How are Disposable Gloves Tested for Quality?dark background with a white checkmark in a circle. we can see an index finger touch the white checkmark

How are Disposable Gloves Tested for Quality?

Disposable glove manufacturers conduct several tests to ensure the quality of their gloves. The tests assess the glove's performance characteristics, durability, and safety. A visual inspection of the gloves is the initial preliminary check. If there are any visible defects like tears, holes, or missing fingers within a batch, there is no need for further testing. Visibly defective gloves are removed and discarded.
Further testing is more elaborate and requires special equipment. Below are some of the tests a manufacturer might use. These tests will vary between factories, and the tests being done will depend on the material and type of glove.
Watertight Test (AQL - Acceptable Quality Level Testing): This test determines the quality of the gloves in terms of pinholes. Gloves are filled with water and suspended to observe any leakage. The AQL specifies the maximum number of defective items that could be considered acceptable during the random sampling of an inspection.
Dimension Test: This checks for the glove's dimensions to ensure that they conform to the pre-determined specifications. It includes checking the length, width, and thickness; this ensures the customer will be getting the size they expect.
Tensile Test: This determines the strength and elongation of the glove. A sample of the glove material is stretched until it breaks. The force required to break the material and how much the material can stretch before breaking are both recorded.
Aging Test: This evaluates how the gloves hold up over time. It involves storing gloves in specific conditions for a predetermined duration, and then testing their physical properties afterward. The testing conditions could include exposure to extreme temperatures, or levels of humidity and dryness.
Chemical Resistance Test: This test checks how well the glove can resist specific chemicals. It’s especially important for gloves that are marketed for use with certain chemicals. For example, some gloves are better suited for handling the drugs used in chemotherapy, such as our Grape Grip Powder Free Nitrile Exam Gloves. Check out our handy chart for more information on the chemical resistance of GloveNation’s gloves.
Protein Content Test: This is mainly for latex gloves. It measures the amount of protein content, as some users can be allergic to natural rubber latex proteins. Our gloves contain low levels of latex proteins, but we still recommend using nitrile or vinyl if the wearer is sensitive to latex.
Powder Content Test: If gloves are powdered, this test ensures that the powder level is within acceptable limits.
Viral Penetration Test: This evaluates if the glove can act as an effective barrier against viruses. General purpose gloves don’t need to go through this testing process.
Force at Break Test: Like the tensile test, this assesses the strength of the glove material when it is stretched to its breaking point.
Freedom from Holes Test: This is an electrical test where the glove is filled with water and then placed in a solution. Any pinholes or imperfections would complete an electrical circuit, indicating the glove's failure. This is similar to the watertight test as described above.
Dexterity Test: This test ensures that the glove doesn't impair the wearer’s ability to handle and manipulate objects.
To ensure that gloves meet international and national standards, manufacturers typically adhere to standards set by organizations such as ASTM International, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), and the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). A manufacturer won’t use all the tests above for all their gloves; the type of tests and the criteria they need to fulfill can vary based on the intended use and the material of the glove.