What’s in a Glove?admin
And it’s more than just a hand…!
While we all know that antistatic and conductive gloves perform a variety of purposes – not only preventing damage from ESD but also providing protection from grease, dust and particle contamination in high-spec production and cleanroom environments – are you always 100% certain about which type of glove will best suit your needs?
Within the world of ESD Protected Areas (EPAs) gloves are worn during one of two processes: Handling or Assembly. When Handling, the gloves protect the operators’ hands. When Assembling, the gloves are worn to prevent components and assemblies from becoming contaminated. In both scenarios, the gloves worn within the EPA should be conductive or static dissipative.
So which gloves do you need?
There are several types of ESD-safe gloves that are commonly used. These include nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves and fabric gloves.
Nitrile Gloves: Uses and applications: Electronics, Biotech, Aerospace Science, Lab Examination, General Purpose.
Made from synthetic latex, making them ideal for people with latex allergy, these are also inherently anti-static. Nitrile gloves are also more resistant to puncture than rubber gloves, and offer resistance to many types of solvent and chemicals. The down-side? They are usually more expensive than latex or vinyl gloves because of their enhanced properties.
Vinyl Gloves: Uses and applications: Electronics, Biotech, Aerospace Science, Lab Examination, General Purpose.
Vinyl gloves are another option for latex-sensitive workers. Although the fit is usually baggier than latex gloves, the material is very soft. As such, these gloves are less durable and can puncture more easily than nitrile and latex gloves.
Latex gloves: Uses and applications: Electronics, Biotech, Aerospace Science, Lab Examination, General Purpose.
These are the gloves most people think of when rubber gloves are mentioned. They are affordable, fit well, are durable and very elastic. The major disadvantage with latex gloves though is that they can’t be worn by people with a latex allergy.
Fabric Gloves. Uses and applications: Electronics, Biotech, Aerospace Science.
There is so much choice when it comes to fabric gloves! Some hot gloves are used when handling ’hot’ circuit boards – the gloves dispel the ESD while providing comfort for the work. Some fabric gloves have a non-slip material on the palm and fingers for superior handling. Nylon gloves are another option. These can be found in stretch, low-lint and lint-free varieties. Fabric gloves are reusable and can be washed many times without losing their anti-static properties. This reusable aspect makes them cost-effective in the long-term compared with disposable gloves.
Finger Cots: Uses and applications: Electronics, Biotech, Aerospace Science.
Finger cots are another option for ESD protection. They come in a variety of materials and provide ESD protection with more mobility than some gloves.
Needless to say, wearing gloves does not negate the need for wrist straps or other effective personnel grounding methods, so they are only one part of the kit required in an EPA. However, this information should help you to purchase the correct glove for your application.
Antistat offer a full range of ESD-safe gloves, so if you would like to receive a product sample, do get in touch. Alternatively you can browse the selection now: www.antistat.co.uk
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