Disposable gloves are the very important items in gloves, they were invented to protect the doctor’s hands and avoid contact with the patient’s body. The fundamental sign that humans different from animals is the ability to use labor tools. And the flexible hands are the most powerful and most directly distinguishable from animals’. So people invented gloves in BC to protect the hands when they use tools or touch objects.
Today, disposable gloves are used in almost every industry, large and small factories, homes, hospitals, labs, restaurant, etc.. Not only to prevent people from being hurt or infected when they are in contact with things, but also to prevent the objects being polluted.
It has become an indispensable part of people’s daily work and life. Although everyone is very familiar with it, and often use it, but little know about its type, specifications or process differences. I will briefly introduce it here, and hope that it will help you in the future use or procurement process.
TYPES and USE of disposable gloves
Disposable gloves can be divided into three categories according to their use:
Medical Surgical Lever Gloves
: These gloves are all made by latex, the quality grade is AQL1.5, every pieceinspected, and sterilization is required to ensure the gloves do not have any bacteria. To make sure there is no risk of any damage or infection during surgery to protect the safety of doctors and patients.
Inspection Lever Gloves
: These gloves are usually made by latex, nitrile, PVC, quality grade AQL1.5-2.5, according to different purposes. A doctor or nurse wearing such gloves does not directly touch the patient’s blood or diseased skin, but simply touches the patient or other items.
Food and Industrial Lever Gloves
: These gloves are usually nitrile, PVC, TPE, PE, quality grade AQL1.5-4.0, according to different customer needs. People who wear such gloves usually do not touch any patient, but are exposed to items or food, primarily to prevent contamination of the food, or to contaminate the hands, but there is no risk of the wearer being infected by the bacteria.
According to the length, it is divided into short gloves, wrist longer length gloves, elbow length gloves, and shoulder length gloves. And even there is shoulder length gloves with neck strap to protect the neck.
Short gloves and Wrist Longer Length gloves are used in the same classification as above. Elbow Length gloves are mainly made of PE and CPE, mainly to better protect the nurses, or home care patients’ families.
Shoulder Length gloves and Shoulder Length gloves with Neck Strap is made by PE or EVA material. Which is mainly used for large animal inspection and artificial insemination.
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Performance of kinds disposable gloves
With the improvement of customers’ needs, subdivision of using and the development of technology. The types and functions of disposable gloves are getting more and more. If divided according to small categories, there may be more than one hundred types.
Here I mainly divide by raw materials used in gloves because different material makes different performance of gloves. They are divided into: Natural Latex Gloves, Nitrile Gloves (also called NBR Gloves), PVC gloves (also called Vinyl Gloves), CPE Gloves, PE Gloves, new TPE Gloves in recent years, and fully degradable gloves what is still in sample step.
Natural latex gloves
They are the earliest invented disposable gloves, mainly used in hospital surgery, so the quality requirements are the highest in all disposable gloves. It is high elasticity, high anti-piercing, not easy to break, hand fits well, sterile, etc.. But because the material is Latex, it is easy to cause user allergic of the latex protein.
Due to the high price of raw materials used, the price is several times or even ten times than other material gloves. So though it has so good performance, only little customers buy them. Now in most countries around the world, hospitals only use latex gloves when performing surgery. Because this glove is the most strong and resistant to bacteria, can prevent infection of doctors, nurses or patients.
It is invented to replace latex glove by Malaysian company. The price is much cheaper than latex gloves, and the performance is also very good near to latex gloves.
This glove is very successful also because it is rarely allergenic, very good for users. The thickness of gloves can be thinner or even half of latex gloves. So in recent years, most hospitals are willing to use this glove when it is not a surgical operation, which is much cheaper.
It is a not green gloves because it has DOP in it, it was also invented to replace latex gloves, at a price that is half or less of nitrile gloves. Elasticity is not good, but it is not easy to break, and it can meet most people’s living and production needs. However, due to the necessity of using plasticizers in its production, it is greatly reduced in use.
Japan is the first country to enact laws prohibiting the use this gloves in food factories. The European Union is closely following. In recent years, the United States will also gradually ban the use of this glove in the food industry, so it is extremely fatal for this glove. Although PVC gloves start to use edible plasticizers in recent years, but there are frequent repercussions in the society and there is no good market prospect.
PE glove used blowing machine to blow polyethylene into a film. And the glove is heat-synthesized by a heat sealing machine, which is simple and cheap. The glove can be made into 0.005 mm, which is extremely thin. But also because of this, the defects are also very obvious, the pulling force is not good, the elongation and strength are very low. And it can only meet the purpose of preventing people from being contaminated, in most cases, it can only be used for very slight force and disposable for a while work.
