low
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; always keep in mind that you’re dealing with the finished coating on the leather and not with the leather hide itself
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, without hindering transpiration, while acting as a sacrificial layer; this way you are not actually cleaning the Leather's original surface, but cleaning from the surface of the protection. It also makes dirt easier to clean off.
Ultra violet (UV) protection - 303® Aerospace Protectant will provide invaluable ultra violet (UV) protection against photo degradation (fading); especially in a roadster or convertible vehicle, steering wheel and dashboards
Last edited by TOGWT; 07-17-2012 at 04:33 AM.