Latex Manufacturing

Dunlap Latex Manufacturing

What is latex?

Originally it was just natural rubber that was made from the sap of actual rubber trees. And latex is still made this way today. But during WWII, scientists also learned how to create synthetic latex.

The majority of where latex comes from is from the plantation trees of Sri Lanka.

Dunlap Process:

The 12 step process with Dunlap Latex

1) Bulk storage Tanks

2) Daily tanks

3) Foaming Mixer

4) Latex Filling

5) Air Cooling

6) Vulcanizing Chamber

7) Water Cooling

8) Washer

9) RR Dryer

10) Conditioner

11) ILD Testing

12) Packing

A basic process in the latex production Industry is with a Mass Boiler.

  1. Mass Boiler:

most manufacturers start the process in the mass boiler.

Many companies even make their mass boiler to be sustainable, by customizing their boiler to recycle rubber tree waste.

The recycled water protects the environment and works under the Zero Discharge Policy. Not all companies comply with this policy, but the ones that do will state that they do recycle.

2) Keep to standards:

ILD Testing. What is ILD? ILD tests the quality of compression and firmness.

Compression of latex is measured through the different levels of ILD tests.

ILD= Impression Load Deflection measures compression and firmness.

The majority of testing the ILD is through experiments with computers.

According to EC0-Latex “The foam must be 4” thick by 15”wide and by 15”long” within their testing.

Keeping the same exact measurements through experiments keeps the value of the tests valid.

When it comes to Dunlap Process there are 3 steps:

1) The liquid Latex formulation is poured into a conveyor Belt

2) This liquid is heated slowly transforms into a “gel”

3) This solid “gel” is removed from the conveyor belt.

There is the process of determining the hardness of the indentation technique, which is called the International Standard: ISO

The ISO is the flexible Cellular Polymeric materials.

How is ISO Measured?

Through the flexible cellular materials with the Load bearing properties.

There are 5 methods to test and measure the indentation and hardness.

1) Method One:

testing the single indentation in the lab

2) Method Two:

testing the hardness of the shape, curve, and indentation in the lab

3) Method Three:

testing the quality of the control

4) Method Four:

testing the low indentation hard index, and inspection in the lab

5 Method Five:

determining compression deflection co-efficient and loss rate which provides info on load bearing properties and materials.

There are other forms of testing the durability of latex:

Cornell testing

Rollator testing

Impact Testing

Roller Shear Testing

Elongation and Compression Testing

The above tests measure how well the impact of the latex will last over a lifetime.

Two Process of Latex core: Talaley and Dunlap

1) The original method, called the Dunlop method, involves first whipping the latex liquid with air to make a foam, then pouring the latex liquid into a mold and heating it till it vulcanizes

2) the Talalay method, which is a bit more involved. In the Talalay method, the latex foam a vacuum is placed on the mold and other processes are involved that some claim produces a foam that has a more consistent cell structure. The foam, in either process, once made is then washed a number of times to get rid or excess soaps and proteins that can make the foam degrade early and also reduces the rubbery smell of latex.

According to the Owner of The Futon Shop Suzanne’s take on Latex while buying from vendors is this:

“From my experience at trade shows and in discussions with manufacturers and seasoned latex bed owners, it depended on who you talked with. Manufacturers who used the Talalay method, described their product as being less dense, having more air dispersed in the product due to the flash freeze step used in the process, and claimed that it had a more uniform cell structure. Those who used the more straightforward vulcanization technique in the Dunlop method liked the more elastic, springier feeling it creates, and had strong opinions about using all natural materials. My take: I think they are both good products, but I leaned toward the Dunlop mindset since the technique was developed using all natural latex without synthetic ingredients, and it offered a more stable product with some solid history behind it.”

 

Understanding certain terms:

 

The ILD Numbers range when it comes to different manufactuers.

But here is the basic rating:

There is an scale for ILD rating for latex, foam, and memory foams.

Here is the average rate for Latex ILD:

36= Extra firm

32= Firm

28= Medium Firm

24= Firm

19= Plush

14 = Ultra Plush

 

Click to read about mattress lifespans.

Click to read about mattress motion isolation.

Click to read about the latex ingredient.

Click to read about the benefits of latex.

Click to read about how latex is harvested from rubber trees.

Click to read more about latex densities.

