Latex is a generic term for a dispersion/emulsion of a polymer in water. A wide range of polymers are available as latices. Latex can be combined with other chemicals e.g. flame retardants. The properties of latex make it a versatile raw material for multiple processes in different areas. It’s important to be well versed in the numerous benefits and applications of all the different types of latex that are available nowadays so that you can use this unique material more effectively.
Basically, dipping is the process of transferring a rubber film onto a mould to achieve the desired shape. Gloves, surgical sundries, balloons, toys, bottle teats, boots, and rubber shoes may all be produced using dipping.
In the manufacturing of carpets and especially of tufted carpets, one of the main criteria of high quality is the ability of the carpet to keep its shape and resist pile filaments from being pulled. If it happens, the carpet looks messy. This property is called a tuft bind or a tuft-pull. The higher the tuft-pull value is, the better the quality of a carpet.
If you have traditional carpets at home, you probably know that the pile can get separated from the backing, which leads to individual tufts being exposed. This characteristic is measured in delamination strength and the higher it is, the longer a carpet will look new.
In order to avoid these two problems, manufacturers can laminate carpet pile to carpet backing by applying a latex formulation to the surfaces of the piles and the backing. This way, they bond together. When two surfaces are brought together, manufacturers place them in large ovens to perform a heat treatment. As a result of applying the latex formula, the lamination process compresses the rug pile to the rug backing. Carpets treated with latex compounds have higher tuft-pull value and delamination strength, which means they serve longer and keep their shape better.
Latex compounds are widely used in textiles in order to increase their resilience, hardness, ageing resistance, abrasion resistance, mechanical strength. Textiles treated this way become water resistant and can survive through extensive use. Latex compounds are also used to make textiles flame retardant.
One of the main uses of latex compounds in textiles is back coating. The back coating is a special process that improves stability and reduces fraying of a material. Latex is the main choice for this method because it has a high binding capability and incredible strength.
Latex compounds are often used in mattresses because it makes them bouncier with a resilient surface for better comfort. Mattresses made from latex are a popular choice for eco-shoppers because latex is a sustainable material sourced from rubber trees.
As a material, latex is soft but supportive, which makes it a popular choice for use in pillows, toppers, crib mattresses, and all types of bedding. Thanks to its high elasticity, it provides a unique bounce back feeling and gently pushes back on the parts of your body that push down when you sleep.
Latex provides support, responding to all your movement and relieving pressure points while you sleep. All these properties make latex compounds a great choice for everyone looking for the getup and go feeling in the morning.
The quality known as responsiveness gives different mattresses different speeds at which they spring back from being compressed by the weight of a body. It is an important property for the mitigation of pressure. Unlike traditional mattresses or memory foam mattresses, latex ones are more responsive. They quickly conform to your body shape.
PVDC latex is used as a barrier coating for plastic films for food packaging. It performs two functions. Firstly, it limits the amount of water vapour that can pass through the film. Low moisture vapour transmission is vital. In order to keep food fresh, the amount of water that can pass through the film must be kept to an absolute minimum. PVDC latex is the ideal coating for this application. Secondly, PVDC is heat sealable. A lot of food packaging is closed using a heat seal process.
More recently, PVDC latex has proved a popular choice for food packaging applications
Latex compounds are used in electronics applications - polyurethane foam impregnated with a latex compound that conducts static electricity. This can then be used for packaging electronic components that are sensitive to static electricity. Both soft and rigid versions are available. Air-drying latex compounds can be used to protect electronic components. These are applied to the sensitive component and then left to dry. The film can be peeled off without damaging the component.
Latex compounds have the ability to coalesce. As a result, they form a polymer film that is highly resistant to water and air. These properties make latex extremely important for a huge range of construction applications.
These compounds play an important role in binding materials, enhancing the adhesion and strength of cement, concrete and foam insulation.
Latex compounds are used in a wide range of adhesives: cold seal adhesives for packaging applications, envelope manufacture, and brown paper/corrugated packaging, two-part contact adhesives for furniture manufacturing, and permanently tacky (pressure-sensitive) adhesives for label manufacture.
To find out more about our range of bespoke latex formulations, please get in touch with us today.