CPE glove is an improved product proposed by the Japanese on the basis of PE gloves in order to strengthen the strength, elongation and tension. Especially compare with PE and improve the fastness of the seam of the glove. Nearly the same materials with PE Gloves. It is strong and durable, can meets the needs of most food processing plant staff for half a day or a whole day without damage. The price is very cheap, only a quarter or a fifth of the nitrile gloves. That’s why this glove is most used in food processing plants in Japan.
It is an improved product of CPE gloves proposed by Americans invented to replace PVC or even nitrile gloves. This glove has strong pulling force, very good elongation, high hand bonding effect and strength. The price is cheaper than PVC, much cheaper than nitrile. So once it was launched, many customers accept it and like it, also advertise it.
Please see the characteristics of the tensile and elongation of the above-mentioned gloves in the following figure. Each category of gloves has a range value. Because different gram weights and different tensile strength, gloves are produced according to the customer’s needs, but the overall is in this within the scope.
After 2010, the demand for personalized products has become more and more vigorous. And the types of products have become more and every type’s quantity has become smaller. Not only clothing, home improvement, stationery and other industries, but also disposable gloves. Which are almost impossible to change, have changed variety of things.
Some gloves need to be added some additives to meet the requirement of customers. Such as Aloe vera extract is added to the raw materials of the gloves, which is fragrance and not pungent, especially popular among female users.
Different gloves’ surface
Gloves’ surface are developed different embossing to make it look better or for better grip. Such as 3D solid TPE Gloves, which develop a new embossing and increases the friction of the product. And increases the texture of the product under the same weight.
More and more customers need Different Gloves’ models, even in a same country and same are. Such as the the shape of the gloves is diversified, and the requirements for hand types are getting higher and higher in different countries and different industries.
The hand shape of the glove wrist tightens, so that the worn gloves are not easy to fall off. The curved hand shape makes the loose gloves, and the gloves are not easy to fall off when used.
Different disposable glove color
More colors needed in recent years, 20 years ago, there is only transparent or white, then Blue, but now, pink, dark blue, sky blue, green, red, orange, yellow, black, gray, etc,.and no matter what color customer needs, the factory will provide。
Disposable Degradable Gloves
Completely degraded gloves have been developed since the 1990s and have achieved some success. They are successful for 100% degradable, but the price is very high, which is five times the price of ordinary gloves. PLA is the best material now for film products.
There are PBAT, PCL, PVA, Plastic Starch,. etc. Nowadays, environmental problems are becoming more and more prominent.
According to reports in 2014, there are already plastics in the deepest trenches in the world. And there is no place in the world where there is no plastic pollution. In response to this, the EU will be completely banned next year, and the United States is also seeking alternative products for disposable plastic products.
Nowadays, many factories are starting to produce samples. But the results are not satisfactory, and the price is still high, which is 2-3 times that of ordinary gloves. The tensile elongation of the product and the performance of the film are very poor, which is not enough to support long-term use, which also causes the glove can not be used in lots areas.
Different degradable gloves
Nowadays, degradable gloves have become an alternative to some customers. Although they can not be completely degraded, maybe they can degrade more than 50% and they think it is helpful to environment, play a positive role. However, because the remaining part can not be degraded. The left part is very hard collected to recycle, so they are not recognized by Europe and the United States.
Such light-degradable gloves and the addition of biocatalysts to conventional gloves have achieved synergistic effects and are another important way to address this ecological problem. Although these additives all claim to completely degrade the plastic in one or two years, according to our actual experiments, this effect has not been achieved.
The development of fully degradable gloves has a long way to go, because the degradable gloves mainly add the oxygen group into the molecule of the glove. And it become the molecular group of the affinity bacteria, but this later destroys the molecular structure of the glove and changes the glove.
It has become a product that is easy to breed bacteria, which contradicts the use and function of gloves, that is why the product is not satisfactory. Many companies have modified PLA and PBAT and plastic starch to improve their plasticity.But the price is an another problem, which is the main reason why many customers have not purchased a lot.
Disposable gloves production process
According to the production process, disposable gloves are usually divided into two categories, three-dimensional seamless gloves and film heat-sealed gloves.
Three-dimensional seamless glove production progress
The production principle of the three-dimensional seamless glove is to dissolve the raw material of the glove in a liquid, which is mixed with water and other organic compounds at a high temperature. Then the model of the handle passes through the mode of transportation, and then passes through the air cooling and high temperature drying.
