What Are Beamhouse Operations?
Beamhouse operations are the steps leather must go through before being cured and tanned.
This includes several process and steps, from soaking, liming, unhairing, deliming and bating and pickling.
The Beamhouse process is made up of several steps. The aim of this part of the task is to clean the hide, removing all hair and dirt.
Soaking is where the hides are placed in fresh clean water to remove the salt that was used in curing this also adds moisture to the hides so further processes can be completed. To prevent damage to the skins during the soaking process from bacteria growth, biocides will be used.
The purpose of the liming process is to remove natural greases and fats, remove hair and keratinous matter, to help remove mucins, allow the collagen to be at a level for satisfactory tanning and to swell up and split fibres.
Unhairing is done initially by a machine and then completed by hand using a dull knife, known as scudding.
Deliming / Bating this is where the pH level of the collagen is brought down so enzymes can act on it, depending where the leather is going to be used, these may be softened with enzymes, this part of the process is what’s known as bating.
The pickling stages, after the bating process the skins are treated with common salts, common salts are sodium chloride, after this they are treated with sulfuric acids in the event a mineral tanning process is to be competed. This brings the pH level of the collagen down considerably.
Once free of flesh, hair and dirt. The hide can be split to be used on car interiors, furniture and used as suede.
After removing any chemicals from the hide, flattening the grain and pickling, the hide is now ready to go through the tanning process.