Rubber Trees

Rubber Tree

The Rubber Tree Plantation is where latex comes from. Rubber Tree plantations are also called Hevea Brasilienses. One of the earliest Plantation was in 1928-1945 by Ford Motors in Brazil.

Henry Ford was interested in more than just supplying his Rubber plantation, he introduced such commercial interests as planting teak, balsa, mahogany, eucalyptus, kapok, tamarind, sisal, hemp, jute, cinnamon, ginger, coconut oil, palm, cacao tea, pineapple, citrus fruits, bananas, soybeans, and coffee. Henry Ford supplied 7,000 inhabitants, more than 2000 workers, 844 houses, and wooden barracks that could accommodate 950 men by 1940.

The Rubber Tree Plantation originated in Brazil in the Amazon forest, but by the early 20th century the rubber tree/Hevea Brasiliensis seeds were brought to the East Indies for cultivation.

Rubber Tree Plantations are planted all over the world. Asia is the largest location for Rubber plantation, with Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia being the top three countries that cultivate the seed. Plantations can also be seen across the world from Africa to Brazil. In India the first Rubber Tree Plantation was introduced as early as 1902.

Rubber latex is extracted from The Rubber tree though a tapping technique. Best done in the morning. The rubber tree lifetime is around 32 years, with the average immature tree life for 7 years, while a mature healthy tree can live on average of 25 years. Plantations give a quality soil of well-drained weathered soil that is filled with laterite, lateritic types sedimentary types, nonlateitic red or alluvial soils.

Rubber plantations grow and live best in temps ranging from 20-34 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is best, as well as high humidity of around 80%. Sunshine is important too, with 2000 hours per year at the rate of six hours per day through the year. Best to have no winds.

Rubber seed is one of the by-products of natural rubber plantations. It is mainly available during the months between July to September. Though seed setting commences even during the immature phase, seeds from mature rubber plantations are collected as they meet the essential properties for processing and plant propagation.

How is the latex collected?

In some plantations the shell of coconuts are used to collect latex, but glazed pottery or aluminum or plastic cups are used as well. The container to collect the latex is connected to the tree by wire that wraps around the tree. The wire as a spring attached to the cup that stretches around the tree. The liquid seeps out of the spout of th tree by a process called galvanizing. Tapping or knocking the tree in the morning, when the internal pressure of the tree is highest can release liquid for hours. Trees are tapped every three days to get the most quality of liquid and not damaging and drying out the tree.

According to the Rubberboard.org an alternate source of income to plantation growers, farmers are encouraged to start the process of bee keeping. A 1996 -97 scheme was introduced creating small growers who own a total of rubber area between 0.5 and 2.50 acres and the tappers eligible for bee keeping subsidy.

A small history into bee keeping:

Bees do not just create honey, but hives products are also pollen, beeswax, royal jelly and bee venom which also have industrial uses. Bees also create Ayurveda and allopathic pharmaceutical firms, bakery, confectionery, dairy and tobacco manufacturing.

What kind of bees?

There are 4 main species of Honeybees:

1) Apis Mellifera

2) Apis Cerana Idica

3) Apis Dorsata

4) Apis Florea

Apis Mellifera is the most popular bee species, while the Apis Cerana Indica is an indigenous bee most common in the rubber plantation.

The Honey flows in the rubber tree plantation from January to mid April, producing large quantities of nectar from the extra floral nectary glands at the distal end of the petals where the leaflets join.

 

Click to read about mattress lifespans.

Click to read about mattress motion isolation.

Click to read about the latex ingredient.

Click to read about latex manufacturing.

Click to read about the benefits of latex.

Click to read more about latex densities.

Latex Densities

The Different Densities of latex in your mattress:

While shopping for different mattresses, it is important to know that there are different levels of firmness with different ranges for foam, memory foam, and latex.

What does ILD mean?

Impression Load Deflection. Again. What does that mean? In basic terms, the ILD will tell you the level of firmness. There are different ratings per latex process. The biggest difference is that only Dunlap is 100% organic and toxic free.

