News for the plastics and rubber industry. Macplas
Technology Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Biodegradable, compostable, disposable gloves

Cibra Nova presents its new B.Glove machine developed for the production of biodegradable gloves at Plast 2015 (stand B 35, hall 15). This welder is the result of the company's experience spanning more than forty years, a story that began with the first semiautomatic machine to make disposable plastic gloves exhibited at Plast 1968, and continued with the first developments to process Mater-Bi biodegradable film which Novamont presented at Plast 2003, through to the past two years of full-time production of disposable Mater-Bi gloves by a leading Italian processor.

At the fair, gloves are also made from Mater-Bi, which gives the product extremely high intrinsic quality, delivering softness, breathability and purity, making them the ideal barrier in the food, medical, and pharmaceutical fields. Once used, they can be disposed of in the putrescible fraction of differentiated waste with which they degrade into compost. According to the manufacturer, after moving to biodegradable plastic bags, large-scale retail distributors may soon have to use compostable materials for bags and gloves for fruits and vegetables, which to date are still traditional plastic.

B.Glove is a welder that can process low or high density polyethylene on one or two lanes, in PE/EVA or PE/EMA polymer and biodegradable material. The film is advanced automatically by two unwind units with tension control and pneumatic dancer roll. The welding head, equipped with dies developed using Cibra Nova's own technology, produces 4 gloves in each cycle. The gloves are picked-up automatically and inserted onto two conveyor belts (one for each lane) with cold pins, stacked in batches of the desired quantity. When the pre-set quantity is reached, the conveyor belt advances to provide a new set of pins to resume the stacking of gloves. Waste is automatically removed and deposited in a special container. The batches of gloves can be collected and boxed automatically or by an operator.

The sealing dies developed by the processor to specifications can easily be replaced to produce 3 or 5 finger and knob gloves, in different sizes. Special dies can be installed on the welding machine in similar sizes as the glove dies to produce round bottom and puppet-shaped bags. The machine width can vary from 80 to 100 cm depending on the type of gloves, up to 40 cm tall. Depending on the type of film, the length of the glove and the action of the collection, productivity is between 30 and 60 gloves a minute. The length of the conveyor belt can vary to create a sizable glove collection unit and minimizes the operator's already demanding tasks at the end of the line.