Chrome leather is exclusively used as a friction cover on power transmission belts as an alternative to Nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR).
Due to its slightly porous surface, leather is permeable to air and humidity. Leather covered belts are therefore best suited for drives where the pulleys are heavily covered with oil. The leather absorbs the humidity and maintains the friction.
The coefficient of friction of leather, compared with NBR, is lower, and steadily decreases during operation. Leather covered belts are used therefore in applications where low friction is an advantage, like drives with extremely large pulley diameters (e.g. turbine generator drives) in order to reduce the "stick-slip effect".