Dunlap Process has been around longer and makes a firmer latex Instead of a flash freeze, the latex goes through what is called a vulcanization., which molds the liquid. During the cooling process, the movement of the cells settle and make it a thicker product. The steps to making chemical free latex is 1) Liquid latex formulation is poured onto a long conveyor belt 2) Liquid latex is slowly heated to “gel” into permanent solid form and
3) Cooled solid latex is removed from conveyor belt

As for chemicals, specifically Vanillin, it depends of the supplier of latex. The process is chemical free, but it is important you ask for info into the company that sells the latex is there are chemicals in the liquid before the process of forming the latex. BE sure to contact the vendor who supplies the latex if you are doing research and the latex is not Dunlop latex. Many times the sales people do not about this topic and it is best to be your own advocate. The Futon Shop lists all the info and lets the consumer decide for themselves how green and organic they want their mattress to be.

Dunlap Process:

  1. Process has been used in latex manufacturing since 1929
  2. Thick rubber sap is whipped into a froth in a centrifuge
  3. Sap is poured into a mold, the mold is covered and steam baked
  4. Natural sediments in the mixture settle to the bottom of the mold making Dunlop layers slightly firmer on the bottom side

 

Below is the ILD for Dunlop Latex Around the world.

Latex Densities

Latex Densities

 

Click to read about mattress lifespans.

Click to read about mattress motion isolation.

Click to read about the latex ingredient.

Click to read about latex manufacturing.

Click to read about how latex is harvested from rubber trees.

Click to read more about the benefits of latex.

Benefits Of Latex

Pressure Relief: With a bounce back feel from latex, all the 7 points of the body are contoured without sinking, creating a balanced feel while resting. A balanced feel is what the latex core mattress provides, shaping to the body and distributes the weight evenly and eliminates any pressure from the seven pressure points:

-head

-shoulder

-hip and back

-lumber

-pelvic

-upper and lower leg

-feet

Breathability: Latex does not bring heat like memory foam or other foams.

Latex gives an open air flow, which helps conform to the body. The natural ventilation dissipates the body’s moisture, which keeps the mattress dry. Keeping the mattress dry keeps mold away and gives a longer lifetime to the mattress.

HypyAllergenic: What is researched in regards to latex allergens and sensitivities are not actual the latex beds that create allergens. What has been found in studies within the lines of latex allergies is that 12% of harvest latex is treated with some form of ammonia and ammonia with thiuram. This production of high or low ammonia latex accounts for the many allergy reactions with balloons, gloves, or condoms. It has been researched that the latex form for bedding has been put through the process of “vulcanization” a process that treats the sap latex in extremely high temperatures for a long time resulting in low to undetectable levels of allergens proteins, which through studies validates it as non-allergenic. The open air flow chamber keeps the mattress dry, which prevents fungi, bacteria, and house dust mites.

Independent Support: No worries from the noise of box spring and spring mattresses. There is no creaking or noise from latex while in use. Also, the latex does not move while tossing or turning during sleep.

Firmness: The process in which Dunlop latex is made creates a firmer core. The latex mattress is more popular among sleepers who like a firm bed. The Liquid sap latex from the rubber tree is whipped through a process to make a foam, then poured into a “gel” like form and finally slowly heated into a “vulcanized” state to create a strong firm core. There are a few different levels of firmness to customize for the consumer. The holes that are developed during the Dunlop process give flexibility and adjustable comfort levels, as well as absorbs the body in the different positions while sleeping.

Durability: there are many kinds of latex, but the Dunlop latex process is the oldest form of latex, with a thicker denser constructed core. It is recommended with at least 6inch latex core be made for a well rested night sleep is possible. The latex is so strong that it is not needed to be flipped monthly. The process of making latex through the Dunlop process has a heavier texture, giving it a more durable core. It is important that you ask the sales person to test out the different levels of firmness to find the right level for you.

Sustainable: The collection of sap liquid latex from a rubber tree acts as a sustainable relationship. As collectors collect the sap, latex is slowly and methodically emptied out carefully without defected the tree. The plantation trees can live up to 30 years. When plantations are carried out in the correct way, the flow of sap can last for many years without any cut down or damage.

One of the largest latex company Eco-Latex, a Dunlap latex supplier uses sustainable boiler while transferring the latex sap. They have customized their boiler to work with recycled rubber tree waster. This works in hand to fit the Zero Discharge Policy.

Chemical Free: Latex in its natural form is all natural. It is biodegradable and sustainable. It is important to find out if the Latex is certified by The USDA or any other organizations.

