How are Condoms Made?

Courtesy of DUREX® the World's Best Selling Condom
Stage 1:
DUREX® condoms are made from the finest quality natural rubber latex. However, before the latex even reaches the manufacturing plant, it undergoes comprehensive quality control tests to ensure that it conforms to the stringent specifications of DUREX®.

Once the latex passes quality control tests, it is processed into a useable form. Because latex is a natural material (very similar to milk in many of its physical properties), it can curdle or go sour. Stabilizers, preservatives and vulcanizing agents are added and the latex is checked again for the quality and consistency. This process is known as 'compounding'.

Stage 2:
The next stage in manufacture is 'dipping'. The compound latex is fed into temperature controlled tanks into which a continuous line of glass formers are dipped. As the formers pass gently through the tanks they pick up an almost invisible layer of latex film. The latex coating is then dried using filtered air to prevent atmospheric contamination. After drying, the formers are dipped once more and dried again.

On completion of the dipping process, the open ends of the newly formed condoms are rolled to form a rim or bead. The condoms, while still on the formers, are then passed through an oven to vulcanize the latex. Before the condoms are removed from the formers by high pressure jets of water, they undergo a soaking process to loosen the condoms from the former. They are then dried.

Stage 3:
Although DUREX® condoms are now ready for packaging, they will not reach that stage until they have undergone a series of stringent Quality Control tests. This adherence to high quality standards has helped make DUREX® the leading condom brand in the world today. With a product such as a condom, where quality is vitally important to the user, it is essential that every reasonable effort is made to ensure the reliability of DUREX® condoms.

Electronic testing as well as the tests specified by national and international standards, DUREX® condoms are electronically tested. This involves each condom being stretched over a metal former and subjected to a voltage current. Any breakdown of the film is measured and minor flaws, even ones far too small to be detected by the human eye, result in the condom being instantly rejected.

Stage 4:
Perhaps the most impressive test is the Air Inflation Test, which is carried out each and every day on samples of each batch of DUREX® condoms. This is the test of elasticity and strength that involves a DUREX® condom being filled with air until it reaches bursting point. Typically, a DUREX® condom holds approximately 40 litres of air, equivalent to 9 gallons of water, before bursting.

After electronic testing is complete, Quality Control samples are taken from each batch, filled with 300ml of water, and suspended for 3 minutes. Afterwards, they are examined for minute fluid leakage by rolling them on blotting paper. If more than a small number displaying flaws are found, then the entire batch is rejected and scrapped.
Additional samples are checked for size and thickness. Further samples are tested to destruction for physical strength. Some of these samples are artificially aged at accelerated temperatures, as an assurance of their quality at the end of their 5-year product life.

Durex condoms - For a hundred million reasons.


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