Nitrile is a durable synthetic rubber with a number of useful properties. While the material has a variety of applications, it is often used in gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Other uses for nitrile include gaskets, seals, hoses, and tubing.
In this article we’re going to have a deeper look at nitrile and how it differs from other popular glove materials like latex. We’ll also discuss how it’s applied in various commercial settings and the challenges that come with using it.
For the sake of simplicity, will be able mainly focussing on the properties and uses of nitrile gloves in particular.
What is nitrile?
Nitrile is a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene. It is a highly versatile material with an array of useful properties, making it suitable for a wide range of commercial industries.
This synthetic rubber is known for its high resistance to oil, fuel, and other chemicals. It can also withstand high temperatures and has good abrasion resistance. These properties make nitrile a popular choice for industrial, automotive and medical applications.
Unlike other materials, nitrile is typically powderless. This makes nitrile the perfect material of choice for those who have certain allergies. Natural latex allergies, for example, are common in medical settings. If exposed to latex proteins, an allergic user can experience a cough, a sore throat or even difficulty breathing. By using nitrile gloves, your business will be able to protect their workers from potentially dangerous health conditions.
Additionally, due to its protective qualities, nitrile PPE tends to last longer than latex, neoprene or butyl.
What are the key applications for nitrile gloves?
In comparison to latex gloves, nitrile offers superior resistance to oils, fuels, solvents and chemicals, making them ideal for laboratory work, food service and other industrial settings. The gloves are usually blue or black in colour and are more puncture-resistant than latex or neoprene. This makes them the perfect material in medical and manufacturing settings, where sharp tools and machinery are often used. Despite its thickness, nitrile still offers superior comfort and dexterity. This means they can still be used in delicate procedures like surgery and dental work.
Nitrile gloves can be reused multiple times as long as they are not damaged or soiled. That being said, when disposing of used gloves, it is still important to do so responsibly in order to prevent cross contamination.
What are some of the challenges of using nitrile gloves?
While nitrile gloves have many advantages, there are also some challenges associated with their use. For example, although it’s less common than natural latex allergies, nitrile can still cause strong allergic reactions in some users.
Moreover, nitrile gloves are often more expensive than other types of PPE such as latex or vinyl gloves. So, if you’re running a small business that requires the constant use of nitrile gloves, you’ll have to invest a large sum of money for them. Another challenge is that nitrile gloves can degrade over time, especially if they are constantly exposed to chemicals or heat.
Additionally, because of their thickness, nitrile gloves can cause sweating, making them somewhat uncomfortable to wear during the warmer months. They can also be more difficult to put on compared to thinner, more flexible gloves.
Due to these challenges, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of nitrile gloves before making a significant financial decision for your business.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider when it comes to using nitrile gloves. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to take in this information and evaluate whether or not nitrile gloves are suitable for your company. You need to assess the needs of your workers and clients and take the necessary actions to ensure their health and safety at the workplace.