Nitrile gloves are used in huge quantities all across the world, for a wide range of applications. Mostly they are used in medical practices, such as in hospitals, surgeries and dentists, but they are also used in training applications for students in various processes of the curriculum, as well as in laboratory environments and chemical conditions. Nitrile gloves offer solid protection against many external hazards, such as harmful fluids and chemicals, dangerous microbes that can cause infection, dirt, grime and other foreign invaders. As well as being protective, resistant and reliable, nitrile gloves are widely accessible and are relatively easy to manufacture and distribute.
What, therefore, are nitrile gloves even made of? What gives them their dependable elastic strength, tight-fitting nature and resistance to being broken? In this article, we’ll look at exactly what nitrile gloves are and why they are so good at protecting hands against being harmed.
While latex gloves are produced from crude oil mined from deep in the ground, nitrile gloves start out in tree rubber. The rubber from these trees do contain similar latex proteins to those found in latex gloves. There is an increasing number of people with latex allergies which have made such gloves unpopular in recent years, and facilitated increased interest in nitrile gloves. Nitrile gloves are subjected to far more processing than their latex counterparts and these repeats remove almost all of the proteins that provoke allergic reactions.
The resultant nitrile material is a synthetic copolymer that has remarkable elastic properties and can mold to the shape of the hand it surrounds. This makes it especially useful in medical environments, where uncomfortable gloves with any slack can make surgery and other medical processes difficult, more time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous. Having any slack in the gloves can also provide more opportunity for them to rip, defeating the purpose of wearing the gloves.
Nitrile is a natural product that is sent through a repetitive processing stage to remove the latex proteins and strengthen it. In many ways, it is the same as a latex glove. It does have similar properties and the chemical composition isn’t that unlike. However, the nitrile rubber is subject to a more costly and complicated manufacturing process. Thanks to these methods, it is stronger and more flexible than the global standard latex gloves, but at the same time more expensive.
Since they first entered the market and hospitals began to purchase their first batches, the costs of nitrile gloves have declined quite considerably. More demand for rubber tree harvesting has made the source materials much cheaper. Investment into manufacturing methods has also provoked faster production and more efficient manufacturing, meaning costs are steadily becoming more financially effective for smaller organizations.
As the cost of nitrile gloves decreases and begins to match the bulk prices of latex gloves, more and more medical, chemical and automobile organizations, as well as consumers, will purchase them over their latex competitors, simply because they’re a better, stronger alternative – plus, they do not cause allergies as much as latex gloves.