Types of solvent gloves and how to select them

There are different types of solvent gloves, each with different characteristics. To protect against different types of chemicals, it is necessary to use gloves that will not be affected by the solvent. This article will help you choose the most appropriate gloves for each solvent and work environment.

What are solvent gloves?

Solvent gloves are gloves that protect hands from contamination by organic solvents and oils. Among the protective gloves that protect the human body from hazards such as burns and wounds, these gloves are specialized for protection against chemicals. For this reason, they are sometimes called ’chemical protective gloves’.

The purpose of solvent gloves is to prevent penetration of chemical substances in the skin. Direct contact of harmful chemicals, even if invisible, may cause various health problems such as skin damage and cancer. Solvent gloves are used to prevent this, and the standard is mainly defined by JIS T 8116. Solvent gloves are used in a wide range of industries, including chemical and pharmaceutical plants, plating processing, parts cleaning, and many other sites where organic solvents are handled in liquid or gaseous form. Therefore, there are a wide variety of materials used for solvent gloves. It is necessary to know how to select appropriate solvent gloves according to the solvents to be used and the working conditions.

To prevent accidents caused by organic solvents that may cause skin damage or carcinogenic effects, it is necessary to select gloves that are suitable for the organic solvent being used. Let's look at how to select the best solvent gloves from the three points of ’glove type’, ’solvents to be handled’, and ’glove material’.

Selecting gloves by type

There are two main types of solvent gloves: ’permeation-resistant type’ and ’solvent-resistant’ type. Select which type to use according to the solvent to be handled and the work to be performed.

Permeation-resistant type

This type of glove does not allow solvents to pass through and protects the human body. Permeation is a phenomenon in which solvents pass through the glove material at the molecular level (gas). Permeation-resistant gloves are made of materials and processed in such a way that even molecular-level solvents cannot pass through.

The levels are classified according to the permeability test, and the higher the class number, the longer it takes for the solvent to pass through the gloves(high permeability). For example, if working for a long time, gloves with a larger class are recommended.

The main materials used for this type of gloves include chloroprene rubber, butyl rubber, fluorine rubber (Viton), neoprene rubber, CSM, and EVOH. It is used in the fields where some solvents of Class 1 and Class 2 registered as specified chemical substances are handled.

溶剤手袋の種類と特徴

Solvent-resistant type

This type of glove is resistant to deterioration of the glove itself against solvents. Depending on the solvent, gloves may deteriorate faster , causing deformation, holes, or cracks that may allow the solvent to pass through the gloves. Solvent-resistant type gloves are effective in resistance to deterioration and permeation because the material is resistant to physical changes. However, they are not highly permeation-resistant and cannot handle permeation at the molecular level.

The main materials used for this type include polyurethane, nitrile, and silicone. They are used when handling solvents with low permeability other than Class 1 and Class 2 specified chemical substances and low carcinogenicity.

Select by solvent

The type of glove to be used depends on the nature of the solvent; if the purpose of use  is clear, such as handling only one type of solvent, refer to the following to determine the material to be used.

Gasoline and diesel oil

The best materials are nitrile rubber and fluoroelastomer, which are highly resistant to oil. Chloroprene is also sufficiently resistant to use. On the contrary, butyl rubber, which has low oil resistance, is not recommended.

Benzene and toluene

Fluorine rubber, which has a few compatible materials and has  high chemical and heat resistance, is the only one recommended.

Alcohol

Any rubber glove is suitable. Plastic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and other materials with low water resistance are not suitable.

Ketone

Butyl rubber, which has excellent gas permeability is the most suitable material. Silicone rubber can also be used sufficiently.

Ethyl acetate

Silicone rubber and butyl rubber, which are compatible with organic solvents with strong solubility,is recommended.

Organic acid

Butyl rubber that can be used with polar solvents is recommended. Solvent-resistant silicone rubber is also suitable.

Highly concentrated inorganic acid

Materials with high permeability resistance are recommended. Butyl rubber, CSM, and fluoro rubber are suitable.

Low-concentration inorganic acid

In addition to highly permeable butyl rubber, CSM, fluorine rubber, , and chloroprene is also suitable.

Highly concentrated alkali

Butyl rubber, chloroprene, and CSM with excellent alkali resistance, as well as silicone rubber with excellent solvent resistance are recommended. On the other hand, fluorine rubber, which deteriorates due to strong alkali, is not recommended.

Low-concentration alkali

Butyl rubber, chloroprene, and CSM with excellent alkali resistance are the best choices. Silicone rubber with excellent solvent resistance is also good.

Select by material

Understanding the characteristics of the materials used for gloves will help you handle solvents more accurately. Below is a summary of materials and compatible solvents.

Permeation-resistant type

Butyl rubber

Butyl rubber is a material with excellent gas permeability. It is airtight and does not allow gasses or vapors to pass through. It is resistant to sunlight and temperature changes, and ozone resistant. It can be used with polar solvents. However, it has low oil resistance and is not compatible with aromatic organic solvents or organic solvents containing chlorine.

ブチルゴム

Suitable for the following solvents: 

・Ketone, ethyl acetate, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents: 

・Gasoline, light oil, benzene, toluene, etc.

Chloroprene (neoprene) rubber

It is a well-balanced material with permeability resistance, heat resistance, abrasion resistance, and ozone resistance. It is also resistant to acids, alkalis, and oils. Slightly hardens in cold temperatures.

クロロプレン(ネオプレン)ゴム

Suitable for the following solvents:

・Alkali solvents, low-concentration inorganic acids, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents: 

・Benzene, toluene, ethyl acetate, organic acids, etc.

CSM (Hypalon)

Chlorosulfonated polyethylene rubber. It has similar characteristics to chloroprene rubber and has excellent aging resistance, ozone resistance, heat resistance, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance. Can be used with high concentrations of inorganic acids. It is weakly acidic. However, it is prone to crystallization at low temperatures.

CSM(ハイパロン)

Suitable for the following solvents:

・Acid, alkali solvents, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents:

・Ethyl acetate, etc.

Fluorine rubber (Viton)

It has excellent heat resistance, chemical resistance, and weather resistance, especially heat resistance, and can withstand temperatures as high as 300℃. It also has oil resistance and can be used for gasoline.

フッ素ゴム(バイトン)

Suitable for the following solvents:

・Benzene, toluene, gasoline, light oil, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents:

・Ketones, ethyl acetate, etc.

Solvent-resistant type

Nitrile rubber

The major feature of this material is its excellent oil resistance. It is also generally used as a glove material because of its high abrasion resistance, aging resistance, and durability against puncture.

ニトリルゴム

Suitable for the following solvents:

・Gasoline, diesel oil, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents:

・Ketones, ethyl acetate, organic acids, etc.

Silicone rubber

This material has excellent heat and cold resistance, with a heat resistance temperature of 200 to 250°C and a cold resistance temperature of -50 to -70°C. It is excellent in compression restoration and is good at handling sticky substances, and is compatible with specific types of solvents.

シリコーンゴム

Suitable for the following solvents:

・Acetone, alcohol, etc.

Not suitable for the following solvents:

・Gasoline, light oil, benzene, toluene, etc.

Summary

Not all gloves are good for protecting the human body from chemicals and oils. It is necessary to select the most suitable materials and features according to the type of solvent and the work environment. Refer to the permeability standard, and choose the gloves that are at the same level of permeability as protective clothing and masks.