Latex gloves play an important role in latex products.In this paper, latex gloves mainly refer to inspection gloves and medical gloves.Since the 1980s, with the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the understanding of the transmission route of blood diseases, the number of healthcare workers wearing gloves has greatly increased.At present, natural latex gloves have been widely used not only in medical personnel, but also in various aspects of production and life.According to the latest report, the United States consumed 27 billion pairs of latex gloves last year, the most in the world.American hospitals have become big consumers of latex gloves.American hospitals consume an estimated $3.5 billion a year in latex glove-like products, and the amount is still growing, and growing faster.About 60 billion to 65 billion pairs of latex gloves are consumed globally each year in recent years, according to a spokesman for the singapore-based association of southeast Asian rubber industries.Developed western countries account for about 75 percent of the international latex gloves market, while developing countries account for the remaining 25 percent.
As a result of Malaysia, Thailand and other southeast Asian countries a large number of factories, resulting in fierce competition in the glove market, so there are a lot of new products, promoting the development of glove production.In recent years, the raw materials, technology, product performance, equipment and other aspects of latex gloves have been improved a lot in foreign countries, which also promote the continuous development of the industry.
I. current situation of global market
In the mid-1980s, China was once the world's leading producer and exporter of latex gloves. At that time, the export volume of latex gloves accounted for 20% of the international market demand.However, in the 1990s, because the raw materials for the production of latex gloves in China are mainly from southeast Asian countries, and the production technology is backward, we directly use the latex latex latex solution to produce gloves without detoxification.Natural rubber latex latex solution contains a highly allergenic plant protein, many westerners after the use of latex gloves after the skin allergic reaction, resulting in the western countries of our latex gloves ordered sharply.At the same time, squeezed by the rapidly growing producers of latex gloves in southeast Asian countries, the export market of latex gloves in China has been shrinking year by year. At present, the annual export volume is less than 25% of that of Malaysia, and its proportion in the total demand of the international market has decreased to less than 10%.
Ii. Problems faced by China's market
With the increase of demand, problems in rubber medical gloves and inspection gloves industry in China are gradually emerging.At the same time, the latex branch of China rubber industry association proposed a new development direction of medical gloves and examination gloves, and believed that the development direction of medical gloves and examination gloves should be adjusted to strengthen the development of new products to meet the needs of different levels and groups.According to the introduction, in the medical gloves and inspection gloves in the process of strong sales also exposed the four major problems in the industry.First, production is too decentralized, which is not conducive to centralized supply;Second, the hand is not uniform, once the medical staff familiar with a brand of gloves, gloves of other brands are often not accustomed to, produce repellent;Third, domestic products are single, still dominated by powder gloves, need to be disinfected before use, and powder free, sterilization, smooth medical gloves and inspection gloves can not meet the needs;In addition, due to the differences in quality management of enterprises, the product quality is different, and the order quantity is extremely uneven. The order quantity of enterprises with good scale and quality management exceeds the production capacity, while other enterprises are not full.In view of this, it is suggested that in the future the medical gloves and inspection gloves industry should focus on technical and production advantages to create several groups in the country.It can not only make rational use of resources, but also reduce the cost, so as to create an influential brand.Enterprises should strive to build new production lines and transform old lines to develop towards chlorination treatment and coating materials, and conduct disinfection treatment on gloves to meet the requirements of powder free, sterilization and smoothness.CCLP, ISO, CE and 510(K) certification shall be actively obtained to ensure product quality.In terms of technological innovation, the medical gloves and inspection gloves industry should also vigorously develop new products, such as sterilized powder coated gloves, neoprene latex gloves, chlorine-treated powder free gloves, aloe vera latex gloves, vitamin latex gloves, germicidal gloves and luminous gloves.
From the perspective of export sales, China's glove market is facing a more severe test.Since January 2009, the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA) has imposed stricter rules on medical rubber gloves, requiring lower rates of defects for medical tests and surgical latex gloves to protect health care workers from infections such as HIV, hepatitis b or hepatitis c.For inspection gloves sold in the us market, the acceptable quality level (AQL) must be 2.5(i.e., 2.5 pairs of defective gloves per 100 pairs), compared to AQL 4.0;Surgical gloves previously had AQL of 2.5, but the new rules are stricter, with AQL of just 1.5.In addition, how to remove the protein in natural latex is also an important problem.The phenomenon of protein allergy of natural latex among users of natural latex products has aroused great concern in medical field and latex manufacturers.For the overall prevalence of protein allergy in natural latex, a large random sample analysis conducted in Finland showed an overall prevalence between 0.04% and 0.12%.That number could increase to 10 percent, especially among so-called high-risk groups, such as health care workers and individuals with inherited allergies.
