Polymer coating on gloves

Polymeric Coating on Gloves

All latex gloves, natural or synthetic, is tacky and sticky by nature on the surface. This stickiness provides the grip, which is an inherent property of dry rubber.

In the manufacture of gloves, a thin surface technology, the film becomes sticky after manufacture. This is overcome by applying a powder like modified absorbable corn starch to the glove.

Another method is via halogenation, where a light solution of chlorine is applied to the surface of the gloves for a short duration and then fully washed away. This is a treatment that smoothens the surface of the gloves.

A third method is to apply a thin coating of polymeric material-like polyurethane-based polymer. This polymer imparts a non sticky surface to the gloves as well as acting as a second layer. This method has been widely accepted in that not only the polymer layer acts to cut off the tackiness, but as a coating, it also acts as a barrier against direct contact with the main base material like latex or synthetic butadiene. For some users this may be an advantage if they are extra sensitive to certain materials.

This polymeric coating is made by two methods:

  • 1.) Diffused Coat (Outer surface of glove)
  • 2.) Applied Coat (Inner surface of glove) 

A diffused coat is thinner in gauge, more elastic and less slippery which is essential to a user who handles any object. An overly slippery surface will cause the user to lose grip on any equipment, especially when wet.

The applied coat is a full coat layer that is less elastic but thicker in gauge than the diffused coat, and is an actual fully separable layer.

The polymeric coated glove is then fully washed in a suppressed trichlor system which washes away residues of polymers and also remove any unwanted impurities from the surface of the glove.

This method, specific to Sensiflex gloves, has been found to lower the water extractable protein content to be out of the detectable range.