Have you ever heard of chloroprene gloves? What is chloroprene gloves, and how different is it from other types, such as nitrile and latex? With so many types of gloves on the market, choosing the correct pair can be frustratingly challenging.
I’ll shed light on this matter and hope to provide you with a better understanding of chloroprene or polychloroprene gloves. More importantly, I’ll help you decide whether this personal protective equipment is suitable for your needs.
Let’s start this article with a brief overview of chloroprene’s chemical composition. Without getting into technical details, chloroprene is a synthetic rubber made of chlorine, butadiene, emulsifying agents, protective substances, and modifiers. These elements combine to produce polychloroprene polymers.
Would you be surprised to learn that chloroprene is an old rubber technology? DuPont first introduced this material in 1935 as Neoprene. It was the world’s first commercially-available synthetic rubber. Hence, don’t be surprised if the store sales clerk gives you Neoprene when you ask for chloroprene gloves.
Now you know the answer to the chloroprene vs Neoprene debate. They’re the same.
What Makes Chloroprene Gloves Great?
You might think how an 87-year old technology can be better than more contemporary materials. I understand your apprehension. However, chloroprene has many exciting qualities that make it relevant in modern times.
- It’s comfortable
Traditional latex gloves aren’t as comfortable as chloroprene pairs. You can wear these gloves all day long, and you’ll never feel any discomfort. Chloroprene has more give and a softer feel, ensuring a snug fit. Unsurprisingly, many healthcare professionals choose these gloves.
- A perfect fit
People highly regard chloroprene rubber because of its elasticity, softness, and malleability. Donning a pair of chloroprene exam gloves is effortless, even without powder coating the inside surface. The fit is spot-on, allowing users to optimize dexterity and improve overall performance.
The gloves’ form-fitting design also reduces hand fatigue. You can work extended hours without feeling pain or discomfort.
- It’s exceptionally strong
Did you know chloroprene gloves are more expensive than other types? A box containing 1,000 pieces of chloroprene gloves can cost you around $170, making each glove worth 17 cents. On the other hand, you can get nitrile gloves for about 10 cents apiece.
There’s one good reason why chloroprene gloves are expensive. Their strength is exceptional. Manufacturers subject their chloroprene gloves to two tests – tensile strength and elongation.
The gloves’ tensile strength reflects their ability to withstand stretch forces before breaking. Manufacturers rate their chloroprene gloves’ tensile strength in pounds per square inch. The higher the chloroprene gloves’ PPSI rating, the stronger they are.
The chloroprene glove’s elongation refers to the distance the rubber can stretch before breaking. Companies express the test results in percentage, with higher values denoting greater stretchability.
We all want our gloves not to break when we stretch them or apply force. It makes us more confident about our safety whenever we have flexible gloves over our hands.
Elasticity and tensile strength are two qualities that make chloroprene gloves the clear winner in the ongoing polychloroprene gloves vs nitrile gloves debate.
- Excellent protection
A chloroprene glove’s tensile strength and superior elasticity are only part of what makes it an excellent piece of personal protective equipment. Its ability to safeguard users against bodily fluids, blood, corrosive substances, toxic chemicals, and other harmful substances is impeccable.
It can stand up to acids, alkalis, salts, detergents, alcohols, and other industrial and commercial-grade chemicals. Many experts consider its protective qualities similar to latex sans the allergies from latex gloves.
Which Is Better, Chloroprene or Nitrile?
I mentioned that chloroprene gloves are better than nitrile pairs, citing the former’s more significant elasticity and tensile strength. Its protective capabilities are also superior to nitrile gloves. It should give you an honest answer to the chloroprene gloves vs nitrile gloves tug-of-war.
However, two things separate nitrile gloves from chloroprene pairs. First, it has the backing of the US Food and Drug Administration for use in medical examinations. Hence, doctors often use nitrile gloves instead of chloroprene gloves to perform a comprehensive patient physical examination.
Hence, if you’re going to perform a medical examination, you’d better use nitrile gloves. Chloroprene gloves are your go-to PPEs for other tasks or activities.
Second, nitrile gloves are five to seven cents cheaper than chloroprene. The price difference doesn’t seem too substantial. However, if you buy these gloves in boxes of 1,000s, you’ll spend $50 to $70 more for a pack of chloroprene gloves.
Regardless, their strength, protection, fit, and comfort more than justify the prohibitive price tag. I wouldn’t mind paying more if I could feel more confident about my safety at work.
Let’s summarize what we now know about chloroprene gloves.
- Chloroprene is a synthetic rubber material developed by DuPont in 1935 and first known as Neoprene.
- Chloroprene is popular for its exceptional elasticity, tensile strength, comfort, fit, and maximum protective capabilities.
- Although they are pricier than nitrile gloves, chloroprene gloves’ exceptional properties make them better personal protective equipment.
I hope this answers your question, what is chloroprene gloves? If you don’t mind the price, chloroprene gloves are the best. However, if you’ll perform a medical exam, I suggest getting nitrile gloves instead.