Nitrile is a synthetic rubber, made up of butadiene and acrylonitrile. It has resistance to oil, chemicals and fuel, as well as being able to withstand temperatures of -40°C to 108°C without melting. Nitrile generally has more resistance to punctures than latex, which is one of the reasons why it is an ideal choice of material for gloves.
Nitrile gloves can be used for a multitude of tasks, from wearing while treating patients in hospital to completing messy jobs on vehicles in a garage. Gloves are available with differing levels of thickness, depending on what they are required for. Thicker gloves are best when working with harsh chemicals, while thinner gloves are ideal for those who need flexibility and dexterity while carrying out tasks.
Nitrile gloves are not recommended for use when dealing with live electrics. This is because if the gloves were to puncture, the wearer would be exposed to the shock and injury could occur. However, they can be worn when dealing with low amounts of ESD (electrostatic discharge).
Nitrile gloves have good resistance to acids and to many chemicals but it is always advisable to check their suitability before using for any of these types of applications. For improved protection it is recommended you choose an industrial grade glove over medical.
Some nitrile gloves have anti-static features, to ensure that those wearing them do not build up static charge while working with ESD (electrostatic discharge) but the thinner nitrile do not meet the requirements set out in the EN1149 series of standards.
Nitrile gloves are not recyclable, but the packaging usually is. However, some nitrile gloves brands do offer a recycling service, so look out for this when making your purchase. If not, ensure you dispose of your gloves in a safe and environmental friendly manner.
Yes, many nitrile gloves are ideal for food handling, and as they are more resistant to oils than some other type of gloves, so should last longer. Nitrile gloves are available in bright colours and therefore are ideal for food preparation, as you can easily see any ripped or torn glove pieces in the food itself. The non-powdered kind are recommended, as there is no chance of contamination when removing gloves.
Yes, nitrile gloves have better chemical resistance in comparison to latex (natural rubber), which is why they are the preferred choice over their latex counterparts in this type of application. Nitrile has good resistance to gasoline, kerosene and many petroleum solvents as well as ethanol, isobutyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and methanol. However, differing thicknesses will provide varying levels of protection from splash protection (thinner disposable nitrile) to full contact protection (thicker re-usable nitrile). In all cases it is advisable to seek expert advice on suitability for any particular application.