Glove manufacturing

Principle

Latex glove manufacturing is a long and complex operation that begins with the harvesting of natural rubber latex. Its main objective is to optimize the properties (flexibility, barrier properties) of the material while minimizing its adverse effects (allergies).
  • Latex is an emulsion of rubber particles in suspension in an aqueous medium. The mean dry rubber content is 33%. The fresh latex harvested from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is unstable and must be processed rapidly after collection in order to prevent spontaneous coagulation.
  • Examination and surgical gloves are manufactured from the concentrated raw latex obtained by centrifuging and stabilization.
  • Several immersion stages are required to enhance the properties of the rubber, in particular its mechanical strength and barrier properties.

Main stages in the preparation of natural rubber latex (video)

ObjectiveMethod
StabilizationPreventing post-harvest deterioration due to enzymatic reactionsAddition of ammonia (3.5 g/l of latex)
Selection, blending, purificationSelecting the rubber for centrifuging; adjusting the dry rubber content (DRC)Elimination of latex with rubber content of less than 25%
SedimentationStabilizing the latex and controlling volatile fatty acids (reflecting bacterial activity)The latex is allowed to stand for 24 hours: deposition of sediment rich in magnesium
Centrifuging BlendingSeparating the rubber-rich supernatant (60%)Use of a rotor fitted with a battery of separators
StabilizationObtaining a stable product for storageNH3 alone: 0.7% of the weight of latex (high-ammoniated latex) orNH3 (0.2-0.3%) and thiuram (low-ammoniated latex)
StorageImproving mechanical stabilizationStorage in a tank for at least 2 weeks
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