US 3852826 A
A thin surgical glove is provided with a colored circumferential band overlying the cuff portion to impart visual identification of the glove size and to further strengthen the cuff. A different color is employed for each size. The method comprises first depositing a layer of latex on a glove form and immediately thereafter, before curing, the form is partly immersed into a preselected colored latex bath, wrist down, whereby a desired colored band of desired width is deposited about the cuff portion. The glove is dried, stripped from the form and cured. By this technique, the colored band becomes integrally connected with the underlying base material and resists delaminating. To facilitate the rapid production of varying sizes, a turntable mechanism is employed carrying a plurality of prepositioned colored latex containing tanks. These tanks are rotatably moved into dipping relationship with the glove forms being carried overhead.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Schindler [451 Dec. 10,1974 H i 1 SURGICAL GLOVES 75] inventor: Oswald Schindler, Shaker Heights,
 Assignee: Intermarket Corporation,
Cleveland, Ohio 221 Filed: Jan. 18, 1974  App]. No.7 434,404
'ufs. Cl. ...;..L....;.2/168 7 OTHER PUBLICATIONS j Clipping from Evening Star of 1 1-18-71.
Primary ExaminerGeo; V. Larkin Attorney, Agent, 0 0r Firm Wigman & Cohen 57 ABSTRACT A thin surgical glove is provided with a colored circumferential band overlying the cuff portion to impart visualidentification of the glove size and to further. strengthen the cuff. A different color is employed for. each size. The method comprises first depositing a' layer of latex on a glove form and immediately thereafter, before curing, the form is partly immersed into a v preselected colored latex bath, wrist down, whereby a desired colored band of desired width isdeposited about the cuff portion. Theglove is dried, stripped from the form and cured. By this technique, the colored band becomes integrally connected with the underlying base material and resists delaminating. To fa cilitate the rapid production of varying sizes, a turnta ble mechanism is employed carrying a plurality of prepositioned colored latex containing tanks. These 'tanks are. rotatably moved into dipping relationship with the glove forms being carried overhead.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED I 0 sum 10F 2 PRETREATMENT OF FORM VIITH COAGULANT FORMING LATEX GLOVE SIMULTANEOUS LY CURING GLOVE AND COLORED BAND REMOVING CURED GLOVE FROM FORM TESTING PACKAGING AND SURGICAL GLOVES BACKGROUND OF THEINVENTION perienced by those in the medical profession as well as l by casual observers through television, movies and the like. The need for surgical gloves is so widely understood as to preclude any further elaboration. As will be exemplified hereafter, the art is replete with surgical gloves, of one type or another, which are addressed to solving different problems associated with the use or manufacture of thegloves.
One particular problem which has heretofore not been satisfactorily solved, by the industry is improper glove sizing. This problem manifests itself when a surgeon believing he has placed the proper gloves on his hands discovers that the gloves are either too small or too large. Obviously, the gloves are immediately stripped and discarded. This can occur when matched gloves of the same size are placedin a package. having a different size marked thereon. Another wrong can occur when, for example, a right-hand .glove of one size and a left-hand glove of another size are incorrectly matched and packaged. Even where the packaging is correctly carried out there is the possibility. that incorrect glove size selection can take place by the surgeon or his assistant by inadvertently opening the wrong package. s
Accordingly, the present invention has as its primary objectivethe elimination of glove size mismatching during packaging and erroneous selection by the wearer. Heretofore there has not been a satisfactory solution to this p'roblemfNumerous approaches have been aken forproviding a surgical glove which combines the advantages of a thin hand'portion anda heavier wrist portion for reinforcing purposes'only. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,683,263 and 3,555,564 describe rubber gloves having a plurality ofthickened wall portions corresponding to. the wrist portion and the portion intermediate the wrist and the hand portion of the glove. U.S. Pat. No. 3,268,647 suggests a fluted wrist portion. U.S. Pat. No. 2,325,330 discloses the separate application of a reinforcing band to prevent the rolling tendency of the wristportion of the glove; v during use. Colored gloves of laminated construction are suggested in U.S. Pat. No. 732,360. However, U.S.
' Pat. No. 2,683,263 suggests the accepted avoidanceof a multiplicity of handoperations including applying adlamination of the colored preform can occur during sterilization or during use.