The glove film is shaped, and then the glove is removed by hand or machine. The material selected by the glove must be specifically soluble in a certain solution, and must be easily released from the mold, so the material requirements are extremely high.
Film heat-sealed gloves production progress
The film heat-sealed gloves are relatively simple. That is the glove raw materials are mixed and heated, and the solid particles are directly melted at a high temperature without any liquid. And they are formed into a film by blown film or casting, which will be air-cooled or water-cooled.
After cooling, the film is rolled into a film roll. And being wound up, the shape of the hand is thermally synthesized by a heat sealing machine. When the factory select a material for this type of glove, it is necessary to select a material having excellent heat sealing properties.
Determined by the above two types of production processes, to improve production efficiency, seamless gloves must lengthen the production line. While seamed gloves must increase the machine, because the two production processes, the production speed is basically fixed, not too fast. Otherwise will seriously affect the quality of the gloves and the stability of production.
Therefore, the factory that usually produces seamless gloves has become the assembly line of its equipment. It occupies a large area and has a large investment in equipment. Generally, manufacturers with more than 10 assembly lines are well-known in the industry because the production line is very expensive. Even if there is only one production line, investors must have sufficient funds to support the production.
The factory produce seam gloves only needs several blown film machines, or several casting machines. And also some gloves heat sealing machines, small space, and small equipment investment. Therefore, such manufacturers are blooming everywhere at home and abroad, and the quality of production is also involved. It is not uniform, there is no unified industry or national standard.
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Different Disposable Gloves’ Prices
For most users, price and quality are two factors of the same weight, especially for the big quantity customers. How to purchase the most cost-effective, suitable gloves for employees is extremely important. To ensure the quality of the products they produce, it can also guarantee the health of employees and reduce the production cost of the factory.
According to the different production processes of seams and seamless gloves, the price of seamless gloves is much higher than seamed gloves. And the Latex Gloves> Nitrile> PVC> TPE> CPE> PE. In addition, the weight and packaging of the product also have a great impact on the price of the product. The heavier the product, the higher the gloves’ price will be, and the boxes used will definitely be more expensive than the bag packing.
And because the value of disposable gloves is low, the more complex the package, the higher the price. And the more the gloves in a package, the lower the unit price. So many food making factories like to use at least 100 pieces in a box or bag, in order to control the unit price. But supermarkets sell 50, 20, or even only a few gloves in a pack, to make sure every pack’s price is lower. Different industries have great differences in terms of demand.
Since it is for hospital surgical use, it has the highest quality requirements, the heaviest weight, and the need for radiation sterilization, which is inevitably the most expensive. Even general-purpose latex gloves that are not sterilized by radiation are at least half the price of other types of gloves. Ordinary household gloves are usually more than $25, and for surgery, at least $30.
When it was first invented, it was designed to overcome the problem that latex gloves are prone to allergies and expensive. So the price of this product is not low, and the total price is above 20 US dollars. However, due to the excellent characteristics of nitrile gloves and the absence of plasticizers, it is more and more popular, and the factory is also affected by the market.
Constantly developing thinner products to meet the needs of general users, now the thinnest nitrile gloves already have 3.0 grams or even 2.8 grams and are priced at 18 or 19 dollars.
One of the most volatile products, the price of raw materials fluctuated greatly, and the demand for products was extremely unstable. In the past, PVC gloves were relatively expensive when they were not subject to European and Japanese national legal policies. They were usually more than $13, and later due to policy reasons and oversupply. The price was only $9 when the price was the lowest, and it was the same quality product.
The above three models are seamless gloves, and then we will talk about the price of the products with seam gloves:
Prices are relatively low, usually between $7 and $9. As the product has long been a steady trend of supply and demand, the price is relatively stable. Due to the environmental sanitation of the products, the characteristics of excellent performance are favored by more and more customers. Which are used to replace the expensive nitrile gloves and PVC gloves.
More and more people want to learn about the TPE glove’ performance, it is real good and fit for people daily life use.
The main market is the Japanese market, and the price of the product is usually 3 to 6 dollars, and the price is getting lower and lower. In recent years, due to the intensified competition in the Japanese market, CPE gloves have become lighter and lighter. And the selection of products has also shown a downward trend towards lower grades, so the price is getting cheaper.
Divided into HDPE and LDPE gloves, it is the most versatile disposable gloves in the world. It is extremely large, easy to use and extremely cheap, only 1 to 3 dollars. The lightest HDPE is now only 0.5 grams, which is the thinnest thickness of the HDPE film.
But during COVID-2019, Nitrile gloves price increased crazy and even much higher than Latex. Because it is very comfortable and non allergy, much more popular in users market.
