Last updated on : September 17th, 2021 at 01:06 pm
Do you want to find out how latex gloves are made? Latex is first extracted from rubber trees then prepared and stabilized before being placed on hand molds. After the gloves are dried and washed, they undergo quality testing to ensure that they have the right specifications. These are then packed, ready to be used.
Latex gloves are disposable rubber gloves that help protect the hands from direct exposure to viruses and bacteria. Because of the comfort it provides, its flexibility, and protection, it has become the go-to glove in medical settings. That’s why it is so handy.
Also, because latex is a natural material, it is biodegradable, which is a bonus, considering that it does its part in helping conserve the environment that we live in today. These gloves are also versatile, which is why their use is not limited to medical purposes.
You can find disposable latex gloves being used in a wide range of fields. Some of these fields include food and catering services in restaurants, cosmetic and hairdressing services in parlors, machine and car repair shops, and crime scene investigations to prevent accidental tampering with the evidence.
Behind all of its good sides, there is a catch. It can cause allergic reactions that emerge in certain people that use it; this is a major drawback that caused the decline of its usage over recent years.
Because of this, people are choosing to use non-latex alternatives instead. However, especially in the medical field, allergic reactions to health care professionals during the wrong time can be a huge problem. please read here best way to clean boxing gloves.
Let’s say a surgeon is currently operating on a patient. An allergic reaction caused by the latex gloves he wears during the operation can be a huge hindrance. Continue reading this article to learn more about latex gloves and how these are made.
Table of Contents
What Is Latex?
Before we talk about rubber gloves of any kind, let’s first go through what latex is. Latex is fluid extracted from trees and is used to make natural rubber. This can come from many variants and species of rubber trees, but the most common source today is the Pará rubber tree, also known as Hevea brasiliensis.
This white substance extracted from the rubber tree can be used in a lot of applications. After being processed, this substance can make the rubber found in balloons, shoes, tires, swim caps, and more. In this article, we will be focusing on how it is used as a raw material for producing rubber gloves.
The process of harvesting or collecting latex from rubber trees is called rubber tapping. The bark of the rubber tree is peeled at an angle, allowing for the sap to flow down into a bucket.
After a few hours, these buckets will be full and are collected ready to be processed. These would then be filtered and stored in large containers, ready to be shipped to factories to be used as raw materials. To find out how latex gloves are made and more, read this article until the end.
A downside to latex is that it can cause allergies because of the proteins that our body could react to. These allergies can be triggered by these products such as latex rubber gloves.
Allergies from the latex gloves can cause mild symptoms such as skin redness and itching. However, it can also cause severe symptoms like coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulty, watery and itchy eyes, and more.
For highly sensitive people, however, a serious life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis can happen. This happens almost immediately after in contact with an allergen which in this case is latex. Some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis are nausea, hives, dizziness, confusion, passing out, and a drop in blood pressure.
These allergic reactions can be triggered by direct contact and inhalation. Direct contact with products that contain latex is the most common cause. However, allergies can also happen through inhalation. Products such as latex gloves release air-borne latex particles that we can breathe in and can enter our bodies through our lungs.
This is why latex gloves are slowly being replaced by non-latex ones, especially in the medical field. However, repeated exposure to latex gloves can increase the risk of your body developing allergic reactions towards latex.
How Latex Gloves Are Made?
Now that we know all about what latex is, it is time to focus on the main topic of this article. First, you will find out how the production of latex gloves all starts. Then, we will discuss the step-by-step process of how latex gloves are manufactured below.
1. Ceramic Mold Preparation
Firstly, the ceramic molds for the rubber gloves are cleaned and washed with soapy water and bleach. This is to make sure that molds are free from residue from the last molding cycle because even the smallest impurity can ruin the glove production. please read here how to wash work gloves.
The molds then go through huge revolving brushes that ensure all areas of the mold’s surface are reached. Finally, these are dipped in hot water and allowed to drip and dry a bit.
2. Gloves are Molded
The ceramic molds still a bit damp from the cleaning are dipped in a chemical that creates a film on the surface. This is because the rubber will not stick to the ceramic but will do so to this film. The molds are then dipped in hot liquid rubber (latex), which reacts to the gel-like film. please read here how to clean smelly and boxing gloves.
3. Undergoing Vulcanization
The molds now spin to shake off excess rubber. Next, it goes inside a large oven where the heat dries it and undergoes vulcanization. This process makes the rubber stronger and elastic. These are then washed and dried again.
4. Gloves are Collected
The molds go through a machine with brushes that rolls up the end of the gloves. This makes it easier for the gloves to come off the ceramic mold. The latex gloves are then removed from the molds through the use of pressurized air. The gloves are collected by batch.
5. Quality Control
The workers will take the gloves to stretch and inflate them to check for weak spots, holes, and leaks. Lastly, they take one sample from every batch of gloves and pump these with water. If the sample glove is water-tight, then the entire batch is approved.
After this, they separate the gloves and make variations like powdered gloves. They also add starch to avoid the gloves from sticking, then pack them, ready for use.
At the end of this article, I hope that you have learned how latex gloves are made. Thank you for reading up to this point of the article. Your time and effort are very much appreciated.