Have you ever wondered how latex gloves or rubber gloves are made? Latex Rubber Glove manufacturing is a beautiful process. It is the process of transforming liquid rubber into a glove (solid). Latex concentrates are mixed with various compounding chemicals and formed into the shape of gloves. This is made possible by making liquid rubber solidify on moving ceramic formers. Hence latex gloves manufacturing starts with:
Step 1: Cleaning of Ceramic Former
Since everything has to form on the ceramic former, it must be clean! i.e free from powder, dust and contamination. It is achieved by passing formers through the acid tank which dissolve glove release powdering agent used in the processes.
After the acid treatment, the formers are passed through subsequent hot water rinsing which effectively strips the former of any remaining residual chemicals thereby effectively cleaning the formers.
Step 2: Calcium Salt Treatment.
The formers are then passed through specially formulated liquid called the coagulant which effectively helps in uniform and smooth coagulation of compounded Latex onto the former. Also the liquid comprises glove release agents that aid in stripping the finished gloves off the former for subsequent packing.
Step 3: Dip into Latex.
After the coagulant solution on the former has dried in the ovens, it is dipped into compounded Latex. The compounded Latex coagulates on the former forming a semi solid gel. This gel is the birth of your glove.
Step 4: Leaching
The gel is dried in the ovens and leached in hot water. All water soluble ingredients in the gel like allergy causing proteins, residual salts and soaps are removed. Leaching also helps in effective curing of gloves and increases its shelf life!
Step 5: Curing
For the gel to become a fully formed glove, it needs to be cured in long hot ovens for 20 minutes. This causes the rubber to form crosslinks in the presence of accelerating chemicals, sulfur thereby rendering it strong and elastic.
Step 6: Post leaching and Corn Starch Powdering.
The cured glove is leached one more time to effectively remove any residues on the film and it is rendered for final powdering by corn starch. Cornstarch is a lightweight and natural moisture-absorbing powder which possesses antibacterial properties and soothes skin, unlike other chemically formulated powders which can irritate your skin.
Step 7: Stripping
After this process the gloves are stripped off the formers by air blowing or automated glove removal. The gloves are collected by personnel and sent for offline tumbling.
Step 8: Tumbling
The gloves are tumbled in big hot wash dryers to remove excess powder. The heat further cures the glove and renders it fit for use.
Step 9: Packing
The gloves are counted by weight and packed into boxes to be dispatched to you!
Step 10: Quality Assurance Inspection.
The gloves are thoroughly checked for defects by visual and watertight inspection relevant to the AQL required by the customer. Only by passing these tests that the gloves are approved for dispatch to you.
You may learn more about the quality inspection of Latex Rubber gloves here.