Effects of using calcium carbonate or recycled materials
As people’s hygiene requirements for themselves and the environment are getting higher and higher, the demand for disposable gloves is greatly increased. The output of disposable gloves is greatly stimulated. However, blindly expanding the production of gloves has led to fierce competition. The price of gloves has been swayed around 08 years ago.
In recent years, factors such as trade barriers and crude oil have fallen. And the lower the level, the more and more factories use calcium carbonate or the recycle material to produce.
A small amount of calcium carbonate used between 1% -3% does not affect the performance of the product, depending on the material. Sometimes it can increase the smoothness of the product. However, some manufacturers increase the filling material by 10% or even 30% to greatly reduce the price of the product.
The vicious competition makes the market chaotic, and the quality of the products that the customers get is also very different from the samples. Which reduces the customer satisfaction. There are also some factories that purchase recycle materials for production. The price of recycle materials is usually 30%-50% cheaper than the new materials.
It is very cheap, then the gloves’ price is reduced to meet the customer’s transaction. In the same way, because the recycle material supplier can not guarantee the quality. The gloves are not granulated, most of them contain odor, many un-melting dot, and poor strength problems.
Customers often have certain requirements for products when purchasing products. After all, disposable gloves are used to protect products and employees from bacteria, oil and other infections. Too bad quality not only causes great risk of infection for products and employees, it is also a great damage to the environment.
Quality Control and Identification
Quality is the most critical element of all products and the first element of long-term survival for factories and distributors.
Since the amount of disposable gloves is very large and there are many factors affecting the product, every step of production must be monitored in real time every day. Raw materials can affect the feel, gloss and film strength of the product. There are many factors influencing the production process, and dust will produce black spots, no spots, and no melting point.
Temperature discomfort can result in insufficient strength of the film and uneven thickness. The main problems of disposable gloves are:
Mixed sizes, mixed with metal, with large insect pests;
Lack of fingers, film holes, mixed with dust, hair and other small foreign bodies, large Lots of water leakage;
The bottom edge is not uniform, the edge is slightly watery, the surface of the glove has burrs, and the film has un-melting dot.
I suggest users perform a simple check on the glove before using the glove, gently blow it. And check the appearance whether leaking or not before using it. If the above non-conforming products are found, the unacceptable defective products must be returned or exchanged, or even refunded, the supplier should be replaced.
Because such defects indicate that factories and dealers have not established a quality management system. All gloves they produce are not in good control. In the case of large defective defective products, it is necessary to promptly complain to the supplier and replace the indemnity. In case of minor defects, replace the gloves in time, if there are many same gloves, complain to the supplier.
Choose Most Value Disposable Gloves
Depending on the performance of the product, of course we all like the best latex gloves, but in most cases, we don’t need to use such good gloves. What we need is the gloves that are fitting our working and using rightly. Of course, for dealers and wholesalers, this does not require me to say more, they have perfect sales channels and procurement channels. They clearly know what they need to purchase. For most users, I think they need to know exactly what they need.
Current Chinese glove production map
As the world’s factory in China, about 50% of the world’s disposable gloves are produced here. Especially PE and CPE gloves, 90% of which are produced here. The production data proves the glove habits around the world.
The output of nitrile gloves has increased especially fast, which proves that it has been welcomed by more and more people. It is cost-effective, comfortable to wear, high in elasticity and not easy to break. It is suitable for long-term high-intensity work and work requiring certain protection. Such as auto repair, equipment maintenance, meat food processing plants, hospital care, building renovation, laboratories, etc.
Each type of disposable glove value
Pastry processing, food processing, post-cooking dishes is recommended to use CPE or TPE gloves. Also inner layer waterproofing of double-layer gloves, general hospital contact, household cleaning, general use in the laboratory. And long-term use or half-day use Time is completely without problems. It is recommended to use a thickness of 22-25μm.
The use of PVC gloves is relatively wide. Although European and Japanese laws stipulate that PVC gloves are not allowed for food processing, PVC gloves are still the most used gloves in the world.
Auto repair, maintenance, food processing, hospital care, home cleaning, etc. are all possible. But due to AQL1.5, AQL2.5 and AQL4.0, it is recommended to be exposed to bacteria when in contact with humans and animals. AQL1.5 is used, AQL2.5 is used in general food processing, and AQL4.0 is used in cleaning.
PE gloves, the world’s cheapest disposable gloves, the general strength, the real one-time gloves. It is suitable for food store customers, fast food restaurant customers, simple cleaning and other short-term use. Can not be used for long-term use by employees, and is easy to break.
I hope that the above article will play a positive role in the selection of gloves.
