When it comes to choosing new gloves for your cleanroom, the options can be very overwhelming. There are many choices to be made, from different materials to colors and textures. While glove trends come and go, the one constant in all the changes is the use of latex as the material. That is why we have put together a list of some advantages and disadvantages of latex to bring attention to why it has been around for so long.
Latex has been a leading material in the disposable glove industry for a very long time. During the years 1980-2000, Latex had the best cost/performance ratio to any material available. Latex is both durable and easy to manufacture. Times have changed since its reign, but latex is still a very prominent element when it comes to making disposable gloves. Especially, in the cleanroom.
One of the most common ways to cut corners in a cleanroom is by buying generic consumables for your operators. While this can prove to be a great way to save money, it is not a sure way to prevent contamination. Generic consumables can have hidden contamination and fillers that make the product look clean but releases contamination when used. For some, this can be easily managed but for others it can stop production and temporarily close. To learn more about a mismatch set in a cleanroom watch the video below or give us a call!
There is a lot to consider when you are bringing in a new glove into your critical environment. You have to worry about the cost, comfort, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and construction of the consumable. These are better know as the "5 c's of glove selection". This week Greg will go over the 5 c's and how to use them to help you make your glove selection.
*There is also a free download at the bottom to help you remember the 5 C's in the future.
Is your glove packaged in a dispenser box? Is it labeled 'examination glove' ?
If so, it is not suitable for a critical environment. Why? Boxed exam gloves are designed to protect the operator. Cleanroom Gloves are engineered to both protect the operator and your critical product.
Nitrile gloves have been steadily growing in popularity in controlled environments for the last decade. Compared to Latex, nitrile is lower in particles, ionic extractables and non-volatile residues (NVR). Nitrile also has "memory" properties that enable the material to adapt to the hand for a more custom fit, reducing hand fatigue. Nitrile is three times more puncture-resistant than latex, and also provides excellent protection against both mild acid & solvents. With its static-dissipative properties, nitrile is ideal for electronic industries where ESD safety is of paramount importance.
To understand controlled environment nitrile gloves and the difference in this material, let's consider the question, how are cleanroom nitrile gloves made?
When determining the quality of your cleanroom gloves, it is important to take glove odor and color into account.
Odor:Typical powder-free cleanroom latex gloves will be an off-white color. If you take one of these gloves and snap it several times, then smell the glove, you might smell a rather putrid odor. This odor is the residual chlorine that gets trapped in the molecular structure of the latex that continues to outgas, or release, when the glove is warm. In other words, latex gloves have odor because there are chlorine impurities that get trapped in the molecular structure.