Nanomagnetite Metal Detectable Nitrile Gloves
The Nanotechnology and Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT) has partnered with Hartalega Sdn Bhd to develop and commercialize nanomagnetite metal detectable nitrile gloves, a revolutionary new safety product for the food and pharmaceutical industry. Fragments torn from this glove can be detected by metal detecting equipment down to sizes of 3mm x 3mm, thereby enabling the manufacturer to remove the fragments quickly and effectively before they can contaminate the product.
The core of this project is based on the development of technology capable of making gloves detectable in the electro-magnetic field via doping nitrile latex gloves with super-magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (nanoMAG).
To fulfil Hartalega Sdn Bhd’s production needs, a UM research team under the supervision of the late Prof. Dr. Sharifah Bee O.A Hamid initiated the project from September 2013 to December 2020, with Prof. Dr. Mohd Rafie Johan and Dr. Leo Bey Fen taking up leadership and supervision in 2017. Hartalega Sdn Bhd, being the main funding body of this project, had invested a total of RM1,936,900, together with resources such as chemicals, external testing and glove dipping, as well as technical assistance from Research & Development and the Innovation Research Department. Another RM 394,000 was granted by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). The UM team, besides providing a funding of RM 525,000, had also designed a semi-automated pilot plant located at the UMXcelerate Building.
This reactor possesses a capacity of 300L and can produce 100 kg of nanoMAG per batch capacity per day. It is also equipped with ammonia scrubbers provided by Flexidynamic Holdings Bhd. The nanoMAG additives were proven to be compatible with the metal detectable glove dipping process, successfully producing gloves with good metal detectability.
The potential for such a glove is significant on a global scale, due to its ability to prevent mass product recall caused by glove fragment contamination. Already two patents have been filed following this project, and it is hoped that the project will enhance participating graduates’ competency level and employability.
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