Particularly in an industrial environment, whether the application is food processing, automotive or lab work, gloves must withstand a wide range of challenging physical demands. And with many products on the market to choose from, informed purchasers are increasingly interested in knowing the science and technology behind the manufacturing of the glove.
Most of what to look for in a quality glove choice isnâ€™t apparent by just trying it on. The fact is, not all gloves are made the same way. And the process by which a glove is made has a lot to do with the integrity of the final product.
Letâ€™s look at several important material features and manufacturing processes users may want to discuss with potential glove providers before deciding which product is best for their application:
Chlorination also contributes to â€œcleaningâ€ gloves of residual chemicals used in the manufacturing process and removing water-soluble extractable proteins from latex, which studies have claimed to be the most common contributors to adverse reactions experienced by latex-sensitive individuals. Chlorination has the effect of chemically denaturing proteins, a chemical reaction that occurs which has the potential to change the functionality of proteins, making them insoluble. In other words, proteins that were previously water-soluble are chemically changed and are now not soluble in water.
To date, studies suggest that chlorination is the most effective powder-free process that reduces the level of total extractable protein.
Many conventional polymer coatings used on gloves today are only partially effective because they donâ€™t have the same elasticity of the glove material to which they are applied. So as the glove material stretches (as in donning), the polymer coating does not always stretch with it. These differing polymers can delaminate, or separate, from the glove material, thereby causing flaking of the polymer coating from the interior and/or exterior of the glove.
Advanced polymer formulations and adhesion methods provide far better adhesion properties to the glove material and are very effective in overcoming the difficulties of damp and wet hand donning, as well as the potential for gloves to stick or â€œblockâ€ in the box.
The combination of chlorination and a polymer coating â€” a process only a few manufacturers are able to perform â€” results in an optimal balance of both tactile sensitivity and durability.
The more effective the leaching system, the lower the amount of residual chemicals that will remain on the finished product. Quality systems utilizing multiple washes and more sophisticated agitation systems (counterflows and sonication) are most effective. Chlorinated products have the added benefit of chlorineâ€™s ability to effectively remove residual chemicals and chemical by-products.
Quality manufacturers monitor trace amounts of residual chemicals in their products and can provide measurement data on request.
The relationship between the glove supplier and buyer has never been more critical, as the decision to purchase gloves requires a thorough understanding of the consumerâ€™s needs, technical data, appropriate applications and the science involved in the manufacture of gloves.