The History of Rubber
Tapping of Latex Rubber
The Right Choice of Glove
Types of Gloves
Manufacturing Process

 

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The History of Rubber

Natural rubber latex is a processed plant product derived almost exclusively from trees found in Africa and Southeast Asia. Rubber was originated from Brazil from the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. Brazil, no longer plays any significant part in the world natural rubber (NR) trade. Seeds were exported from Brazil to London in 1876 and germinated at Kew Gardens.

That same year, Sir Henry Wickham collected about seventy thousand rubber tree seeds in Brazil and took them to the East Indies where he started rubber plantations. In 1877, an American named Chapman Mitchell learned to recycle used rubber into new products.

There is only one kind of natural rubber. Because the rubber plant only thrives in hot, damp regions near the equator, currently 90% of true rubber production occurs in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Indonesia's production has dropped in recent years and new plantations were started in Africa to take up the slack.

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Tapping of Latex Rubber

All natural rubber originates in the Hevea tree. It starts its journey when the tree is tapped. It is very rare that trees are tapped twice a day. The journey begins at dawn when the tapper treks around the plantation. The tapper uses a sharp knife to shave off the thinnest from the intact section of the bark. The cut must not be made too thick or deep. This will reduce the productive life of the tree.

On completion of his rounds of section tapping, the tapper returns and collects the stuff in the cup, either a cup lump or latex, which usually finishes at noon. In most circumstances, the latex will coagulates into a lump in the bottom of the cup. Ammonia is usually added to prevent the latex from coagulating.

At dawn, cut is made
for new flow of latex
Latex then
flows into a cup
Coagulation
begins in a pan

To process solid rubber, the cup lump and other remains of the latex flow are collected together and processed. It is heated intensely and destroy most of the proteins and solid rubber is formed. Based on certain method of processing and the final purity of the material, it is usually referred as sheet rubber or technically specified rubber.

Latex is gathered on the tapper's return journey and poured into containers. They are then delivered to a processing station, where is is strained and concentrated. At no process is the latex heated, which means that the protein remains in the latex.

More stabilizer is added and the latex goes into a centrifuge to remove some of the water and increase the rubber content of the latex. Latex concentrate is formed which contains about 60% of solid rubber and 40 % of water, proteins and other contents. This latex concentrate is what used in the dipping process when making gloves.

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The Right Choice of Glove

The most important decision concerning healthcare workers, or professionals in the medical and dental industry today is the right choice of glove. When selecting examination gloves, we must always consider the following below.

Protection & Health
This should be the prime reason that we wear gloves. Always choose the gloves that best protect you for performing your functions or task. On your daily routine, you may be in contact with any blood form or other substances, one should wear good quality examination gloves.

Comfort & Fit
Gloves are for your protection as well as a comfort fit. Based upon history, due to the high level of elasticity and memory, latex gloves fit the users hands very well. Based on the manufacturer and region, nitrile gloves vary in softness and flexibility. Some are comfortable and do fit well, whereas others may not be flexible and are stiff. Vinyl gloves are inherently soft and comfortable and are looser fit.

Concerns on Allergy
Within the last few years, the healthcare industry have been monitoring the concern on allergies . It is highly recommended to avoid all latex products altogether if you have a sensitivity to latex. If you choose to use latex gloves, it is recommended that you choose powder free latex gloves with a reduced protein content. Synthetic vinyl and nitrile gloves are now readily available.

Studies have proven that if you contact Type IV Chemical Hypersensitivity, switching from latex gloves to non-latex gloves may not alleviate the situation. Chemicals are added in the process of manufacturing latex and non-latex gloves.

Quality versus Cost
Our main concern is recommending the usage of quality of gloves. Question of cost over quality have been the main issue. The cheapest gloves may not function too well, or should you choose the most expensive gloves available? One must consider the above factors when choosing gloves, and then select the acceptable quality standards at the best value you can get.

Latex and vinyl gloves are generally very affordable. Nitrile gloves and other synthetic gloves are usually more costly.

For more educational information on latex, please view: http://www.latexglove.info

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Types of Gloves

Latex Examination Gloves
Made from natural rubber latex. Good chemical resistance to acids, alkalis and detergents. Latex film provides excellent flexibility and tear resistant. Biodegradable and environmental friendly. It is highly preferred by end-users for it's supple feel and touch. It provides extent barrier protection against any blood form and other substances or biohazards. Excellent comfort and feel. Latex has superior elasticity and tensile strength. Latex examination gloves are generally very affordable

Vinyl Examination Gloves
Made from Poly Vinyl Chloride ( PVC ). Used primarily for institutional uses in the hotel and restaurant industry such as housekeeping, kitchen and food preparation. Soft vinyl formulation gives greater comfort, and is more flexible and dexterous to wear. Ideal for individuals who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins. Natural translucent color with a relaxed and comfortable fit that feels like a second skin. Good chemical resistance to acids and bases. Anti static properties. Rolled cuffed for extra cuff strength, easier donning and increased protection against chemical droplet. It is less elastic than latex glove and tend to fit loosely. They are generally very affordable.

Nitrile Examination Gloves
Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic polymer that exhibits rubber like characteristics when vulcanized. The polymer is made in the form of a latex or emulsion and can be used or processed very much like natural rubber latex. It is made from synthetic rubber that contains no natural rubber latex proteins. Suitable for end-users who are sensitive to natural rubber proteins.

Better stress relaxation for better comfort and less fatigue especially during long donning period. High resistance to a wide range of toxic chemicals and solvents, especially to hydrocarbons, oils and fats. High abrasion and puncture resistance. Very durable, excellent strength and flexibility. Good barrier properties. It is well noted for it's resistance to oil. It is less comfortable fit and less elastic than natural rubber. Nitrile gloves and other synthetic gloves are usually more costly.

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The Manufacturing Process

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Note

Please be advised that all information referred in these pages are intended for educational purposes and knowledge all users our our existing products appropriate for
protection defense against blood borne pathogens. All educational information and knowledge contained herein are based on technical information gathered we believed
to be reliable. The educational material gathered maybe revised as additional data is analyzed and evaluated. Medgluv Incorporated assumes no obligation and
reliability resulting from use of these information, nor does it warranty the accuracy of the information as referred to herein.

 

 

     
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