There are 100’s of latex suppliers, so it is important to research their latex operations and website. Also, when purchasing a latex mattress, be sure if it is imported from other countries it has the seal of USDA and organic standards. Latex form if not treated with any chemicals during its process is the better choice than any foams. Foams even in its greenest form is process with petrochemicals. Latex in its natural form is free from all fire retardants and petrochemicals.

Also there are no artificial scents, formaldehyde, phenols, phthalates, toluene, vanillin containing petrochemicals, boric acid, chemical flame retardants, or any kind of polyurethane.

In the process of Dunlop Latex there are no synthetic chemicals involved in the process:

1) The sap is mixed and solidified into a “gel” like form by mixing into a foam.

2) The Foam is then poured into a stainless steel conveyor belt

3) Vulcanization process occurs with the chemical reaction that gives the latex an elastic shape.

3) the molds are then open and then foam rubber cores are removed at the washing station

Be sure to ask the sales person about the latex. Be sure that the latex is not labeled :

-Blended latex

-synthetic latex

-natural latex( it be mixed with toxins during the process)

All latex originates from the 100% natural sap from a rubber tree. But be careful not to buy latex that has been process with chemicals.

 

Click to read about mattress lifespans.

Click to read about mattress motion isolation.

Click to read about the latex ingredient.

Click to read about latex manufacturing.

Click to read about how latex is harvested from rubber trees.

Click to read more about latex densities.

Mattress Lifespan

“Longevity” or “lifespan” in our research refers to the length of a mattress’s useful life, that is, how long it maintains at least some of its original comfort and support. Longevity / lifespan often has the same meaning as durability, but not always.

15-20 year life expectancy with every day use

Organic Mattresses

Serenity Plus Organic Latex Wool and Cotton Mattress – Premier Selection

Comfort Rest Organic Latex Mattress

Natural – Tempurpedic Memory Foam Futon Mattress

Natural Plus – Organic Futon Mattress with Latex

Latex Mattresses

Eternity Wool Futon Mattress – Chemical-Free Extra Firm Latex

Serenity Latex Futon Mattress – Eco-friendly

Heaven Natural Latex Mattress

Cozy Comfort Natural Organic Latex and Spring Futon Bed Mattress

Mattress Toppers

Phiten Renew Mattress Latex Topper

Phiten Find Latex Mattress Topper

Viscose Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Memory Foam Mattresses

Viscose Classic Memory Foam Futon

Viscose Deluxe Memory Foam Futon Mattress

Viscose Supreme

Soft Viscose – Soybean Memory Foam on top of 733 Pocket coils + Virgin Wool

Gel Memory Foam Mattresses

Liquid Sky Gel Mattress – Gel Memory Foam Mattress made from Soybeans Eco-friendy

Heavenly Glacier Gel Memory Foam

Lucid Snow Organic Cotton Gel Futon

Divine Ice Gel Memory Foam Bed – Includes Organic Mattress Protector

Cool Rest Comfortable Gel Futon Mattress

Healthy Rest Visco Gel Memory Foam Futon Mattress

Phiten Mattresses

Phiten Clarity Futon Mattress

Phiten Comfort Futon Mattress

Phiten Find Latex Mattress Topper

Phiten Mind Futon Performance Mattress

Phiten Soul Futon Mattress

Phiten Body Futon Mattress

Latex Bed – Phiten Life Futon Mattress

Phiten Essence Futon Firm Mattress

 

10-20 year life expectancy with every day use

Wool Mattresses

Teddy Bear 8 inch Natural Wool Mattress

Wool Mattress Toppers

Teddy Bear 5 inch Wool Bed Topper

Teddy Bear 3 inch Wool Mattress Toppers

Teddy Bear 2 inch Wool Mattress Topper

Phiten Mattress Toppers

Phiten Empower Mattress Wool Topper

 

10-15 year life expectancy with every day use

Spring Mattresses

Relaxer Plus Spring Futon Mattress – 4 in. Innersprings Soy Foam Wool and Cotton

Mattress Toppers

Serenity Natural Latex Mattress Topper

 

9-12 year life expectancy with every day use

Spring Mattresses

Support Plus Spring Mattress- 733 4 in. Coils, Soy Foam & Cotton, Soybean Foam Core

 

8-12 year life expectancy with every day use

Organic Mattresses

Tranquility2 Natural Wool Futon Bed Mattress

Perfect Comfort

Spring Mattresses

Support Max Futon Cushion

Latex Mattresses

Orthosupport Wool Mattress

Back Care Plus Wool Futon – Extra Virgin Wool, Natural Long Staple Cotton, Extra-Firm Soybean Foam Core

