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What Gloves are Made from Synthetic Rubber?
Synthetic gloves are an increasingly popular alternative to latex gloves, as they provide a wider range of applications where individuals who may be allergic to latex are involved. The natural latex found in traditional gloves can be problematic for people with a sensitivity or allergy to latex. Some of the common symptoms include itchy, red, rash, and even swelling which can be uncomfortable while working and even impair your ability to work.
On the other hand, synthetic rubber is shaped from various ingredients and materials. A glove manufacturer will put together a mix of these ingredients to create a disposable glove that offers great protection against cuts, scratches and abrasions.
Synthtic rubber, also known as plastic rubber, is a polymer derived from petrochemicals. These disposable gloves made from man-made rubber are often used in medical or laboratory environments and can be worn while handling hazardous substances without suffering from any allergic reaction.
In this article, we'll show you the different gloves made from synthetic rubber:
Natural rubber versus synthetic rubber
In rubber materials, the description "rubber" means an elastic, waterproof and durable material made from natural or synthetic latex.
In the context of rubber manufacturing, rubber is usually the finished product, while latex refers to the raw material. It is the material out of which rubber products are made.
Latex is a stable emulsion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous solution. Natural latex comes from the sap of rubber trees, while artificial latex is manufactured.
Natural rubber latex is derived from the Hevea brasiliensis, or ‘rubber tree’. It is processed by manufacturers to create rubber. The resultant product is elastic, waterproof, and resistant to a range of chemicals and other hazards when treated properly.
Synthetic rubber is any artificial elastomer formed by polymerization of a petroleum-derived macromolecule. An elastomer is a material that behaves elastically—namely, it can undergo considerable deformation under stress and still return to its original size and shape. It can be used as a substitute for natural rubber, especially when greater protection, durability, and flexibility are needed.
Natural rubber latex and synthetic rubber are both used in a variety of household and industrial products. They are found in many products, including household items such as disposable gloves, tyres, condoms, and industrial items such as seals, gaskets, adhesives and protective clothing.
Nitrile is a man-made material made of acrylonitrile, butadiene and carboxylic acid monomers. Nitrile gloves, which do not contain protein, have become popular as an alternative to latex gloves because they do not cause latex allergies and are safe for people with Type I sensitization.
Nitrile gloves are stronger, more durable, and provide more protection against a range of hazards than do natural rubber latex gloves. Acrylonitrile monomer, the chemical used to make nitrile gloves, helps give them their superior chemical resistance and makes them effective for use with mineral oils, vegetable oils, grease, gasoline, diesel fuel and many acids.
In addition to providing better overall protection than latex gloves, nitrile gloves are puncture resistant, elastic and more comfortable to wear than latex and vinyl.
Nitrile gloves consist of butadiene, which produces a flexible rubber that allows wearers to experience optimal tactile sensitivity. Because of butadiene, a nitrile disposable glove is flexible and conform to hands as warmed by body heat, providing excellent dexterity. This glove attribute is beneficial to medical professionals or persons working with small parts or tools.
Neoprene gloves are manufactured from a synthetic material rubber called chloroprene. They are made through a free radical polymerization process involving different chemical reactions that turn the polymers into a more flexible material.
Neoprene gloves protect wearers from harmful environmental factors such as oils, flames, heat, and abrasion. They also protect against hydraulic fluids, alcohols, gasoline, akalis, and organic acids.
Neoprene resists degradation better than natural rubber, so these types of work gloves will last longer. The neoprene glove is used in a wide range of applications, including industrial chemical processing, printing industries, oil refineries, automotive paint shop, pesticides handling, agriculture and environmental clean-up.
Why choose synthetic rubber gloves?
These man-made rubber gloves are preferable to latex when there is a risk of allergies, or where greater hazards are posed by chemicals or abrasive materials. While latex can feel like a second skin, nitrile gloves have been developed to offer a similar experience. Many medical professionals favor nitrile gloves for their greater sensitivity, dexterity, and comfort over traditional latex rubber gloves.
Nitrile gloves are ideal for tasks that involve working with corrosives, as they offer more puncture resistance than latex and some measure of protection against tearing. Nitrile gloves are especially effective when working with acids, skin irritants and biological hazards.
Whereas, neoprene is most commonly used in the manufacture of wetsuits for scuba diving and swimsuits for water activities. Its durability, flexibility, and resistance to degradation from sunlight, weather, oxidation, ozone, aging, freons, and mild acids have made it popular for use in many industries. The material also has excellent resistance to petroleum products and oils. But, the biggest advantage of a neoprene glove is its superior resistance to impact and weather.
Alternative for light tasks: Vinyl Synthetic Plastic Glove
Another alternative to natural rubber glove is a man-made plastic glove like vinyl. Vinyl is a synthetic, non-biodegradable, and protein-free material consisting of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plasticizers. Because vinyl gloves are made of man-made materials and are not biodegradable, they have a longer shelf life than latex gloves, which degrade down over time due to their natural decomposition.
Vinyl gloves are inexpensive to manufacture, making them cheap to buy. Similar to a latex glove, vinyl gloves is available in different thicknesses as well as powdered and non-powdered options.
Vinyl gloves are best suited for light tasks like food service applications that require protection against contamination but do not require high dexterity or tactile sensitivity.
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