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The Difference Between Standard & Talalay Latex
Feb. 14, 2013

The Difference between Talalay & Standard Latex In 1929, Dunlopillo (then still known as Dunlop Rubber Company) invented latex foam. This original process – called Dunlop or Standard process – is still widely used by most latex manufacturers worldwide. This process was improved in the early 1950’s and called the Talalay process (named after its inventors). There are only two manufacturers worldwide who use the Talalay process. Because of a more complicated manufacturing process and more expensive molds, the cost of production is much higher.

latex-ingedients

Standard Process A blend of natural or natural and synthetic latex with all the necessary additives (vulcanizing and gelling agents, anti-oxidants) is mechanically frothed with the addition of soap and air. The foam is passed through a hose into molds as they pass on a conveyor before an operator. When the molds are filled to capacity, a lid seals the foam inside and the gelling agents begin to solidify it. The molds are then carried through a steam chamber at 230°F (110°C), which triggers vulcanization or curing. As they emerge from the steam chamber, the molds open and the blocks are ready to be removed, surface washed and dried.  

The mix (as in the standard process) is prepared and filled into the mold. The mold is only partly filled and, depending on the required hardness of the block, more or less mix is used. The molds are aluminum, which are fitted with a large number of pins (approximately 20,000 each in lid and pan). The pins serve the dual purpose of transferring heat to the center of the block (foam rubber is a poor conductor of heat) and of creating “pinholes” which later help it dry.

The molds are fitted with a rubber gasket seal around the perimeter and contain internal hollow channels through which glycol/water heat transfer liquid can flow. After the mold has been partially filled with liquid foam, closed and cooled, a vacuum expands the foam to its full potential. A secondary internal semi-permeable paper gasket removes excess air from the mold and the foam is frozen to -22°F (-30°C). Carbon dioxide gas is then passed through the frozen matrix, which causes the foam to “set” or “gel” further.

At this moment the individual air bubbles interconnect. Once gelling is complete, the mold is slowly heated to 230°F (110°C) and held there for a few minutes. The heat vulcanizes or cures the rubber, which gives it the normal resilient properties. The products are removed from the molds, submerged in water to remove residual soaps etc., dried and inspected.    Advantages of Both The uniform, open cell structure of Talalay latex provides superior resilience and durability. Because of the pin structure of the unique mold, Talalay latex is springier than Standard process latex.

Talalay’s interconnecting cell structure also enhances ventilation and breathability, which means body heat and moisture are quickly drawn through the mattress. Standard process latex produces a firmer mattress though. Because there is no freezing process, the pores are isolated, which creates a denser, less springy product. 1  

You’ll find Talaly latex mattresses at Nine Clouds Beds in Mississauga