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Published on January 1, 2005

Using Organic Peroxides in Open Air Systems to Cure Latex Articles

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Date Published January 1, 2005

This Report has been authored by:Christopher M. Nola at R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. #with# Carrie A. Webster at R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc.

Normally, to cure a latex compound, a chemist would add sulfur, a metal oxide such as zinc oxide, and a combination of accelerators. Although this combination works extremely well, the continued use of most common accelerators has led to an increase in delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity also known as a Type IV allergy. This type of allergy occurs when an antigen (residual chemical) interacts with specific T lymphocytes. These lymphocytes release inflammatory and toxic substances that lead to a skin reaction. Type IV allergies can be caused by all the chemicals used in latex product production, but the common accelerators Thiurams, Thiazoles, and Dithiocarbamates tend to cause the biggest problem. Additionally, it has been shown that people with Type IV allergies have an increased risk of developing the far more serious Type I latex allergy. Due to these issues, it is important for latex companies to develop alternative cure systems. This paper will describe one such alternative cure system. This new process uses organic peroxides in place of a common accelerator system, and it is capable of producing films with tensile strengths between 20 and 35 MPa at relatively low curing temperatures. Latex compounds made with this system can be cured in both an open-air environment or in closed systems without exhibiting the tackiness that is often associated with the use of peroxides in an open-air cure. Additionally, this paper will offer recommendations on additional additives that help to maximize the effectiveness of this cure system.