The Big Question. Is A Glove A Glove?

The Big Question. Is A Glove A Glove?

The Big Question. Is A Glove A Glove?

Posted on the 15th of Nov 2017 by Westlab

Although we are an Australian leader and distributor of laboratory nitrile gloves, our team has engaged in healthy debate with our customers over nitrile gloves. The big question is…is a glove a glove? We would be glad of your input into this debate, but in our opinion, there is more to a great nitrile glove than meets the eye. In this article, we have outlined some key aspects of a nitrile glove to assist you with purchasing the right glove for your application.


The thickness of a nitrile glove can contribute to the comfort, dexterity, toughness and elasticity of the glove. Thicker is not always better, in fact, thinner has proven to be more suitable in most areas.  A thinner nitrile glove is generally packed in a box of 200 units giving greater efficiency to the user and can offer more long-term comfort due to the elasticity and dexterity. A thinner glove being more elastic, can contribute to better anti-tear strength, giving you a longer average wear time.

Permeation & Resistance

Permeation in a nitrile glove is determined by two values, breakthrough time and rate. It is a process by which a substance can pass through the molecular structure of a glove without going through pinholes, pores or other perceptible openings. Permeation rate is often determined with multiple reagents over a few hour test period and defines the resistance to chemicals of a particular polymer. This is often measured in minutes and the longer the permeation rate on a glove, the more barrier protection you can expect. Nitrile gloves have a great permeation rate thus a great for laboratory work.


There are many different types of textures to choose from when selecting the right glove for your application. Smooth texture, full micro-texture, finger microtexture or coarse texture. A microtexture is ideal when the application involves a delicate laboratory procedure or operation when a good grip on small instrumentation is required. Microtexture around the finger areas is where the texture is limited to the pressure areas. Microtexture also provides a non-slip surface on both wet and dry surfaces. A coarse texture is more suited to an industrial application where objects being handled are not so delicate and a general grip is required.


Accreditation is an important aspect to consider when buying gloves for your laboratory. There are many bodies that provide different types of accreditations including ASTM, FDA, CE, TUV and ISO. The accreditation can give you confidence in the manufacturer of the glove, for example, ISO9001 will give you the assurance that the manufacturer has systems in place to maintain quality of the paper trail, process and product. The FDA Data Standards Council coordinates the evaluation, development, maintenance, and adoption of health and regulatory data standards to ensure that common data standards are used throughout the manufacturer. CE and TUV are a basic requirement for some countries such as Europe and North America.

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2017-11-15 21:22:00
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