You have probably heard about neoprene and nitrile gloves when shopping for the best gloves for your specific needs. Both glove types have their unique pros and cons - but is one better than the other?
Neoprene and nitrile have a lot in common- they are both stretchy synthetic rubbers, durable, and great glove materials. However, they also have different characteristics, like their resistance to heat, flame, abrasion, and other substances, that make them suitable for specific applications.
What are the unique characteristics of neoprene and nitrile gloves, and what is the best way to apply them? Read through our discussion on neoprene vs nitrile gloves to learn everything you need to know on the topic - including where to get the best type of gloves.
What are the Differences Between Neoprene vs Nitrile Gloves?
Whenever you are presented with neoprene and nitrile gloves, it may be tough to decide because of their great reviews. However, it is crucial to note that they have unique qualities that make them suitable for application in different areas.
For clarity, here's a walkthrough of how nitrile and neoprene gloves are made and what they are used for;
How Nitrile Gloves are Made & What They Can be Used for
The name Nitrile was coined from Acrylonitrile- Butadiene rubber. This is because Nitrile is made from two volatile synthetic liquids; Butadiene and acrylonitrile.
Acrylonitrile is a man-made colorless liquid chemical with a strong smell, similar to onion or garlic. It is responsible for the nitrile gloves' resistance to harsh substances. Butadiene, on the other end, is a colorless gas and organic compound. It gives nitrile gloves their flexibility and conformity. It allows the glove users to feel tactile sensitivity even with their clad hands.
Glove manufacturers combine butadiene and acrylonitrile, which causes a chemical reaction called polymerization, resulting in the production of liquid nitrile. They then filter the liquid nitrile and add coagulating agents and antioxidants to structure the material.
In its liquid state, the gloves manufacturers dip coated human hand molds into the nitrile. They then bake it and leave it to cool off and dry, after which they are coated in polymer for easy wearing and removal.
Nitrile gloves have the following properties;
- High Chemical resistance
- High water resistance
- High Abrasion resistance
- Oil and gasoline Resistance
- Puncture resistance
These properties make nitrile gloves useful in many industries, from food to engineering. Some of the things you can use nitrile gloves for include;
- Hazardous substance handling: Because nitrile glove chemical resistance is superior, they are ideal for handling corrosive acids and other organic solvents.
- Food handling: Nitrile gloves are food safe and can be used in food preparation because of their resistance to odor and stains. You can use them to handle oily food without contaminating or weakening the gloves.
- Medical use: Nitrile gloves protect users from contamination and prevent them from spreading contaminants. It is highly favored in the medical industry because of its puncture resistance and ability to withstand harsh conditions.
- Latex gloves alternative: Since nitrile gloves are latex-free, they have a low tendency to trigger allergies. They are an ideal replacement for anyone who has sensitive skin or allergies.
How Neoprene Gloves are Made & What They Can be Used for
Neoprene is produced from a lab-synthesized rubber called chloroprene ( carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine polymer.) At the start of the process, the chloroprene is polymerized to bind all the molecules together and form polychloroprene chips.
Neoprene glove manufacturers melt the polychloroprene chips and add carbon pigments and foaming agents to form the liquid material. After, they dip human hand molds into it, bake it, and coat it with polymer when it is dry to make it easy to put on and off.
The gloves are then tested before shipping to wholesalers.
Because of its component and polymerization processing, Neoprene gloves have the following attributes;
- Sunlight, weather, and ozone resistance
- Exceptional impact resistance and textile strength
- Flame resistance
- Water resistance
Because of all the qualities above, neoprene gloves are applied in the following ways;
- Handling wet objects: Neoprene is an ideal choice for handling liquid because of its waterproof ability. Its material allows you to maintain a grip on objects when working with liquid. Dentists and other medical personnel can benefit significantly from neoprene gloves since they handle wet instruments a lot.
- Handling common chemical substances: Neoprene gloves don't deteriorate when handling common caustic chemicals and petroleum-based mixtures. That makes them handy for lab workers, physicians, and other industry workers that deal with harmful substances.
- Printing: Neoprene gloves offer exceptional hand protection that prevents risks involved in printing tasks. They are ideal for frame cleaning and scrubbing during printing and can last long when used appropriately.
- Environmental clean up: Neoprene gloves are suitable for outdoor activities because of their resistance to environmental factors, like sunlight oxidation, UV rays, ozone, and other weather conditions.
Now that you understand how neoprene gloves vs nitrile gloves work let's dive into which one is better for your needs.
Neoprene Gloves vs Nitrile Gloves: Which is Better for Your Needs?
Which glove should you choose for your needs? Neoprene or Nitrile gloves? See how they compare in different categories, including protection, comfortability, cost-effectiveness, and others, before deciding which is ideal for you.
Let's get started with our Neoprene gloves vs nitrile gloves comparison!
Which Offers More Protection?