Choose the right size for yourself
The right size is so important when choosing the right glove for your own using. The right size allows the user to be physically and mentally pleased, more comfortable to use, and minimally affecting the touch of the hand so as not to affect the user’s actions. Depending on the choice of seamless and seamed gloves, the way you choose is different. The regular size of the seamless gloves is small, medium and large. The seamed gloves are usually small, medium large and extra large. Please see the picture below. This is a simple illustration of the hand.
Use a ruler
Measure your palm width, as shown in the illustration, and then write down your dimension.
When you choose seamless gloves, if your palm width is less than 8 cm, please choose to use the small size. If it is between 8-9 cm, please choose medium size. If it is 9 to 10, please choose large size. Of course, not everyone’s palm size is in this range.
Because some people are smaller or larger, some dealers will require manufacturers to produce XS or XL numbers to meet the needs of a small number of people. XS is usually suitable for 6- 8 cm, and XL is more than 10 cm, because there is no bigger.
When you choose to have sewing gloves, it is not the same as above. Because the seamless gloves are film gloves, the choices need to be more relaxed. 6-7 cm is suitable for small size, 7-8 cm for medium size, 8-9 cm for large size, and 9-10 cm for extra size. Of course, some suppliers will have XS and XXL for everyone to choose.
Among them, TPE gloves are a special type of gloves. Because this glove is a seamed glove, it is very weak and fits the hand. Therefore, it can also be used with a smaller type of glove.
Correct use of disposable gloves
After you purchased proper gloves, before you use it, keep your hands dry when using them. Because the film is very thin, it has a large base surface. When there is water or sweat on the hands, there is no air between the film and the film, which makes it very difficult to wear. It is best to disinfect with alcohol before wearing. If not, wear gloves to ensure that the surface of the gloves is clean and hygienic.
After use, in order to maintain the sanitation of the environment, throw the gloves into a recyclable trash can and please do not throw them away. The recycled gloves will be granulated and used as a product with low hygiene requirements such as garbage bags.
After you wear it, please make sure don’t use sharp things to poke it, because it is thin, so it is easy to broken.
Automated development of disposable gloves
Industry 4.0, familiar with the words, has pointed out the development direction for factories around the world. It is necessary to build the factory into intelligent, unmanned, productive, and efficient.
In recent years, especially after 2015, China’s demographic dividend has disappeared. Personnel turnover has increased, factory employees are unstable, and it is difficult to recruit. The cost of labor has increased dramatically. There are only two options in front of the factory to increase employee salaries and reduce Corporate profits; or improve industrial automation and reduce employment
The disposable gloves factory is also the same. In recent years, the factory produce seamless gloves has developed machines for automatic peeling of gloves, machines for automatic counting, and even machines for automatic boxing. The factory produce seamed gloves has developed a machine that automatically tears the edge material. It has reduced nearly half of the work.
In the future, the degree of automation will certainly be higher and higher. New automatic feeding, automatic gloves, automatic boxing, automatic packing, and our factory has been developing in this direction.
The development direction of disposable gloves
Disposable gloves are both medical necessities and daily necessities for human beings. They are consumables and will always exist and will be more and more. Therefore, the glove industry will always exist, and it will get better and better, of course, the competition will be fiercer.
In the experience of more than ten years of my career, the development direction of gloves has the following points：
Gloves are simple to produced, it is a film product, made into the hand model. However, there are many factors affecting the quality and output in the production process. If the mechanical automation production can be completed, the product quality and the stability of the output will be greatly improved;
The current stage of the glove is also divided into seams and seamless, but in general, seamless use and performance are superior to the seamed gloves, will be seamless in the future will be very economical, but also performance Superior products, of course, depending on the development of the material;
No matter how difficult it is, after all, the focus of glove development in the next few years or decades；
Easy to use
At this stage, most of the gloves are used in fixed locations, that is, factories, stores, restaurants, etc. If they can be carried, the birth of completely degradable gloves can be discarded, which will greatly stimulate the demand for gloves.
After wearing the gloves, the touch of the hand is much lower, and the liquid-cured gloves will greatly improve the touch of the hand, so that the user can improve the satisfaction when using.
The future of disposable gloves
For the world economy, disposable gloves are a small category, but in terms of quantity, it is a big industry.I hope more and more investors can built new factories, i like more same occupation that we can learn and study together, to produce some brand new idea and new type disposable gloves to protect the users and environment better!
A short article, I hope that you will be helpful in your future work and life. I wish you all the gloves you need in this industry and can produce gloves that affect the world.
Thank you a lot for your reading, best regards!