Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2011

Condoms - How are "rubbers" made?

Condom. Ever wonder how condoms get made?
As you've probably figured, most "rubbers" are made from exactly that - rubber harvested from trees in West Africa, Southeast Asia or South America. This wasn't always the case. In previous centuries materials like linen, animal intestines and even tortoise shell were used to produce condoms - providing varying levels of effectiveness and, we can only guess, comfort. We suggest you don't try this at home.

For modern condoms, the rubber is treated with different substances to improve the condom's strength and stability, such as zinc oxide, postassium laurate, amonia and sulfur. It's then added to water to create a water-rubber suspension, called latex. The latex is put in vats below a conveyor belt that dips moulds (know as "formers") into the liquid rubber. The coat is left to dry, before a second and then maybe a third coat is added, depending on how thick the condom needs to be.

Once they've dried, a brush runs down the base of the formers to roll the ends of the condoms into that rim found at the condom's opening. Then the moulds pass through a tunnel oven, where the heat strengthens the rubber and
makes it less sticky. And at last the condoms pass a quality test to make sure that they are produced without holes :-)




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