Rubber Glove Research Paper

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3.3 Manufacturing of Rubber Glove [33-36]

Gloves make up for about 50% of the total consumption of natural rubber latex and, thus, a description of the glove making process will explain most of the processes involved in the manufacture of dipped goods [33]. The glove dipping process is presented schematically in Figure 3.7. The process begins with the cleaning of the formers and ends with the stripping of the gloves from the formers.

Figure 3.7 Flow diagram of the latex glove manufacturing process
3.3.1 Former Cleaning Prior to dipping, the formers are washed and cleaned. Proper cleaning is important. There are various ways of cleaning the formers, namely using chemicals such as strong inorganic acids or alkalis, ultrasonic waves,
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This can be achieved by a slow immersion and withdrawal of the formers followed by mechanical manipulation and fast evaporation of the coagulant. The former is then dried in an oven before dipping into the compounded latex. A typical coagulant formulation comprises a mixture of calcium salt, water or alcohol, a wetting agent and an anti-tack agent. The coagulant concentration varies in the range of 5-10% w/w. The tank is normally fitted with a stirrer so as to prevent sedimentation of the chemicals. A screen is also used to retain air bubbles and traces of coagulum which might have…show more content…
The dwelling time normally varies between 5-20 seconds. The gelled deposit is then dried in an oven. Destabilisation of the compounded latex takes place at this stage. The latex dipping tank is fitted with a water jacket chiller system in order to maintain a constant temperature. Also, it is effective in retarding the rate of prevulcanisation and in maintaining constant viscosity and stability [27]. A sieve is also attached at one end of the tank so as to retain air bubbles and traces of coagulum. A stirrer is normally attached so as to keep the compounded latex in motion, circulating from the top to the bottom of the tank and back again. The tanks are usually made of stainless steel.

3.3.4 Beading Once the basic form has been achieved the gloves may be beaded. This involves rolling down a thin film of rubber deposit from the cuff, using small rotating brushes or rollers. Beading is introduced at this stage to give each glove a rolled bead or rim at the open end. The purpose of the bead is principally to reinforce the thin film against tear-initiation from the edge of the open end. It also prevents very thin walled articles from adopting various distorted configurations [33].

3.3.5

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