Several different materials are used in protective gloves. Which material is used depends on its properties in relation to the need. The protective gloves must be flexible, comfortable and durable to protect against various risks. Here is a brief description of the different materials that are commonly found in protective gloves.
Latex (rubber) is a natural material that is very stretchy and tear resistant. Latex also has good temperature resistance and protects against electricity. As latex is stretchable, these gloves are tight, which enables flexibility. Latex provides good wear resistance, good grip and has a high chemical resistance to alcohols and water-soluble chemicals. Latex naturally contains a protein that can cause allergic reactions both during manufacture and during use. This can be counteracted by an inner glove in cotton or application of protective skin cream.
Nitrile is an unsurpassed artificial rubber that is very durable and provides both good dry grip and good wet and oil grip. The material is also very resistant to oils, fats and chemicals. Nitrile does not contain latex and is the most common material for protective gloves in healthcare.
Vinyl gloves are a well-proven durable plastic material that provides a good dry and wet grip. These gloves provide good protection against most water-soluble chemicals as well as some protection against organic solvents.