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Leather as a Fire-Resistant Material

Leather has remained a popular resource since the Paleolithic Era, and over the years, the leather-making process has since been refined. The textile is made by splitting large pieces of hide, sanding out flaws, and then staining and treating the smaller pieces to create a unified look.

Many consider leather to be a luxury item that has several useful natural traits. Leather’s makeup allows it to withstand heat and fire. As such, various industries capitalize on this impeccable characteristic. Here we explore leather as a fire-resistant material and its many uses.

Natural Qualities

Leather is susceptible to wrinkling and absorbing water but not to burning. Leather is highly resistant to flames, unlike fake renditions of the material. It can shrink or curl when it encounters flames, but its durability allows it to endure fire without burning. Rarely does leather ever catch fire, and even if it does, its composition is not conducive to a flame’s growth.

How Fire-Resistance Qualities Are Enhanced

Since leather stands so durably on its own, it’s the go-to selection for products that must be fire retardant. Aircraft and waiting areas are among the spaces that have requirements for fire protection. The demand for fire-resistant goods has resulted in the creation of treatments that boost leather’s resistance to flames. Tanning is the process that increases the ability of leather as a fire-resistant material. The procedure alters the protein structure of hide to enhance its durability and longevity. Tanners pay close attention to a product’s fire resistance standards during the manufacturing process to ensure it meets them. Leather fiber density, re-tanning agents, and refatting components are all considered throughout the tanning process.

How Leather Is Utilized

Many industries employ leather for its luxury, efficiency, or both. For example, transportation methods must employ leather as a part of their fire protection standards. On trains, ships, and planes, you may notice the seats are encased in thin leather. This is because these vehicles must meet international criteria to legally serve the public.

Leather is also a crucial addition to firefighters’ personal protective equipment (PPE). Fire departments can take advantage of the fire-resistant material via leather fire helmets. The leather supplies an additional layer of protection for these first responders in drastic work environments.

Surprisingly, hotels and other lodging facilities also implement leather to make their spaces more fire retardant. As with public transportation, these considerations minimize a building’s flammability in the interest of staff, patrons, and expenses.

Written by Logan Voss

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