After a series of processes such as cleaning the hand mold, latex impregnation, hemming and debonding, the production of disposable latex gloves is basically complete. However, due to the material of the glove, there is a final step that needs to be performed before the glove can be worn. There are actually many ways to complete this final step, such as powdering, chlorination, polymer coating or polyurethane finishing.
As the name implies, the powder absorbs the user’s sweat when using the glove, making it easy to take off and put on. In the past, most were powdered hand molds, so the gloves produced had the powder itself. However, as technology advances, gloves are first applied with food-grade corn starch to reduce the user’s sensitivity. However, powdered gloves are not suitable for bioscience or chemical handling.
Chlorination is a powder-free treatment for disposable gloves. We will first wash the gloves with a chlorine solution or hypochlorite solution and next rinse the gloves to prevent the chemical solution from reacting with the gloves. This process reduces the amount of glove adhesion and also makes the gloves softer.
This process was originally developed for latex gloves, but as technology progressed and nitrile gloves were introduced, the process was applied to nitrile gloves as well.
Thanks to the widespread use of a new process polymer coating on the market, most disposable gloves are now powder-free. These coatings include several polymers: silicone, acrylic and gel, which make the gloves easier to put on. The process is currently used for nitrile and latex gloves in general. In the latex glove production process, wax emulsions play a key role mainly in the latex mixing stage and the polymer impregnation (or post-treatment stage). In the latex mixing stage, the wax emulsion is added to the latex formulation as an additive, and the latex containing the wax is finally formed into gloves through the impregnation, vulcanization and drying processes. The addition of paraffin or microcrystalline waxes in this stage improves release, resistance to adhesion, resistance to re-sticking and reduces migration.
Polyurethane coated inside the glove can reduce the adhesion of the powder on the glove, making the glove more convenient to take off and wear.
In short, the four processes of “powder application, chlorination, polymer coating, and polyurethane” make disposable gloves easier and more comfortable to wear, and reduce the irritation of proteins to the user.
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