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The salient features of the above manufacturing processes include the following:




Dipping: Liquid latex concentrate is mixed with various compounding chemicals and is introduced into one of the tanks in the processing line. Clean, dry formers in the shape of hands are immersed first in a coagulant and then in the latex mix for appropriate dwell time to give the desired latex film thickness. The coagulant is applied to facilitate the deposition of a layer of latex on the formers.

Wet-gel leaching and beading: The thin latex film on each former is partially dried and leached briefly in clean water to remove the water-soluble materials. Beading also is introduced at this stage to give each glove a rolled bead or rim at the open end.

Drying and curing: The gloves are then dried and vulcanized. Drying and vulcanization or curing of the gloves are usually done in hot-air ovens, initially at lower temperatures of 80º-90º C, and then at higher temperatures of 100º-140º C where necessary.

Post-cure leaching or dry-film leaching: The cured gloves are immersed in clean water tanks to remove more water-soluble substances, particularly proteins on the surface of the gloves.

Powdered gloves: The leached gloves are dipped into cornstarch powder slurry to pick up a coat of lubricant that makes them easier to don. They are then further dried.

Glove stripping: This is the final operation on the production line - removal of gloves from the formers. This is often carried out manually, frequently with the assistance of compressed air, but an automatic stripping system is becoming more common.

Powder-free gloves:Latex gloves with very little or no powder lubricant can be prepared by either:
(i) chlorination
(ii) polymer coating
While chlorination oxidizes the outer rubber surface to eliminate tackiness and reduce the residual soluble protein content, polymer coating involves replacing powder with a suitable lubricating coat on the glove surface. Both processes can be carried out on-line, without the powder-coating step, or off-line by washing first the finished powdered gloves, then subjecting them to the chlorination or polymer-coating treatment.

Removing Glove Proteins
"Protein Status in Latex"
When subjected to ultracentrifugation at approximately 59,000 gmax, latex can be separated into three main fractions: (i) top rubber hydrocarbon fraction, (ii) the ambient serum (known as C-serum) in which all rubber particles are suspended, and (iii) the denser bottom non-rubber particle fraction, particularly lutoids, which contain yet another serum (known as B-serum).







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