Published 1997 · Materials Science
In its simplest form, latex dipping is a process in which thin-walled polymer (usually rubber) products are produced by first immersing a former in a latex which has been suitably compounded, and then subsequently slowly withdrawing the former from the latex in such a way as to leave a uniform deposit upon the former. The thickness of the deposit can be increased if desired by repetition of the process. The formation of the product is completed by leaching, drying and, if necessary, subjecting it to appropriate treatments, of which the most obvious is vulcanization. The product may also be subjected to appropriate post-treatments. In many cases, it is the practice to form a rolled bead at the open end(s) of the article. 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. The product is usually removed from the former before use. Products manufactured as has been described are said to be unsupported because such strength as the product possesses is attributable entirely to the polymer itself. Latex dipping is also used to manufacture so-called supported products, in which the strength of the product is primarily derived from a fabric lining upon which the polymer film is deposited. Such products are produced by first placing the liner upon the former, and then applying the polymer film by a latex-dipping process.