Gloves by Material
Natural rubber latex is the most elastic of the materials Microflex uses to make disposable gloves from. It is the original disposable glove material because it is elastic and inexpensive. Scientists have thus far been unable to duplicate the elasticity and low cost associated with natural rubber latex, as such, it remains a dominant player in the disposable glove industry.
The quality associated with latex used in disposable gloves has changed in the more recent years. Whereas latex gloves used to perform inconsistently and had high total latex protein amounts, they have evolved to become consistently high in quality both in low protein content and performance.
Neoprene has for many years stood alone as the comfortable synthetic glove. Neoprene iscloser to natural latex in comfort and offers an alternative to protein-rich natural latex than is nitrile. The reason for this is that Neoprene is more chemically similar to latex than is nitrile. However, as less expensive nitrile gloves have gotten close to a similar comfort level as Neoprene, the market landscape has changed. The number of Neoprene disposable gloves on the market is limited, as very few disposable glove companies have been successful in getting the raw material cost of this proprietary polymer to an advantageous price point for the users.
For users that seek a durable, comfortable disposable glove, a Neoprene glove, such as NeoPro, is a solid glove choice. Some Neoprene products are more puncture resistant than natural rubber latex, and maintain an excellent grip when wet, thus offering specific application advantages in wet, dexterity-intense environments.
Nitrile latex used in making disposable gloves has always been a popular alternative to latex because of its cost. As a synthetic alternative, nitrile offered latex allergy-sensitized glove users protection from the environment – be it protection from a chemical environment or a biohazard environment.
Nitrile has been evolving since its inception. It used to be a stiff and unelastic choice for gloves. This stiffness presented itself as an uncomfortable glove that people did not like to use, but would if absolutely necessary. Nitrile’s evolution has been progressing particularly quickly in the last half decade such that comfortable nitrile has been important for users. Finally, comfortable nitrile is available from Microflex in both the FreeForm and UltraSense. UltraSense is arguably so comfortable, that users who prefer latex, may decide to switch to UltraSense
Vinyl gloves are made from the same material as PVC pipe, but are, obviously, much thinner. An advantage to vinyl is its cost. Vinyl is the most inexpensive glove produced in the market today. The problem with vinyl gloves is that its barrier integrity is not the same as traditional glove materials, such as those listed above.
Vinyl is manufactured differently than the other synthetic glove materials, and as such, is prone to barrier integrity problems, especially under use conditions. It is not an elastic material, nor is it a very strong material. These attributes show up in the glove’s comfort and fit, as well as its performance under challenging environments. Microflex does not recommend vinyl products to be used under very dangerous conditions, where exposure could result in sickness.