When it comes to shoe covers there is always the question of what the best material is and often it comes down to plastic and polypropylene. This week Greg talks about the difference between the two and why one is better than the other. Polypropylene shoe covers are very common but are not as clean as some may think. The bottom of the shoe cover is not skid resistant for very long and the bottom cannot hold up to a day of wear. Along with that, when the bottom wears out it sheds fibers adding contamination to your environment.
In its place we recommend plastic shoe covers. The plastic shoe covers do not lose their skid, they are water proof, they can last a whole day of wear and do not lint when you wear them.
To learn more about the difference between these two shoe covers watch the video below!
Hi, I'm Greg Heiland and welcome to my weekly video blog Critical Tips. This week the question we’ll ponder is disposable shoe covers, “What's the most appropriate substrate material? Is a polypropylene or is it plastic to duel off these two substrates?” I’m going to look at performance aspects, one being the cleanliness, the second the cost, the third the durability and finally we'll look at the anti-skid properties.
Well, let's dive right into the cleanliness aspect. What I'd like to do is, you can see I've taken a plastic shoe cover, put it on one shoe, and I've taken a polypropylene and put it on another. Let's just take these shoes that are covered by the shoe cover and illustrate a little wearing. Now, what I'm going to do is illustrate the bottom and if we look at the bottom of the plastic shoe cover we can see that there is no surface contamination that's been attracted to the shoe cover. None of the shoe cover has come off and you can see there's no particles clinging to it. Let's look at the polypropylene shoe cover. If we look at the polypropylene cover, what we can see is basically the gathering and bunching up. Some of the polypropylene material so literally some of the polypropylene material has started to come off. So, the obvious vote in terms of cleanliness is the polypropylene with limited wearing.
Let's talk a little bit about cost the cost of a polypropylene shoe cover is a hirer cost than plastic. The reason for this, is the polypropylene shoe cover is stitched. It is cut there's two pieces of material, cut, and sown. This is all surged stitching. With elastic, this is done by an operator. If you look at a CPE shoe cover this shoe cover is all made in an automated process, there's no cutting, everything is ultrasound. So this is the winner in terms of cost is the CPE shoe cover. Remember first one went to cleanliness; it should have been a giveaway that the CPE shoe cover you can see is coded, Microtek. Where the polypropylene shoe cover is coded, Macrotek. So CPE is cleaner and its
Let's talk about durability. So what I'd like to do is, I’d like to revisit my accelerated wear tests. What I'm going to do is I'm going to take these shoe covers and I got to continue the wearing. That's probably about a good day's worth of where. And if you look at the floor you see there's a lot of pillowing material left on the floor. If you look at the shoe covers you can see the CPE shoe covers still has no pillowing, no visible wear. If we look at the polypropylene, we can see that we almost have the beginning of a hole, right there. We've almost worn through the substrate material. So the clear winner in terms of durability is the CPE. Also, look how particles cling to the polypropylene. You see how we have hair and we have loose fibers that are attached to the polypropylene.
Finally, let's talk a little bit about anti-skid. There's a little bit of a misnomer with this product. It’s called the anti-skid because when this is a new shoe cover it has a coating on the bottom this is basically a latex paint coating. That goes on the bottom of the shoe cover and this is intended to prevent the shoe cover from skidding on the floor. Well, this works pretty well in the first couple of steps. But as you can see after it's been warm for a period of time, almost all of the anti-skid material gets worn off. The pressure pad spots in contrast with the CPE, the CPE cover gets its anti-skid properties from the embossing pattern. So, if we're going to do what we call a coefficient friction test, which is basically, we take the shoe cover, we put a weight in that then we elevated the anti-skid shoe cover. When it’s new it has a very good, high coefficient of friction. But it deteriorates very quickly as soon as this is worn off. The anti-skid coefficient of friction for the plastic shoe cover remains stable over the life of the shoe cover.
Then finally, let's talk about wet floors. As you can see the polypropylene material is a fabric materia,l its porous, it's going to absorb moisture. The CPE material, the plastic material, is not. So, just to summarize the clear winner in terms of cleanliness, CPE. In terms of lower cost, CPE. In terms of durability, CPE plastic. And in terms of anti-skid, although they're equal from the onset over the wear-ability of the operator. However, this degradation is quickly making the plastic CPE the clear winner of choice for your control environment.