Driving sustainable leather finishes - together!

TFL and Covestro collaborate to research and develop PUD systems

Can natural leather materials truly offer long-term durability and excellent look and feel finishes without damaging the health of people and our planet? We certainly think so. That’s why, at Covestro, we’ve partnered up with the German company TFL: to research and develop sustainable waterborne polyurethane dispersion (PUD) systems.

This new partnership brings together two formidable forces, each with their own expertise. TFL has a deep understanding of the leather industry, while our scientists at Covestro have been developing sustainable coating finishes for decades. Together, we aim to unlock the value of sustainable leather finishes and drive forward with purpose! 

Above all, our partnership will set its sights on delivering more sustainable leather finishes while ensuring even higher levels of aesthetic and functional performance. Sounds like a challenge, right? We’re confident our combined understanding and expertise will be able to meet – and exceed – the needs of major leather customers around the world. 

The challenge

Conventional leather finishes often use solvent-borne technology to improve the look and feel of end products, as well as increase durability. But these finishes come at a cost to the environment and the health of people everywhere. Developing more sustainable alternatives to solvent based technologies is necessary.

In order to create additional features, new benefits and innovative characteristics with the leather finishing, expertise from both sides is needed: application-related aspects and extensive research-technology know-how. 

The solution

In June 2019, Covestro and TFL established a cooperation agreement. The aim? To pool knowledge and insights in order to research and develop the next generation of sustainable leather finishes for a wide range of end markets. In particular, this cooperation will cover the supply and R&D of cutting-edge, sustainable waterborne polyurethane dispersion (PUD) systems that offer excellent durability, as well as strong mechanical and chemical resistance.

Our strategic view

“At Covestro, we’re focused on using our science-based competences to enable a better world for more people,” says Marc Roelands, Business Director, Covestro Resins and Functional Materials. “Our new cooperation agreement with TFL is a great example of how we can partner with other organizations to create value not only for ourselves, but society at large. By working together, we’ll develop innovative PUD systems for leather finishes – ones that are both more sustainable and higher performance. Watch this space!” 

Could we help you solve your coating challenge?

No matter what the application, substrate or technology, there’s a good chance our team can help you.