High demand for medical gloves has prompted Japan’s Tosoh Corporation (Tosoh) to increase production capacity for its chloroprene rubber (CR), marketed as Skyprene. Part of chemical manufacturer Tosoh’s Specialty products, its CR is produced at its Nanyo Complex in Yamaguchi and is commonly used in adhesives, automotive hoses/belts, industrial parts and medical gloves.
While conventional rubber gloves used in medical settings are mainly composed of natural rubber and acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), medical gloves made from CR has a low risk of triggering latex allergies and a better fit compared to other synthetic rubber gloves. CR-based medical gloves have grown in demand as of late, but the market has yet to stabilise the supply-demand balance.
Tosoh thus plans to take measures to renew its facilities to ensure the stable supply of CR whilst responding to growing demand from consumers. The company plans further expansions of the scale and profitability of its business going forward.
One of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia, Tosoh has a wide range of operations, from functional polymers to bioscience systems, and also demonstrates its commitment to a sustainable future by producing a variety of eco-products. Tosoh currently comprises over 100 companies worldwide and its multiethnic workforce of over 12,000 people generated some US$7.8 billion as of March 2019.