Dr Norman Keane, D3O’s Chief Technology Officer, explains what our Impact Additive is and why it’s good news for industrial gloves.
What is the D3O® Impact Additive?
The new D3O® Impact Additive is a unique ingredient solution that enhances the impact protection properties of thermoplastic rubbers (TPR).
Most of the gloves that are used for industrial PPE have back of the hand protectors and the vast majority are made from TPR. Up until now, there was very little that manufacturers could do to the compositions they were using. They either add more plasticiser to make their gloves softer, or add less to make them harder.
Our iA solution is something completely different and allows you to make softer, thinner gloves, without compromising on safety. If you’re using TPR with a PVC plastisol then iA will improve your products. It really has no limits as far as TPR is concerned.
How does it work?
One of the main things we were looking to accomplish was a liquid solution, which is what we now have with iA. It is added to the plastisol and is very easy to mix.
There is no need to use any special equipment outside of the traditional TPR manufacturing process. It is simple, elegant and really is open for anybody to use.
What results have you seen?
The impact testing we have done at our UK lab, to the European standard EN388 (5 joules), showed that TPR enhanced with the iA solution reduced transmitted force by 34% compared with standard TPR of the same thickness.
We had initially set ourselves a target of a 15% reduction, so the results we’ve seen are very pleasing. It has been consistent across a wide range of plastisol propositions and proves that the additive is universal for TPR.
Another great plus is that adding iA into your mix can reduce the hardness of the TPR by 18%. That is great for comfort and dexterity, which are key issues for workers who have to wear the gloves.
What kind of feedback have you had so far?
The feedback so far has been really positive. Manufacturers like the idea of the additive as a concept, as opposed to D3O supplying the complete plastisol composition. The trials that we have done with customers have gone exceedingly well and it is easy to work with.
As I said earlier, there are no new processes or any new equipment, so it is very easy for brands and their factories to integrate this into their processes. The look of the gloves is great and everybody’s very pleased so far.
Could stretch further than industrial gloves?
Yes, any application where TPR is used, whether it is industrial gloves or other types of gloves that have PVC elements on them, then it should work. If you are using PVC for protective purposes, it should work for you as well. We need to explore with other markets and avenues.