Let’s start by saying that we have already talked about the latex mattress, starting from the explanation of what kind of material is latex, what are the differences between the latex mattress and the memory foam mattress and how a latex mattress can be cleaned.
Today we will deal with the production process of the latex mattress, from the collection of the raw material to the realization of the finished product.
Latex and rubber tree:
The latex, in its natural state, is simply the resin of the rubber tree, known in its areas of origin. This sticky resin owes its particular properties to evolution. In fact, over the millennia, the latex plant has developed the resin to defend itself from the attack of herbivores.
The rubber resin, in fact, contains a high number of toxic substances, lethal for most herbivorous insects. In addition to being able to block the digestive and masticatory systems of these, the resin allows to “heal” the cuts on the tree quickly. For men, the rubber resin is harmless, except for people who suffer from a latex allergy, who are allergic to one of its components: the faucet a molecule that takes its name from the plant.
Of all the substances contained in this resin, the one used in the production of rubber is polyisoprene. A very long molecule that binds to other similar molecules to create a lattice that will then give elasticity to products containing latex, such as a latex mattress.
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When solicited, the molecules relax, while when it returns to a neutral state the molecules resume their initial arrangement. The different polyisoprene molecules are not bound to each other, so the material is deformable, as well as very sensitive to heat and cold. These flaws were filled by Charles Goodyear, through vulcanization; a treatment that combines sulfur and heat that makes natural latex much more resistant.
After this brief scientific introduction, we begin to talk about the latex mattress, starting from the collection, indeed from the latex plantation.
Gum trees are grown on large monoculture plantations; managed so that there is a constant change of trees. For a latex tree, it takes 6 years before it is ready for the latex collection process; after which, naturally, his life expectancy is around 100 years, which are considerably reduced depending on the intensity of the latex harvest; so much so that some reports attest an average life of 35 years.