Examination and medical gloves are one of the most vital and largest spending sources in supply budgets for every healthcare facility. But how can you be sure that you are purchasing the right gloves for each task cost-effectively? Neobex can help you, to better understand the medical gloves industry with its glove guide. The subject covered will concern a few of the examination gloves properties.
- Examination gloves are represented by many different properties.
- Properties related to the manufacturing:
- Thickness, elasticity, length and cuff, texture, and surface.
- A thicker gauge glove will provide more protection than a thinner glove of the same material, but often at the expense of touch sensitivity and dexterity.
- Glove strength is measured by resistance to tearing as well as by stretchability.
- The cuff length of a disposable glove is associated with the additional covered area of the wrist.
- When it comes to choosing the correct glove for the job, the texture is crucial.
The first of the examination gloves properties covered is glove thickness, and its usually measured in mils which is a thousandth of an inch (1 inch = 1000 mils). Medical disposable gloves generally range from 2-10 mils in thickness. A thicker gauge glove will provide more protection than a thinner glove of the same material, but often at the expense of touch sensitivity and dexterity. Double-gloving can be used to increase the total breakthrough time of a particular glove, but this increases hand fatigue and overheating and is recommended only for short-duration tasks.
When gloves are made, ceramic hand-shaped molds with fingers pointing downward are placed on the assembly line. Gravity pushes the solution down toward the glove’s bottom as the molds pass along the line. Once the gloves are completely dried, the fingers will be the thickest part of the glove, while the palm and wrists will be the thinnest. In most applications, disposable gloves endure the most wear and tear on the fingers. Glove thickness is measured in addition to gravity by repeatedly dipping the molds into the solution. A new layer of solution is applied each time they are dipped.
Consequently, it is important to be aware of the glove thickness at the fingertips, palm, and cuff because it generally will not be uniform. There is a clear correlation between thickness, material, and chemical resistance in the application and usage of disposable gloves. Chemical and mechanical resistance increases as the glove’s thickness increases but dexterity decreases. Thicker gloves are more expensive to make and therefore cost more. According to glove manufacturers, doubling the thickness of a glove quadruples the chemical breakthrough period.
Even under extreme conditions, disposable examination gloves have to offer maximum safety, so elasticity is important in the exam gloves properties. Therefore, robustness and tensile strength are of crucial importance. Strength tests simulate stress during actual usage. Glove strength is measured by resistance to tearing as well as by stretchability. Testing typically covers tensile strength and elongation. ASTM D412 regulates the minimum tensile proprieties requirements.
Elongation is measured by applying tensile force or stretching the material and determining the change in length from the original. Also, elongation is expressed as a percentage of the original length. Ultimate elongation is the percentage change in length from original to rupture.
Impact on gloves:
Elongation is important to the performance of the glove. Because higher elongation helps the glove material stretch instead of tear when snagged. Furthermore, a glove with good elongation will stretch and conform to your hand, improving comfort and performance.
Tensile strength is defined as the amount of force needed to stretch a medical glove until the breaking point. The result is expressed in force (Newton) over the area (square millimeters): N/mm², or the equivalent Megapascal (MPa).
Impact on gloves:
While high tensile strength is preferred, the “highest” number does not necessarily mean “best” performance. Glove manufacturers must carefully balance strength with stretch and comfort. Because too high tensile strength will make a glove stiff or difficult to put on.
Length and Cuff
The cuff length of a disposable glove is associated with the additional covered area of the wrist. The cuffs on most disposable gloves are rolled to make the glove easier to don. The rolled edge reinforces the glove so you can pull it on without tearing it. However, the cuff length of a standard disposable glove is a 9.0" cuff which covers only a small area of the wrist. But extended-length (12" cuff) gloves are essential if you must ensure the protection of the forearm.
Texture and Surface
When it comes to choosing the correct glove for the job, the texture is crucial. It starts on the glove molds during the manufacturing process. Sandblasting, which employs ceramic balls and pressured air to generate texture on the surface, and spray-on, which directly applies a coating, are the two methods used to create roughened and micro-roughened textures. The methods are fundamentally the same, but the patterns and client preferences are different. On thicker gloves, sandblasting is utilized, and on thinner gloves, a spray-on is employed. Gloves can be textured everywhere; on the fingers, the fingertips, the inner palm and fingers, or both sides. Ambidextrous gloves, as most disposable gloves are, are textured on both sides. Gloves with textured surfaces provide a better grip. The textures range from micro-roughening for basic needs to an aggressive raised diamond texture that directs liquids away from the grip even when the gloves are wet.
Most of these gloves are composed of vinyl and have no texture. They are also ideal for tasks where a precise grasp isn’t required, such as salon care, food preparation, and food service.
They are mostly used for nitrile and latex gloves. In fact textured nitrile gloves account for 95% of all nitrile gloves. The surface seems to be lightly sanded. And, they’re ideal for medical applications since they provide a better grip for handling equipment and small objects without having an exaggerated surface that could irritate patients.
They are the disposable gloves with the strongest texture. Because the raised diamonds of this pattern have channels between them that allow liquids to move through, allowing for more surface contact and improved grip. For example, the raised diamond texture is great for holding wet or slippery small objects and tools. However, gloves with a rough texture demand more material, so they’re thicker and more protective. As a result, these gloves are most suited to automotive and manufacturing applications, with lesser use in medical situations.
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