Latex surgical gloves represent an important part of the day-to-day for hospital operations that protect patients and staff from disease transmission or other illness. Their production process is actually quite simple, making them disposable and affordable. Latex concentrates, which is made from Hevea Brasiliensis natural latex are the essential raw material used in the production of natural rubber gloves. Tapping is produced early in the morning and latex collected in cups is harvested several hours later to avoid premature coagulation and treated with ammonia. Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are the main producers of this latex.
The Production of Surgical Gloves
Ceramic or aluminium hand-shaped moulding or formers are used to ensure there is no contamination from previous batches and are initially washed thoroughly with hot water and chlorine before it can be processed during coagulant dipping. They need to make sure the environment of a latex glove factory is clean when quality gloves are made and to ensure that there is no dirt or dust anywhere, if not they might have flaws like holes on the finished product. For the holes checking will be at the second last stage by using glove testing machine.
After the glove former is cleaned, the molds will be coated with coagulant (for example calcium nitrate) and dipped into latex compound so that the latex mixture adheres to the forming and its thickness is determined by the duration of the dipped. The newly formed gloves then leached in a combination of hot water and chlorine that removes residual latex proteins and chemicals which help to reduce allergic latex reactions.
After that, the gloves were dried and vulcanization turns the gloves into an elasticity by causing the reaction between latex rubber molecules and added chemicals, thus making gloves less likely to tear. After drying, the gloves are again rinsed to leach latex proteins, then the cuffs are beaded or roll-up to make don and doff easier. Pneumatic air jets strip the finished gloves from formers after they have dipped into a cornstarch and finally dried. The gloves are twisted in hot air to remove any remaining powder.
Two types of test gloves have to be passed. Firstly, before they can go on the market, gloves have to comply with regulatory requirements to be certified as medical grades. Each batch of gloves is subsequently tested to ensure that quality is maintained when these requirements are fulfilled. For batch testing, gloves are initially tested by filled with air, then by using the ASTM pinhole leak test. Moreover, it is done by using glove leak test machine. Even if all gloves have pinholes, the test makes sure the pinholes are not big enough to allow fluid to reach the skin. Workers fill the gloves with a litre of water and observe leaks for two minutes.
The final phase in the production of surgical latex gloves is packaging. It needs to be done by using the surgical glove packing machine. The workers package the latex gloves layer by layer in order to facilitate the distribution of gloves to prevent difficult latex gloves to dispense from each gloves later. This type of packaging procedure can reduce waste and make it easier to remove latex gloves from the box. For example, we can easily remove the tissue from the box and apply the idea to the box dispensers of the latex gloves. Thus, all glove manufacturers use this layered technique.