In addition, nitrosamines produced by some accelerants added to gloves are another challenge.N-nitrosamines are a general term for substances with -n-n = O functional groups. A large number of animal experiments have shown that they may alkylate DNA in the human body and eventually induce cancer, and their carcinogenicity has been recognized.And nitrosamines not only through the respiratory tract, digestive tract into the human body, but also through the absorption of skin into the body to induce cancer.Rubber products with some accelerators will produce various types of nitrosamines in the vulcanization process. These nitrosamines are discharged in the form of vulcanization smoke or remain in the rubber products in solid form.Under certain conditions, n-nitrosamines in rubber products are released, which may cause harm to human body.
1. Constantly expand the variety of raw materials
Producing medical the main raw material is natural rubber latex and synthetic latex gloves, now in addition to the individual variety of the latex with appropriate or laminated molding to reduce production costs, improve performance, but should also actively carry out chemical modification of natural latex, the synthesis of new type rubber latex and the development of new additives, to adapt to the different requirements of latex products.
For example, natural latex modified by epoxidation, dry film air tightness, oil resistance greatly improved.The polygonal acrylic latex, which has been successfully developed recently, can maintain high viscosity under high shear velocity.
Nitrile and neoprene rubber can also be processed into medical gloves in latex form, although the two materials are rubber.Their market share is a tiny fraction.Compared with natural rubber products, vulcanized products have better physical properties, such as lower tensile strength and higher modulus.There are few reports of allergic reactions to these materials, and there have been cases of allergic dermatitis caused by neoprene rubber gloves and also by the presence of antioxidants or accelerants in these materials.
2. Continuously increase product varieties
At present, the surface of medical gloves and inspection gloves made of natural rubber latex are coated with a layer of powder (such as talc, modified starch, etc.) to achieve the purpose of lubrication and isolation, but the use of powder brings pollution to the operation site.To avoid this contamination, powder free latex gloves were developed.There are two kinds of surface treatment technology for powder free latex gloves: one is to coat the surface of gloves with polymer and process it to form a film, which is firmly combined on the rubber substrate to play the role of lubrication and isolation;Another is to use halogenation reaction (mainly chlorination reaction) on the surface of latex gloves for chemical treatment, so that the gloves surface smooth.
There is also a new type of medical gloves, the raw materials of which are added with microcapsules containing anti-bacterial and anti-virus substances. When the gloves are stretched too tight or broken, the capsules there will release disinfectant substances to ensure the safety of doctors and patients.Scientists at Deltex medical sciences have developed a glove capable of continuously sterilizing a variety of pathogens -- for example HIV and SPED viruses, hepatitis b viruses, malaria viruses, salmonella and other disease-causing agents -- that are ready to be killed in rapid quantities when they come in contact with antimicrobials contained in the glove.
In addition, low protein glove products are increasingly valued.There are four main ways to reduce the protein content of gloves.The second is the use of low protein latex;Chlorination;Fourth, polymer coating.Gloves that are low in protein and low in allergens are now available, especially in the Malaysian market.
(2) development and application of new products
(1) nanometer CaCO3 latex gloves to strengthen the polymer matrix in the product needs dynamic interaction between filler and polymer matrix, which is obvious in dry rubber products, and in the rubber latex particle surface material, will make the interaction between filler and polymer matrix becomes complex.Therefore, in order to give the latex mixture a high strength, it is necessary to ensure that the filler is well dispersed into the latex and that the filler is in direct contact with the rubber particles.For natural rubber latex, breaking the surface tension of rubber particles can promote the good contact between the filler and rubber particles.
3. Continuously improve the "three chemical" level and improve the vulcanization process
With the continuous progress of science and technology, from the production process to product inspection, packaging, is trying to achieve mechanization, linkage and automation, in order to improve production efficiency, reduce production costs and ensure product quality.
In vulcanization process also has a lot of progress, of radiation curing technology industrialization is the development direction of medical gloves vulcanization process, using the method of sulfide product can need not again in the emulsion mixed with sulfur, zinc oxide, accelerator and the like ingredients, make the products with high non-toxic, this examination gloves, medical gloves and pacifiers and other special use latex products has the special significance.Japan already produces protective gloves for the atomic industry using a process known as radiation vulcanization, and used gloves emit far less sulfur dioxide and ash when burned than latex gloves that are sulfurated.