A disposable glove like no other

Australia’s leading supplier of hand and eye protection, Safety Mate, brings unprecedented strength to the humble disposable work glove with SW Safety’s Megaman range.

Abrasion resistance is not typically synonymous with disposable gloves. Megaman is setting a new standard, not only in terms of strength, but hand health and environmental sustainability.

Despite being disposable, the range offers level two abrasion resistance for improved working durability. 

Most disposable work gloves only offer level one abrasion resistance (up to 100 cycles), or no abrasion rating at all. Megaman offers five times the number of cycles, providing a significant advantage in this regard. 

However, proprietary technology means that the glove goes beyond serving as a barrier from the elements. SW’s patented hand health technologies actually protect skin, managing the things that cause irritation, dryness and chapping in an occlusive environment.

Safety Mate national sales manager, Wade Roberson says the line has been particularly popular with companies’ maintenance divisions, which have a need for disposable gloves that can withstand an unusual degree of punishment.

“Level two abrasion resistance is a unique feature of the Megaman glove. That level is more akin to a non-disposable glove,” Roberson tells Safe to Work.

“Sweat management and hand health are also standout features of the range. Not only do these technologies keep hands drier and more comfortable, they also greatly reduce the chance of chemicals being absorbed through the skin. Thus, avoiding contamination which can lead to painful reactions and long-term health issues.”

The fully-textured Megaman glove is made of latex-free nitrile and is also dermatologically approved by the Skin Health Alliance.

Unusually for a disposable glove, Megaman is flock-lined with natural cotton fibres to help with sweat and comfort. The textured grip provides improved handling for users. The cuff is also beaded to make the glove easy to don and remove.

The proprietary technologies that the manufacturer has included in the glove are DriTek, TouchTek, MilTek and EcoTek.

DriTek lining wick’s away moisture inside the glove to improve comfort levels and reduce slippage. TouchTek helps to take care of the hands by protecting from irritants and contaminants.

It does this by removing chemicals used in the glove’s manufacture from the final product, increasing external protection while neutralising the inside of the glove.

The post-processing process used to remove these chemicals can leave the glove up to 75 per cent ‘cleaner’ than other gloves on the market.

EcoTek relates to the gloves’ biodegradability, ensuring that 96 per cent of the glove will break down within the first three years of disposal.

“From an environmental perspective, there are more disposable gloves sold in the world than every other type of glove combined.  Biodegradability is a huge benefit as it will breakdown when it does eventually go to landfill – we won’t have loads of gloves sitting in landfill for thousands of years,” Roberson explains.

MilTek, meanwhile, delivers improved consistency of thickness across the entire glove, minimising thickness differences from finger to palm and palm to cuff. This feature also helps to improve the overall durability and tactility of the glove.

A specialised production process ensures the thickness gradient across fingers, palm and cuff gets as close to zero as possible.

It is especially beneficial as the consistent lining means that the material is less likely to break at the cuff, which is usually the weakest part of a disposable glove’s construction.

“Typically, when a glove is manufactured they dip a ceramic former into the material that runs down the fingertips. It’s a common theme with disposable gloves that you tend to break a lot of cuffs,” says Roberson.

“This is because there’s more thickness at the fingertips and less thickness at the cuffs. Having consistency across the entire glove from finger to cuff ensures that the cuff is a lot stronger with less chance of a breakage.”

SW Safety’s other gloves in the product line of disposables include the PowerForm S6, Stellar S6 and Aloetuff glove, all of which are dermatologically approved by the Skin Health Alliance. Aloetuff also includes ACTIValoe to help skin health while PowerForm S6 is designed for laboratory environments.

Roberson says the Megaman glove, however, is as close as a disposable glove can get to breaking out of its category.

“It’s so easy to don and easy to take off so you can reuse it over and over again. It is classified as a disposable product but we’ve pretty much named it a ‘reusable disposable’ because it’s a strong, durable glove that offers great dexterity for work environments,” Roberson concludes.

This article also appears in the Apr–Jun edition of Safe to Work.

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