Soy Foam Mattresses

Crown Contour Foam Futon Mattress – Special 2-sided Futon Mattress

 

8-10 year life expectancy with everyday use

Organic Mattresses

EcoPure All Natural Organic Latex and Wool Futon Bed Mattress

Organic Latex and Cotton Mattress

Natural Rest – Soy Foam and Organic Cotton Futon

Tranquility Wool Futon Mattress

Soy Foam Mattresses

New Relaxer – Rated The Best Foam Mattress

Phiten Mattresses

Phiten Flow Futon Mattress

Phiten Flow 2 Futon Mattress

Phiten Being Futon Sofa Mattress

 

6-10 year life expectancy with occasional use

Organic Mattresses

Organic Cotton Mattress

 

6-8 year life expectancy with occasional use

Organic Mattresses

Harmony – Firm Soy Foam and Organic Cotton Mattress

Cotton Mattresses

Isis – Cotton Futon Mattress with Soybean Foam Core

Soy Foam Mattresses

Merlin Foam Futon Cushion

 

5-7 year life expectancy with occasional use

Spring Mattresses

Stratus Innerspring Mattress

 

3-5 year life expectancy with occasional use

Cotton Mattresses

Ramses 3 Eco-Friendly Cotton Futon Mattress

 

2-4 year life expectancy with occasional use

Cotton Mattresses

Lotus Cotton Futon

Mattress Motion Isolation

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam uses heat to contort to the shape of your body. This leads to the fact that memory foam mattresses have great motion isolation. Everyone has seen a example of jumping on one side of the mattress without spilling a glass of wine on the other side. Depending on the thickness and density of the memory foam you should expect great motion isolation.

Latex Mattresses

Latex sinks in just like memory foam but always provides a reflex. This provides great back support but tends to be a little bouncy. With that being said the motion isolation is still pretty good. Depending on the thickness and density of the latex you should expect good motion isolation.

Click to read more about latex mattresses

Innerspring Mattresses

Motion isolation can vary greatly for innerspring beds depending mainly on the type of coil used. Bonnell / open coils and continuous coils tend to provide fair-to-poor motion isolation, while more sophisticated coils such as pocket or offset tend to provide at good to great motion isolation. In addition, the presence of memory foam and or latex on an innerspring bed helps to reduce motion transfer.

Cotton Mattresses / Wool Mattresses

Cotton and wool mattresses are packed tight and then tufted. Because of this these mattresses usually have good motion isolation. Usually no motion transfers to the other side of the mattress. If the mattress is made to be extra soft a little motion may transfer on a wool mattress.

Click to read more about cotton mattresses

Click to read more about wool mattresses

What are the ingredients of Chemical Free Mattresses

A Manufacturer should take pride in being members of the sustainable Furniture Council and Organic Trade Association, keeping up with standards of USDA Organic and eco-friendly practices. Also taking pride in using fabric that is GOTS certified. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) in an international textile processing standard for around the world and is a organization that is backed by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. Each and every chemical free mattress should meet the rules and regulation standards of 16 CFR 1633. Using wool as a natural fire retardant is the perfect way to use organic ingredients while meeting these standards. There should be no PBDE( POlyBrominated Diphenyl Ethers) or boric acid in any chemical free mattress. Chemical free mattresses can be shipped to your home without the added toxins, nor are there any added steps needed to get a doctor’s note. Every mattress in The Futon Shop’s chemical free futon mattress line has wool added to the top of each mattress, which acts as a natural fire retardant.

Wool is the magic ingredient that is used as a fire retardant in all Futon Shop Chemical Free Futon Mattresses. Think of wool as a thermostat, regulating temperature warming up in cold weather and cooling down in warm weather. It is a jack of all trades in such markets as mattresses, fashion, flooring, and so on. It is a muilitfaceted, practical and dependable fiber because of its high resilience to last for years. The key factor that makes wool such a beneficial ingredient in mattresses is the fire retardant property. Wool has been used in textiles for 100’s of years and is naturally a fire retardant because it does not ignite from a flame, is chemical free, pesticide free, dust mite free, hypoallergenic, and a sustainable product.

Check out the main features of Chemical Free Mattresses.