Whether you buy neoprene or Nitrile gloves, both offer protection against a wide range of contaminants and harmful substances. However, Nitrile has a superior chemical resistance against fuels, acids, and petroleum-based mixtures. It can withstand extended exposure to the majority of concentrated oils.
Both glove types also have their weaknesses with some chemical mixtures. Neoprene can't stand chlorinated compounds and nitro hydrocarbons, while nitrile gloves react negatively to aromatic oils and ketones.
Overall, when dealing with oil and chemical substances, Neoprene has moderate resistance to them, while nitrile is highly resistant.
Against heat and flames, Neoprene stands a higher chance of surviving compared to Nitrile. Nitrile can stand -40 to 228°F at most, while Neoprene can do from -70 up to 500°F before it catches fire. Even when neoprene catches fire, it doesn't melt- it becomes stiff, losing its flexibility.
For protection against heat and flames, neoprene gloves respond better than nitrile gloves.
Which is More Comfortable?
Nitrile gloves are comfortable but have lower elasticity than Neoprene. That means the exact nitrile glove sizing can fit tighter than a Neoprene glove. Despite that, Nitrile gloves are comfy because their designs hold your hands in a relaxed position when performing repetitive actions. It also allows the user to experience tactile sensitivity throughout use.
Neoprene gloves are comfortable as well but have more stretch than nitrile gloves. They feel almost the same way on the skin as latex and offer high tactile sensitivity to users.
In short, whether you use neoprene or Nitrile gloves, both are comfortable and offer dexterity to a very similar extent.
Which is Stronger?
Nitrile gloves have superior puncture resistance compared to neoprene gloves. They don't easily tear or succumb to abrasive forces. That is why Nitrile gloves are better for handling rough materials in construction sites, industrial businesses, gardening, mechanic shops, and more.
Considering their elasticity, neoprene gloves have higher stretch limits than nitrile gloves. That is not to say nitrile gloves are not flexible- Nitrile gloves are flexible but will reach their limit first when stretched alongside neoprene gloves which are just a tad better.
Which is More Cost-Effective?
Being cost-effective goes beyond which gloves have the lower pricing. You ought to consider which is more durable, reusable, and can withstand time and various uses.
Generally, Nitrile is more expensive than Neoprene because of its added protectiveness and resistance to a wide range of chemicals and oils. The extra cents are usually worth the price, as nitrile gloves tend to last longer than Neoprene. Nitrile gloves' performance creates a balance for their extra cost. They don't easily tear from or lack of use and can be reused repeatedly, depending on where they are applied.
Which is Better for the Environment?
Neoprene and nitrile gloves are made from synthetic materials that have difficulty decomposing. However, nitrile gloves are still better for the environment because they decompose over time and can be recycled. Nitrile gloves recycling is possible when they aren't contaminated by hazardous chemicals and microorganisms, just like latex and vinyl gloves.
Neoprene gloves, on the other end, are not environmentally friendly because they are toxic to produce and are not biodegradable or recyclable.
So, which should you choose? Neoprene or nitrile gloves? Find out which is the better gloves in the next section.
So, Which is Better? The Verdict
From our neoprene gloves vs nitrile gloves comparison above, Nitrile gloves come top when it comes to overall performance.
They are super flexible, protective, and have high sensitivity, making them the ideal gloves for working in various industries. You can use them with solvents, oils, and acids because they have excellent chemical resistance. Also, because of their puncture and impact resistance, you can use them in manufacturing industries, including automotive, food, military, medical, and processing establishments.
Unlike Neoprene, you can use Nitrile gloves almost anywhere. They are also durable, making them long-lasting and reusable when not contaminated.
How Does Nitrile Stack Up Against Other Types of Gloves Besides Neoprene?
Nitrile and neoprene gloves are not the only disposable gloves in the market. There are also other popular options like vinyl and latex gloves. However, nitrile is much stronger, more protective, and more cost-effective than other disposable gloves.
Against Latex and vinyl, nitrile is more chemical-resistant and puncture resistant and has a lower allergy rate. The only edge latex and vinyl have over nitrile is their price and biodegradability. So, go for latex if you need a cheaper option for a task that does not involve working with chemicals and harsh surfaces. But for all-around quality, buy nitrile gloves at a few extra cents. Learn more in our comparison of nitrile gloves vs vinyl gloves.
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Parting Thoughts on the Neoprene vs Nitrile Gloves Debate
You must be wondering which to choose: Neoprene or nitrile gloves? Based on our side-to-side comparison of the two gloves, nitrile gloves are a stronger choice than their neoprene counterparts. Although neoprene gloves shine in heat and weather applications, nitrile gloves have the most balanced property making them suitable for almost every use.
It is crucial to note that purchasing quality products has much to do with what you get out of your nitrile gloves. So, when shopping for nitrile gloves, go straight to Primo Dental Products' online store to order the best. We also sell surgical masks made in the USA at really affordable prices.
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