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The Hand Protection Blog

Why are silicone free gloves so important in manufacturing processes?

Silicone-based products have long been used in manufacturing because they make excellent lubricants and release agents. 

But there is a down side – silicone contamination.

The same properties that make silicone excellent lubricants and release agents causes them to be an enemy of adhesion, therefore a serious contaminant in bonding applications. This results in surface defects and a poor quality finish.

One environment where silicone contamination is a major concern is in coating operations, such as automotive refinishing. Even traces of silicone can result in adhesive failure, causing primers and paints or other coatings to “fisheye”. 

Paint fisheye

Image source

Poor quality finishes from silicone contamination costs manufacturing facilities money, from the additional resources required for sanding, repair and rework through to affecting overall plant production schedules.

Silicones are difficult to remove due to being relatively chemically inert, and unaffected by most organic or aqueous solvents. This has led to some manufacturing facilities going silicone-free, stating that only products and components guaranteed to be free from traces of silicone can be used.

Eliminating silicone contamination is an ongoing process as silicones can enter your manufacturing environment in numerous ways, via:

  • Your consumables - Various pieces of personal protection equipment may contain silicone. Purchasing silicone free disposable gloves and other silicone free PPE will help alleviate this risk.
  • Your staff - Many creams, cosmetics, hair care products and antiperspirants contain silicones. Education and training of production operatives increases employee awareness of silicone contamination causes
  • Your internal processes & tools - Reviewing of all materials (maintenance, cleaning etc) used within the facility helps maintain high quality outputs.

With the increased requirement for silicone free manufacturing environments, the new SHOWA single use disposable nitrile glove has been developed silicone free, making it ideal for painting or bonding applications, helping you maintain a silicone free manufacturing facility.

To try these gloves for yourself visit and we will send you a free sample. Alternatively you can call us on T: +44 (0)161 877 4747 to discuss your hand protection needs.


CATEGORY: Disposable Gloves, Health and Safety, SHOWA

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