Evaluating Mechanical Properties of Environmentally Friendly Leather Substitute (Eco-Leather)
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Leather and pleather (plastic leather, mainly polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride PVC) are widely used materials in apparel and footwear products. According to the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA, 2009), in 2008, the US consumption of footwear was 2.2 billion pairs, among which about one third were categorized as leather products and one third as plastic/vinyl products. The chemical processes to convert raw animal hides to leather, especially tanning, cause environmental pollution and human health problems. Chromium salts are used in about 90% of global tanning production (Nair et al., 2012).