KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products Inc. has expanded its product line with the addition of Vystar Corp.'s Vytex Natural Rubber Latex, one of several new applications for Vystar's material.
Kent Elastomer, a manufacturer of precision-engineered low-durometer tubing products, is adding Vytex for customers who prefer low-protein products but still want to retain the benefits of natural rubber latex, the Kent-based firm said Aug. 24. The eco-friendly raw material will be used for dip-molded offerings, a company spokeswoman said.
In early August, Vystar also said that it teamed with Brightway Holdings Sdn. Bhd. Malaysia to successfully complete Vytex material-use evaluation trials for gloves.
That clears the way for Brightway to manufacture and market a line of examination gloves made with Vytex, the two firms said.
In addition, Magic-Seal Packaging Products of Co-lumbus, Ohio, said on Aug. 31 it will come out with the first napkin rings made from Vytex. The product will be marketed to the restaurant and hospitality industries.
Kent Elastomer's standard natural rubber latex formula generally is suitable for most customers, according to Cindy Harry, director of sales and marketing for the company. However, for those requiring a low-protein formula, “Vytex NRL will be a valuable addition to our line of dip-molded products,” she said.
Vytex offers excellent barrier protection, tactile sensitivity, elasticity strength and comfort while retaining the positive characteristics of natural rubber latex, according to William Doyle, Vystar president, CEO and chairman.
Duluth, Ga.-based Vystar has been working with Kent Elastomer through numerous trials testing Vytex, according to Doyle. Strong test results led to Kent Elastomer's decision to use Vytex in its extensive line of dip molded offerings, he said.
“Kent Elas- lastomer has been working with us for a long time,” he said. “They have a lot of products and they tested several of their lines. So this is very significant.”
Formed in 1960, Kent Elastomer operates three manufacturing sites in Ohio—in Kent, Mogadore and Winesburg—that manufacture low-durometer tubing and dip molded products produced in both natural rubber and nonlatex compounds such as neoprene and synthetic polyisoprene.
The company serves a variety of markets, including medical, industrial, dental, sports/recreation, food/beverage and laboratory.
It extrudes thermoplastic elastomers, PVC and custom compounds in a variety of tubing sizes and makes Free-Band, a nonlatex tourniquet.
The contract with Brightway came about after the Malaysian glove maker successfully culminated tests using Vytex conducted at its plant in Biopro, Malaysia.
That paves the way for Brightway to manufacture and market the first examination glove made with the raw material.
Brightway has been looking for a way to bring a premium rubber latex examination glove to market for some time, along with different lines of gloves for the U.S., according to G. Baskaran, managing director of Brightway Holdings.
He said the U.S. market alone consumes more than 24 billion gloves annually, making it a strong opportunity for the company, which began operating in 1991 with two glove lines.
Today the manufacturer has 41 examination, surgical and industrial glove lines.
The two companies went into production with the Vytex-based glove in August.
Vystar's pact with Magic-Seal to produce the napkin ring is just one of several possibilities the two firms have discussed.
Magic-Seal intends to expand its uses of Vytex into other applications, including medical packaging bands commonly used to contain medical drapes, tubing and accessories, along with delicate parts and components in medical devices.