How latex is made

The creation of latex foam is almost as magical as the products that we end up with. Latex foam is basically a vulcanized rubber with an open cell structure. Artilat uses the Dunlop production process, which goes as follows:

STEP 1 | The creation of the basic compound. This compound is made of:

  • SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber) and natural latex in varying proportions, or 100% natural latex
  • soap
  • chemical additives for the vulcanization process, such as accelerators, stabilizers and antioxidants

STEP 2 | The basic compound is pumped into a blender which mixes the different ingredients. During the same time, the compound is whipped into a foam by adding compressed air.

STEP 3 | Once the foam is finished, it gets shaken up one more time in a blender where a gelling additive is added.

STEP 4 | The foamy substance is poured, by means of a robotic hose, into aluminium moulds while they move on rails through a closed loop production line.

STEP 5 | The filled moulds pass through a vulcanization oven and are exposed to wet steam.

STEP 6 | After de-moulding, the mattress cores are washed and dried.

Step 7 | Quality control, the last but certainly not least important step. Although the vulcanization has not yet been completed, the quality of the mattress core is being inspected thoroughly. It takes a few more days before the finished product reaches its final specifications.

An important alternative in the Dunlop process is the continuous production system in which the latex foam is poured onto a conveyor belt instead of into moulds. After passing the various stages of vulcanisation, washing and drying, the resulting foam layer is trimmed into rolls or cut into sheets with a maximum height of 5 cm.

production of latex

There are two different production processes when it comes to the production of latex foam. Artilat uses the Dunlop process, our sister company Talalay Global uses the Talalay process. The major difference is what happens in the mould prior to the vulcanisation stage. In the Dunlop process, the moulds are filled to the rim, whereas in the Talalay process pre foamed compound is poured into the mould.  Air is extracted to perfectly distribute the foamed liquid inside the mould to create a consistent round, open cell structure. The mattress core is then flash frozen to lock the cell structure in place and to prevent the particles from settling.