Thursday, February 18, 2016

Odd question about glovebox gloves

Via Twitter, Ian Tonks asks if anyone has noticed anything about glovebox gloves recently: 
We are burning thru glovebox gloves at incredible pace. Anyone know any tricks/more durable gloves? #realtimechem Not a prob for me in GS.
they are straight up destroyed--just falling apart/cracking btwn fingers. I only replaced ONE in 5 yrs at Caltech. Confused.
In response to a query from me about the material of the gloves, he says:
Butyl, 30mil from North, same as always. Cracks both inside and out, mostly out.
Anyone have any ideas?  


  1. I wonder if there is ozonizer being operated nearby. A tiniest trace of ozone ruins rubber like mofo - it becomes brittle, cracks and crumbles. Another possibility is some strong volatile acid/lewis acid stored in the glove box.

    1. Given that the gloves are cracking, this is a good suggestion. I can get several years out of gloves usually, but eventually see cracks around the rings.

  2. Plus, they are really expensive. There are a lot of different manufacturers of the gloves, including the companies that make the glove boxes I believe? MBraun? Their gloves are okay I suppose, but I still noticed that they started cracking after a year in my old lab, but that one had a lot of nasty things on the outside and inside the box, and many pairs also didn't survive the year due to co-workers cutting them all the time. I would appreciate tips about good manufacturers.

    So my data over the postdoc:

    Gloveboxes: MBraun and Vacuum Atmospheres
    Gloves: From MBraun
    Guaranteed to last with no one cutting them: 1-2 years.

  3. When using the glovebox, we wear XL Nitrile-Gloves over the Glovebox-Gloves to extend lifetime. The triple layer of Gloves is certainly something one needs to get used to, but so is the whole glovebox-experience anyway.

  4. +1 to pumping a box of XL (or XXL) into the box. Used to be in charge of one where people would dump all manner of stuff onto the gloves themselves. Keeping a box of oversized ones in the glovebox itself (and insisting people use them) helped a lot.

  5. It is puzzling that they are breaking apart so quickly. If I had to guess, I'd attribute it to something corrosive in the box. The only things that I would suggest have probably already been tried: check the seals to the chemicals in the box, minimize use of potential problem ones, make sure students aren't wearing anything abrasive on their arms when they use the box, etc.

    I've got a box (MBraun gloves) and we're only on our second pair after 8-10 years. Our use probably isn't as extensive as Tonks's group, but still...