Latex and vinyl gloves used to be our go-to form of hand protection. Yet, recent years saw nitrile products taking over the market, with their unparalleled shielding against chemicals, punctures, bacterias, etc. In fact, every household is likely to have a set of disposable Nitrile gloves for multiple DIY projects; and yours might have too.
But what are nitrile gloves made of to have such powerful features? Read on to find out about these convenient tools.
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What Are Nitrile Gloves Made Of?
Well, unlike latex or vinyl pairs originated from natural rubber, nitrile is a synthetic copolymer. The copolymerization is to infuse two monomers, which are Acrylonitrile and butadiene.
The nitrile rubber gloves can be classified into three categories based on the amount of Acrylonitrile content in the formulated compounds. Those include high nitrile ( > 45% Acrylonitrile), medium nitrile (30 – 45 % Acrylonitrile), and low nitrile (<30 % Acrylonitrile).
In detail, a high level of Acrylonitrile allows the nitrile rubber products to resist hydrocarbon oils better. Meanwhile, low-nitrile gloves with much butadiene content provide the final products with flexibility in low-temperature set-ups.
And since most manufacturers intend to offer the balance of both functions, they use medium-nitrile rubber to make gloves. Hence, those pairs can endure a wide range of temperature, from -35°C to 120°C, and withstand tearing and abrasion despite frequent abuse.
The Process Of Nitrile Gloves Production
Other chemicals such as NBR and Chlorine, Calcium are involved in the manufacturing of nitrile gloves. In detail:
- The manufacturing machinery will eliminate all stains and elements from the hand-shaped formers of nitrile materials. Afterward, the manufacturers will dip those formers into the solution of calcium carbonate and calcium nitrate.
- After these pieces dry, they are once again dipped into NBR – a liquid form of synthetic latex with a milky color. This process is essential for gloves produced for medical and laboratory purposes.
- The manufacturing continues with heating and cooling the formers; then, the gloves appear in their shapes.
- Donning the formed gloves with polymer or choline is the next step. Polymerization and chlorination are to reinforce further the product to be more robust and durable.
- Lastly, in the stripping stage, glove formers are removed. Then the whole process is finished, and the gloves are ready for commercial use.
Other Things about Nitrile Glove Components
- Latex-free, thus safe for allergies
The nitrile compound material is formed after the removal of latex proteins. It is to ensure a lower allergy rate for produced gloves. That’s the advantage that nitrile gloves have over latex ones, as they are ideal for people who have allergic reactions.
When nitrile gloves were first introduced to the market, they were too expensive compared to the latex and vinyl counterparts. Such a hefty price tag is due to the reprocessing and latex protein removal. Luckily, the advanced technologies can later reduce the production cost for these pairs, making them budget-friendly.
- Free of BPA, Phlatale, Vinyl, MBT
For your information, nitrile gloves are free of latex and contain no BPA, Phlatale, Vinyl, and MBT. Due to the absence of those toxic chemicals, these pieces ensure ultimate safety for users’ health.
Furthermore, when made for the food and dairy industry, nitrile gloves are powder-free. Such pairs are ideal for handling food since they can resist solvent well. Also, workers should not worry about the rubber gloves emitting odor or building up static electricity, thanks to the powder-free formula.
Another thing that many buyers should consider when purchasing disposable products is their decomposability. The good news is these nitrile gloves are biodegradable, but compared to latex pairs, they take a longer time to dissolve.
- Chemical resistant
We can see now why gloves made of nitrile are widely loved among various fields, including automotive. As stated above, since these products have Acrylonitrile content, they shield our hands against diesel, gasoline, and other fuels. Hence, we are safe from the harmful effects of those acids on our hand skin.
Also, due to the presence of Acrylonitrile, these gloves protect workers from mineral oils and vegetable oils during food-processing tasks. You can rely on them to have safe use and ultimate control when handling food.
- Puncture resistant
Much stronger than latex and more elastic than vinyl material, nitrile gloves often appear in dentists’ clinics. Since these pairs are highly puncture-resistant, they protect hygienists’ hands from getting hurt by sharp and pointed edges.
- Well-fitted and flexible
To emphasize the importance of another monomer – the butadiene, we should mention how it improves the gloves’ flexibility. Due to the monomer, nitrile pairs conform to our hand shape better, giving us the perfect fit. As a result, it is easy to work with small tools and objects that require a high level of dexterity.
Hopefully, questions like “what are nitrile gloves made of”, or “are those chemicals safe for our health?” no longer bug you when there’s an occasion to use the pairs.
These protective accessories are essential for us to avoid direct exposure to certain chemicals and solvents. Thicker ones excel at puncture resistance that keeps sharp tools from hurting our hands.
Plus, these are now affordable, with similar price tags as latex and vinyl gloves, but boast better durability and flexibility. Just make sure you pick the right color and thickness.