Many gloves may look the same, but they are made of materials that vary drastically. When choosing a glove to meet your needs, it's important to know the pros and cons of each material. Here we address specifically the most common materials, Latex, Nitrile, Vinyl and PVC.
Latex is a common product that comes from rubber trees. When the rubber tree bark is shaved, the tree naturally oozes the product that is processed into usable latex. Chemicals and compounds are then added to form the liquid latex material used to fabricate latex gloves. These additives are generally non - allergenic and enhance the natural rubber to have consistent solid surface tension. While being stretched these additives allow the rubber to maintain its surface without forming holes.
Nitrile is a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene. Nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) is a family of unsaturated copolymers of 2-propenenitrile and various butadiene monomers (1,2-butadiene and 1,3-butadiene). Although its physical and chemical properties vary depending on the polymer’s composition of nitrile, this form of synthetic rubber is generally resistant to oil, fuel, and other chemicals (the more nitrile within the polymer, the higher the resistance to oils but the lower the flexibility of the material). Nitrile is generally much more resistant to puncture than latex is.
Vinyl and PVC Gloves
Similar to nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves are also made with a synthetically derived polymer material. This polymer, polyvinyl chloride, is perhaps better known by it's acronym, PVC. Also similar to nitrile gloves, the use of this synthetic polymer to create the glove allows manufacturers to avoid complications with latex allergies. The other benefit is that PVC polymer is relatively inexpensive to produce. There are many different formulations of PVC