Accordingly, there still exists a need for a surgical glove having formed thereon size identification means for conveying size information visually to an observer.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved surgical glove having a cuff or wrist portion of a contrasting color which differs from the hand portion for size identification purposes. Another object of the present invention is to provide a colored band of a width sufficiently large to reinforce the wrist (or cuff) portion of the glove against tearing. Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved surgical glove having a thickened, colored," wrist (or cuff) portion which is intimately united with the underlying base material so as to form asubstantially homogeneous structure capable of resisting delamination during sterilization'procedures or when in .use. A further object of the present invention is the provision of a process whereby a substantially complete uncured glove structure is first formed, a layer of coloredlatex of predetermined width is then deposited 'circumferentially on the wrist or cuffportion of the glove, and the composite glove and colored latex overlying layer are together cured to form a homogeneous glove.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a multi-dip process for making afsurgi cal glove .6 hesive to the preform, posltionmg the preform onto the glove to form a laminated structure,'drying and testing. Secondly, the glove quality is unsatisfactory since dehaving a colored wrist 'or cuff portion for size identification purposes wherein the glove is first formed by dipping in a latex bath of neutral color anda second layer applied circumferentially over the wrist or cuff portion only is formed bymeans of a second clip in a colored latexbath. Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of an .improved method which utilizes a turntable mechanism for positioning a plurality of colored latex tanks into dipping relationship with the glove forms being conveyed overhead.
These and other objects of the present invention will become more apparent from the description and drawings which follow. I
SUMMARY AND ADVANTAGES or THE INVENTION Briefly, the surgical glove of the present invention is preferably made of a natural rubber latex comprising a hand portion of thin wall construction and a colored wrist or cuff portion of thickened construction for size identification purposes and to prevent wrist tearing.
The method according to the present invention utilizes the conventional steps of forming a surgical glove by applying coagulant to a glove-shaped form and then substantially completely immersing the form into a latex bath for a time sufficient to deposit a thin layer of latex onto the form. Thereafter the latex covered form is removed from the latex bath and partially dried, and subjected to a partial coating operation whereby a layer of colored latex is deposited over the wrist or cuff portion of the precured latex. In a preferred embodiment,
the partial coating operation comprises dipping the wrist or cuff portion only into a tank of colored latex. After a sufficielnt layer is builtv up on the wrist or cuff, the form is removed and subjected to a vulcanizing (or curing) operation. Thereafter, the glove is removed from the form and conventionally processed and packaged.
, of the present invention resides in the fact that immediate replacement can be made in an operating room without the necessity for making inquiry as to size. Verbal communication is avoided as well as the possiblity of erroneous information being conveyed.
It should be mentioned that thepresent invention is not limited to any particular method or apparatus for.
initially forming the latex glove prior to application of the colored layer thereon. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,952,935,- 2,482,418, 2,731,668, 2,814,069, and 3,013,302 disclose techniques which may be applicable for carrying out the initial glove forming steps. The
above-mentioned patents disclose methods and'apparatus for making gloves whereby suitable forms may be immersed in latex baths fingertips first, or wrist portion first, or a combination thereof. ,Each of the procedures described in the aforementioned patents yields gloves having differing wall thicknesses when measured from the fingertips to the cuff .portion.
The surgical glove of the present invention may b further characterized as having very thin fingerportions to maximize tactile sensitivity but is yet strong enough to resist rupture. Although several techniques may be employed to achieve this desired glove characteristic, one preferred'approach is to withdraw the coagulant coated form from a latex bath, fingertips pointing upwardly so as to place the coated form immediately in proper dipping position with respect to the colored latex tank whereby only the wrist or cuff portion is immersed in the colored lat ex bath to yielda colored band of about inch to 1% wide. Another technique for applying the colored latex circumferential band is to use a spray device suitably positioned so as to confront a rotating latex covered form.
One type of dipping form which is suitable for use in this invention is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,951,402. This form is dipped one or more times in the latex bath and partially dried after each dip to produce a film of desired thickness. To accelerate the rate of deposition, a conventional coagulant, e.g., calcium nitrate solution, hydrated magnesium acetate solution, or the like, is applied to a'form being coatedprior to dipping. The coagulant coated form is dipped into the latex'bath where it picks up the required latex thickness. If additional thickness is required, the process may be repeated uniformly or in selected areas. Generally speaking, the thickness of the latex deposit will vary with the type and concentration of coagulant employed as well as the immersion time. The finger portions of thesurgical gloves of this invention generally have a thickness ranging from about 0.004 inches to about 0.10 inches, with athickness of between about 0.006 to 0.007 inches being preferred since it combines the requisite strength and tactile sensitivity which permits the performance of delicate manipulations during surgical procedures. The remaining portions of the glove can be of heavier construction. Thus, the wrist and/or cuff is desirably from about one to three times the thickness of the finger portions. principally due to the additional colored latex deposit. The added thickness at'the wrist or cuff greatly acteristics appropriate for dipping. One or more con- I ventional colored dyes are added to the latex formulation to give the desired colored band.
' BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a flow chart which sets forth the major steps employed in performing the method of the present invention;
FIG. 2 illustrates the surgical glove according to the present invention prior to being stripped from its form;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the thickened cuff portion of the surgical glove of FIG. 2 and shows in greater detail the thickened colored cuff portion in section; and v FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic representation of apparatus employed in carrying out the method according to the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 2 of the drawing, there is shown a surgical glove 10 according to this invention prior to its removal from a metal or porcelain form 12. Surgical glove 10 includes fingertip portion or finger stalls l4, central portion 16 and a cuff portion 18 extending beyond the wrist portion 20. Although surgical gloves are conventionally paired with right and left handed gloves, the surgical glove according to this invention can be formed to be applicable to either hand, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,335,871.
Colored circumferential band 22 overlies the inner base portion 19 of the cuff portion 18 forming a thickened cuff which serves to further reinforce the cuff against tearing. Colored band 22 terminates at the cuff edge 24 and extends towards the fingertips 14 from about 1 inch to about 3 inches. A preferred band width is about 1% inches.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, the overlying circumferential colored band 22 is integrally joined with the underlying base portion 19 of the cuff material forming a substantially unitary structure.
In FIG. 1 there is illustrated in outline form the major steps employed in carrying out the method according to the present invention. The preferred apparatus employed is shown in FIG. 4. Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown, in sequential arrangement, a first tank 30 containing coagulant 32, a second tank 34 containing glove operatively connected to a correspondingdrive gear 66 with associated-motor means (not shown).
An overhead conveyor system is provided with a track 68, a plurality of roller driven carriers 70, 72 suspended immediately below the track 68. Each of the carriers includes a depending arm 74 with a retractable rack-carrying rod 76 carrying a rack 78 upon which glove shaped forms 12 are positioned. It will be apparent that although four forms are shown in FIG. 4, this invention is not limited to the number of forms shown. Similarly, the apparatus depicted is but one embodiment and numerous variations can be made, such as the tanks moving up to the forms rather than the forms down to the tanks.
In operation, the glove forms 12 are brought into dipping relationship with coagulant tank 30. The rack 78 and forms are immersed completely into coagulant 32 and after removal, the coagulant is allowed to dry on the form by spinning the rack or the like. The next step is to uniformly coat the coagulant covered form with latex. This step is accomplished preferably by immersing the form 12 with fingertips pointing up, as illustrated, into the latex bath 36. The reaction between the coagulant and latex composition accelerates the deposition process. The forms are then removed and partially dried inair, by spinning. The latex is in an uncured state at this stage. Next, the latex covered forms are manually or automatically carried to the next station where the colored latex is applied to the lower or cuff portion of the glove form. As shown, the forms are only partly immersed in the colored latex bath 50 to yield a l-inch wide-band on the predeposited latex. Optionally,there can be provided a second coagulant tank (not shown) placed between the first latex dip and the application of the colored band. The second coagulant tank could be used to prepare the cuff portion for deposition of the colored latex layer. I
Each of the tanks 40-48 contains a different colored latex composition so that the manufacture of different glove sizes can be carried out at the same time. Naturally, synchronization between the glove size and the colored latex tank is required. After a production run of one'size is completed, theturntable platform 60 is rotated to bring the next appropriate tank into. dipping relationship with the overheadconveyor and carrier 70. I
The form leaving any one of tanks 40-48 is further processed by heating to effect simultaneous curing of v of the glove.
ized, preferably using radiation.
The resulting article is esthetically attractive, and possesses an improved functional characteristic which permits a processor or wearer to readily identify the size of the glove by its color. Additionally, the added wall thickness at the wrist portion prevents tearing of the glove at the wrist when the glove is put on the hand. If desired, the numerical value of the size of the glove can also be provided on the colored band by using appropriate masking prior to the final dipping operation in the colored latex band. In use, a color chart relating color to glove size is providedin each package.
It should be appreciated that the present invention is not to be construed as being limited by the illustrative embodiments. It is possible to produce still other embodiments without departingfrom the inventive concept herein disclosed. Such embodiments are within the ability of one skilled in the art.
form contrasting color compared to said finger stall portion and central body portion and mergeswith the underlying base portion, the color of said circumferential latex band being selected to correspond to the predetermined glove size in accordance 'with a preselected code, the overlying circumferential latex band and said inner base portion forming a substantially unitary struc ture when viewed in cross-section. 2. The surgical glove according to claim 1, wherein said colored circumferential latex band terminates at the cuff and/or wrist edge and extends towards the fin ger stall portion for a distance from about /1 inch to about 1% inches.
3. The surgical glove according to claim 1, wherein the colored cuff and/or wrist portion is from about one to about three times thicker than the finger stall portion