Some of our customers have been seeking more information on picking an appropriate glove for use with hazardous chemicals. These chemicals can range anywhere from common household cleaners like bleach and ammonia to more industrial applications with use of different chemical solvents and oils. With such a wide range of different types of chemicals, all with different strengths and hazard levels, you can find just as many varieties of glove materials, each which will protect you against certain chemical strengths.
Here are some general points to pay attention to when choosing a glove for use with hazardous chemicals:
- Consider glove thickness: thicker gloves tend to have better resistance to hazardous chemicals due to their heavier weight of construction. Thinner gloves offer improved tactile sensitivity, but a decreased level of protection.
- Consider glove finish: keep in mind that gloves with a textured finish will enhance the glove’s ability to grip. Many gloves feature some sort of textured finish, which is particularly important when working with solvents and oils.
- Consider glove lining: the most common type of glove linings are knit and flock. Knit linings offer a moderate level of moisture absorption and a negligible level of temperature protection. Cotton linings will typically be an appropriate choice for perspiration absorption.
Choosing a Material
Below are a variety of glove materials that are suited for a range of different chemical resistance. These should help you in determining what type of glove you need for your particular chemical application:
- SilverShield: this material is laminated, lightweight and flexible which is able to resist permeation from many hazardous chemicals. This material offers the highest level of resistance to toxic chemicals, but does not have much to offer when it comes to puncture and abrasion resistance.
- PVA: this is a water-soluble synthetic material that offers an extremely high level of protection against gasses. It is best suited to protect you against aromatic and chlorinated solvents. It is advised that you do not use these gloves in an application where water or water-based solutions are used.
- Viton: this fluorelastomer material is also suited for use with aromatic and chlorinated solvents, similar to PVA. This is a flexible material, however it has a poor level of resistance to abrasions and punctures.
- PVC: this is a synthetic thermoplastic polymer material that boasts a relatively good level of resistance to punctures and cuts. This glove material is appropriate for use with acids, petroleum hydrocarbons, and fats.
- Neoprene: this is a synthetic rubber, which offers wearers superb flexibility and strength as well as heat resistance. This glove material can protect against most acids and caustics.
- Butyl: this is another type of synthetic rubber, which offers wearers the highest level of protection against gas and water vapors. It is particularly useful for applications where esters and ketones are utilized.
- Nitrile: this is yet another synthetic rubber that offers a high level of abrasion as well as chemical resistance. This is a versatile material that can be used with oils, petroleum products, greases, as well as some caustics and acids.