Structure elucidation and simulation of mechanical properties of leather as a basis for their targeted influence during production and processing

Simulation of Mechanical Leather Performance with FISFT

Simulation of Mechanical Leather Performance

CT-Aufnahme Leder
© Photo ITWM

Because CT images reveal several layers of leather, various representative volumina (RV) from each strata were segmented and broken down into individual fiber bundles, each with an approximated fiber structure. Finally, a mechanical simulation was performed on each RV, the actual mechanical RV-properties were computed and then consolidated to provide the actual properties of the different leather layers.

The project is carried out by the »Image Processing« department and by the Institute of Leather and Plastic Sheeting.

Leather as a natural product presents many irregular material properties compared to plastics or textiles. Because leather processing is now also a subject for industrial mass production, it is increasingly necessary to use computer aided design for leather auto seats and furniture and to evaluate its mechanical behavior.

In the course of understanding the structure, ITWM first produced their own computer tomographic images of several cowhide samples supplied by FILK, which had different places of origins and processing methods (tanning, subsequent treatments). Using suitable image processing methods, further analysis yielded information about the size of the collagen fiber bundles such as thickness, distribution, anisotropy, and typical fiber lengths.

 

Research Goal: 3D-FEM Structure Model

The aim of this AiF project, which was managed in cooperation with the Research Institute of Leather and Plastic Sheeting (FILK) and ITWM’s image processing department, is the development of a three-dimensional FE microstructural model for leather. This model should allow realistic load predictions and serve as the basis for a materialspecific CAD component to be developed later.  

Rasterelektronenmikroskopie (REM) von Leder
© Photo Forschungsinstitut für Leder und Kunststoffbahnen FILK

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of leather

Rasterelektronenmikroskopie (REM) von Leder
© Photo Forschungsinstitut für Leder und Kunststoffbahnen FILK

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of leather

Rasterelektronenmikroskopie (REM) von Leder
© Photo Forschungsinstitut für Leder und Kunststoffbahnen FILK

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of leather

Visualization Demo Videos