March 20 2024  |  Seating

Muirhead set to unveil chrome and heavy metal-free leather technology at AIX

By Robynne Trueman

Muirhead's FreeTAN tanning solution 

Muirhead has announced it will unveil its chrome and heavy metal-free FreeTAN® tanning solution with free FR technology at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in May. AIX takes place at the Hamburg Messe from May 28 to 30 and is co-located with the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE).

The manufacturer has fully replaced its existing tanning chemistry with compostable technology as part of its commitment to eliminating the use of fossil fuels, oil-based elements and heavy metals from all its operations and products.

“Tanning is a crucial part of leather production, whereby raw hides are treated in drums to transform them into our high-performance material. For over two decades, we’ve invested heavily in new initiatives to develop future-proof tanning systems that deliver unparalleled consistency and high technical excellence without relying on chrome salts and glutaraldehyde,” said Stephen Hems, Innovation Manager, Muirhead.

“These ground-breaking technologies are a vital next step in our journey to increase the bio-based renewable carbon content of our leather to 90 percent and above. However, this marks just the beginning. The leather of the future is 100 percent bio-based, entirely chrome-free, heavy metal-free, aldehyde-free, and fully biodegradable.”

The resulting product, FreeTAN® with free FR technology, is completely free from heavy metals, chrome and glutaraldehyde, the press release said. FreeTAN® free FR technology is an efficient, non-toxic, halogen-free fire-retardant treatment that offers the lowest environmental impact aviation leather available today.

“Our pioneering FreeTAN® technology was developed to meet the aviation industry’s growing need for real leather solutions that further optimize and improve environmental sustainability. It enables us to enhance the biodegradability and compostability properties of our products, all without compromising on technical performance,” said Myles Hobbs, Aviation Director EMEA and The Americas at Muirhead.

Muirhead will be exhibiting at Booth 6E95 at AIX in May and will provide insight into its aviation products, processes and innovations.

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