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As disposable gloves have many USES, they must pass strict inspection before they are ready for sale. In the automotive, sanitation and agriculture industries, workers handle some irritating chemicals, which means the gloves they wear must be shown to provide proper protection. The same goes for medical applications (gloves), where employees need to have a secure barrier against pathogens.
As a result, manufacturers use extensive testing to determine which glove application is appropriate, while medical-grade gloves have a higher standard. The following is an overview of the process:
Minimum quality standard
Glove inspection is based on sampling criteria table (AQL). For gloves, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the standard, and the TESTING method for AQL comes from the American Society for Materials and Testing (ASTM), a company that creates standards for a wide range of industries around the world.
AQL is suitable for batch gloves and is a method of testing glove functionality in percentages. For example, in a batch of 100 gloves with an AQL of 3.0, only three gloves were found to have failed the test in this batch. The AQL (standard) for medical gloves is 1.5 or lower. If more than three gloves are found to be substandard, the entire batch does not meet the standard. In this case, the manufacturer will review the glove manufacturing process to determine which step needs to be adjusted. Professional hanging hole gloves manufacturers believe that medical gloves have higher AQL standards.
Test method for gloves
Glove quality testing involves various inspections. The pinhole leak test, which checks for barrier integrity, is used to determine whether gloves are suitable for medical applications. This is because even the smallest break in the glove material can expose the wearer to pathogens. In this test, the manufacturer filled the glove with a liter of water, closed the cuffs of the glove, and hung the glove upside down. Gloves that do not leak during testing are suitable for medical grade.
One interesting fact about the DISPOSABLE glove AQL (test method) is that manufacturers typically produce both medical-grade and industrial-grade gloves on the same production line. Although industrial-grade gloves also pass manufacturers' standard quality tests, they are not subject to FDA testing.
This is not to say that industrial-grade gloves are unsafe; AQL is just a cost-effective way to do so. It provides the appropriate quality level for manufacturers to produce both types of gloves simultaneously.
AQL tests are divided into medical gloves and industrial gloves (two levels).