Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic rubber material instead of the rubber that latex gloves consist of. Since many people have a latex allergy, nitrile is a popular alternative. It performs well, whether you’re trying to protect yourself from viruses or caustic chemicals, and you don’t need to worry about triggering allergies.

SUNLINE Supply has a range of nitrile and synthetic rubber gloves you can purchase. Browse and buy today. Even if you do not have a latex allergy yourself, keeping nitrile gloves in stock makes sense, since you never know when you may have a patient or visitor with an allergy.

What Are Nitrile Gloves Made From?

Nitrile gloves contain Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR), a synthetic material made by combining monomers such as butadiene and acrylonitrile in a big vat. Acrylonitrile is a volatile synthetic liquid with a strong smell. Butadiene is a colorless gas and organic compound that can easily become liquid.

When the two combine, they cause a chemical reaction known as polymerization, creating liquid nitrile. Glove manufacturers then filter the nitrile and combine it with an antioxidant and coagulating agents to transform the liquid into a more stable material.

How Do You Make Nitrile Gloves?

The synthetic rubber is delivered to glove manufacturers as a dried, crumbled material. The manufacturers make the crumbled synthetic rubber into liquid again and then reshape it into gloves.

They do this by placing molds of human hands on a conveyor and coating them so the nitrile does not stick. The molds are dipped into vats of the liquid nitrile and baked. As they cool and dry, they take the shape of the hand mold.

Nitrile gloves are also coated in polymer or chlorinated to make them easier to put on and remove. Once the gloves are formed, cooled and coated, they are removed from the molds. They are tested before being placed in packaging to be sent to retailers or suppliers.

How Are Medical Gloves Tested?

Nitrile gloves are actually stronger than latex gloves — they are sturdier and harder to puncture. Since they are used in medical settings, they must be carefully tested. All medical gloves, including nitrile gloves, undergo batch testing. As part of this, manufacturers inflate the gloves with air and use American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards to conduct pinhole tests. 

The manufacturers make small pinholes and test the gloves for leaks. If more than a specific number of gloves in a batch cannot pass this test, they cannot be used in medical settings.

In addition to this test, manufacturers must prove the gloves are made in a safe facility that meets the standards for a medical rating. The gloves are also measured for thickness and size and may need to pass aging tests and other additional trials after being heated. Numerous tests ensure the gloves are safe and made to a high-quality standard to keep healthcare professionals and patients safe.

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