Terminology

  • Modulus - Refers to the modulus of elasticity of the glove material. “Modulus” is really what most people think of as “elasticity”, or the “degree of stretch”. The higher the modulus, the more force is required to stretch the film. So “low modulus” gloves have a softer, more elastic feel. 

    Latex Allergy - As the information available on latex allergy would easily fill several volumes, it is far too detailed to address here. IHC has compiled a great amount of information on latex allergy and suggestions for it’s management.

    Low Protein Claims (<50µg) - This refers to the total water-extractable protein content of a Natural Rubber Latex glove. The FDA has adopted the Lowry test method for measuring total protein. The Lowry test cannot accurately measure protein levels below 50 micrograms of protein per gram of glove. As a result, < 50µg is the lowest protein content label claim that FDA will allow and of course it must be substantiated.

    Chlorination & Micro-Chlorination - Chlorine has been used to produce powder-free gloves for decades. Chlorine “hardens” latex film, allowing a glove to be donned without the use of lubricants. Fortunately, tremendous technological advances have been made in the use of chlorine in the newer glove production lines. “Micro-Chlorination” is the application of chlorine in extremely small, highly controlled quantities, on-line, during production. This greater control of the chlorination process allows far less destructive chlorine to be used, ensuring consistently low protein levels, excellent donning properties, superior gripping ability and increased shelf life.

    Polymer Coated/bonded - A polymer interior, typically polyurethane, which facilitates donning without the use of donning powder or other lubricants.

    Bisque Finish - A term very few people understand. Best described as “lightly roughened finish”. Not perfectly smooth, but not as rough as a textured finish. A bisque finish is not visible to many people. It is more easily felt than seen. This finish enhances grip particularly when the product is wet.

    Textured Finish - A visible texture that is easily felt. Usually covers the entire finger and palm area, but sometimes covers only the fingertips. A textured finish dramatically enhances the gripping properties of the glove.

    Tacky Finish - A tacky finish can be present whether the glove is textured or not. This is a result of processing and usually imparts significant improvement to the gripping property of the product.

    Synthetic, Non-Latex - Broadly, any glove made from a material other than natural rubber latex. There are many synthetic materials suitable for glove manufacturing, but most of them are too expensive to gain wide acceptance.

    Nitrile - Acrylonitrile butadiene (NBR), a synthetic rubber, and one of the few synthetic materials both suitable to glove production and inexpensive enough to gain some level of acceptance. Nitrile rubber is resistant to a wider range of chemicals and solvents than natural rubber.

    PVC (Vinyl) - Polyvinyl chloride is not a synthetic rubber. It is a plastic which can be processed to provide enough softness to be used as a natural rubber latex alternative. PVC gloves do not have the same level of tensile strength or elasticity that natural rubber and nitrile rubber have. PVC gloves typically have a fairly loose fit, particularly at the cuff.