A man-made polymeric material used instead of natural leather for making shoes
A man-made polymeric material used instead of natural leather for making shoes, clothing, headgear, haberdashery, andsome industrial goods. Certain types of artificial leather or Belt Leather Supplies, made with natural rubber and nitrocellulose, were used as early asthe late 19th century.
In the USSR the industrial manufacture of artificial leather dates to 1930. At that time, fabrics with a nitrocellulose coating,plastic leather, and shoe pasteboard were manufactured. The technology of production of those materials was borrowed fromalready developed branches of industry, including textiles, rubber and paper. These types of artificial leather were inferior tonatural leather in their properties and appearance and were called leather substitutes. They gradually lost their importance.With the development of polymer chemistry, the appearance of new types of raw material, and the higher technical level ofprocessing polymers, the assortment of manufactured goods increased and their quality improved. Goods made of artificialleather began to compete successfully with goods of natural leather and even surpassed them in some respects.
Artificial leather is classified according to its use and according to its structure and method of manufacture, as shoe rubber,shoe and haberdashery pasteboard, and soft artificial leather.
Shoe rubber is one of the most widely used substitutes for natural leather, and it was one of the first used in industry. It isused mainly to make components of the bottoms of shoes (soles, heels, and heel taps). This type of artificial leather is ahighly filled rubber based mainly on synthetic rubbers, usually butadiene-styrene rubber. Small quantities of thermoplastics orthermosetting resins may be added to it to increase its hardness and wear resistance.
The steps in the manufacture of shoe rubber are the mixing of the rubber with the ingredients, molding of the mixture (bymeans of calendering, injection, or other methods), and the production and vulcanization of the raw uppers. The artificialleather may be porous or solid, black or colored. The porous resins are produced by introducing pore-forming substances.Such rubbers absorb virtually no water. The use of soles made from porous rubbers significantly lightens the shoe andimproves its shock-absorbing and thermal insulation properties (see Table 1). For this reason, such synthetic leather may beconsidered superior to natural leather. The presence of a group of valuable qualities in shoe rubber has led it its substitutionfor natural leather in more than 70 percent of shoe soles and in various industrial articles (gaskets and shock absorbers).