September 14, 2018
Why glove material matters
Though disposable in nature, single-use hand protection solutions perform an important role in providing barrier protection against a range of workplace hazards.
Single-use glove options are often used because they tend to be thinner than other styles of hand protection. This construction delivers increased dexterity and tactility, making it easier to handle small components or tools and lessening the likelihood of hand fatigue.
When it comes to fit and comfort, latex is often regarded as having the edge over other polymers. It offers a high degree of dexterity and elasticity, delivers good grip in both wet and dry conditions and features effective insulating properties.
Neoprene — or Polychloroprene — is another synthetic polymer. It’s soft, yet strong, properties make it suitable for a range of demanding applications including clean, sterile and wet environments.
Nitrile is a synthetic polymer that provides excellent resistance to puncture and abrasion. It is free of latex proteins and plasticizers, meaning that allergy risk is limited.
Polyisoprene mimics all the positive attributes of latex without the associated protein allergy risks. It has good insulating properties, offers excellent elasticity and delivers superior sensitivity, dexterity and wet grip. It does not perform well in protection against oils and greases.
The weaknesses associated with vinyl gloves generally outweigh the benefits. A low cost, low allergy-risk alternative, vinyl gloves offer good abrasion resistance, but are susceptible to rips and tears.
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each material will help guide your glove selection process.