Rapid technological developments began with the industrial revolution and are currently considered the most powerful tool for environmental progress.
Touchscreen technology is one of the most user-friendly and intuitive interfaces available, making it the preferred interface for many applications.
People’s interactions with touch screens demand physical contact, which leads to contamination of these surfaces, requiring cleaning.
This is just one prominent and well-known circumstance where fingerprint contamination occurs.
Moreover, fingerprint contamination has been proven to the shear band and is difficult to remove.
Shear bands are microscale band-like deformations in intermediate and strongly deformed metallic alloys that are measured using standards.
In this article, we’ll explain why wearing gloves is significant in specific situations and industries to avoid contamination, particularly fingerprint contamination.
Furthermore, we will focus on nylon gloves because it has been proven that they are the best for this purpose.
So, under what conditions do we appear susceptible to fingerprint contamination?
Let’s start with a basic understanding of our fingerprints.
What is a Fingerprint mark?
According to this study (1), ungloved hands leave mostly water fingerprints, which would be harmless if placed on a surface.
However, another study published in 2016 revealed that the residue on fingertips is significantly more complicated, resembling 20% water.
Furthermore, because of human behaviors involving their hands, such as eating, unconscious grooming, and working, the components of a fingermark deposited on a surface are not similar to sweating because these behaviors are likely to transfer other contaminants to their hands.
I was astonished that fingermark contamination was detected on the surface even after hand washing.
Bottom Line :
Fingerprints are not simply the result of human sweating; fingermark contamination cannot be avoided solely by washing hands before working.
Which industries are concerned about this kind of contamination?
1. Forensic science
It is a critical element of the criminal justice system (2).
Forensic scientists gather and report evidence from crime scenes and other locations to achieve accurate data that can contribute to the investigative process of criminals or vindicate an innocent person.
Not only can forensic science be used not just in the investigation of crimes such as rape, murder, and drug trafficking but also in cases where no crime has been involved, but a civil wrong has been committed, such as intentional pollution of air or water or inducing workplace injuries.
Wearing gloves while analyzing a crime scene is vital for two reasons;
The first is to protect the forensic personnel from the evidence. The other reason is to preserve the evidence from them.
On December 6, 1991, OSHA issued Title 29, Section 1910.1030, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Bloodborne (3).
Occupations at risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens include law enforcement, emergency response, and forensic laboratory personnel.
Although the gloves hide the wearer’s prints, the gloves themselves can leave prints that are occasionally distinctive, similar to human fingerprints, thereby exposing the wearer.
For this reason, wearing gloves while handling any object is crucial for such an essential job.
Bottom Line :
Workers specializing in forensic science must wear a specific sort of glove as protective clothing when investigating any crime.
2. Artwork handling
“Please don’t touch the art,” we hear this all the time.
But why is that(4)?
For example, practical procedures and precautions must be taken when dealing with priceless artwork or archive heritage materials.
To show you what I mean, fingerprints are frequently seen on photographic prints, watercolor paintings, and even metals.
Notably, your skin’s oils could leave an acidic residue on anything you contact. These oils are difficult to remove with a rag or brush, requiring a more deep clean that may damage your piece of artwork.
For this reason, while a single fingerprint won’t necessarily ruin artwork, an accumulation might occur, and a bad habit of touching it repeatedly can cause long-term damage.
As previously stated, handwashing or using hand sanitizers is insufficient to prevent a fingermark.
This is why cotton or nylon gloves are recommended while working with any delicate artwork.
People wear gloves when handling artwork, documents, collectibles, or antiques for various reasons. Suppose some pieces of wall art have sharp and fragile edges that could injure or harm you.
Therefore, a protective glove can protect your art item from dirt and harm or fingerprint contamination and save you in some circumstances.
Bottom Line :
Wear cotton or nylon gloves when handling artwork and valuable antiques to protect them from your hands’ sweat, grease, and fingerprints.
3. Microelectronics manufacturing
The microtechnology industry is most likely the fastest-growing industry in the world at this time.
This is probably due to the rise of computer and telecommunications businesses and the automobile, military, and industrial electronics markets.
Also another reason for this growth is that there is an increasing demand for low-cost, lightweight equipment.
Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics that deals with producing electrical components using minimal and microscopic elements.
Besides, SMT and semiconductor production and packaging are both included in this division. In this sector, it is recommended that workers wear ESD-safe gloves and nylon gloves.
4. SMT Technology
Semiconductor and SMT manufacturing are similar and can therefore be linked together(5). Before going any further, here are some abbreviated definitions to help you have a better understanding:
Semiconductor materials like silicon and graphite are microelectronic circuit manufacture’s most commonly used components.
They are also known as chips or semis and include transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, insulators, and conductors.
Thousands of devices, including computers, smartphones, appliances, gaming hardware, and medical equipment, contain semiconductors.
SMT (Surface Mount Technology)
The number of products created with this technology is astonishing.
This might be a motherboard in a PC or an FR4 board with melting and solidification connected ICs, resistors, and capacitors, resulting in a completed electronic product.
Semiconductors are a part of this industry, as are the devices’ lead frame structures. Likewise, in SMT and semiconductor production, workers should wear ESD-safe or antistatic gloves.
Microelectronics technology covers SMT and semiconductor manufacture and is a vast industry. While working with these components, all personnel should wear nylon work gloves as a safety measure.
5. other applications
Not only the applications mentioned above but also some laboratory work, pharmaceutical industry tasks, and cleanroom jobs are troubled by fingerprints. So, we should ask ourselves…
How may fingerprints on various surfaces be avoided?
First, is it possible for all gloves to act as a similar barrier? Following repeated readings and searches, it was discovered that multiple glove types are still experiencing the same blemishing and fingerprinting problems when used.
Even though gloves are often considered the “clean gloves,” sometimes they are not enough.
Here are some critical criteria to keep in mind:
- Is the material of the gloves breathable or permeable, allowing oils and moisture to seep through easily?
- Are they made in a molding that may have silicone lubricants applied for easy release, damaging the glove surface?
- Is it true that super-thin disposable rubber gloves leave fingerprints?
- Is there any powder or residue on the gloves that could contaminate your surface?
Bottom Line :
It’s clear that not any glove will qualify for the job. You will have to wear a properly cleanroom-grade glove that prevents surface contamination and protects you from harm. The market is full of many options that are different from one to another.
What is the difference between types of gloves?
Again, as we stated before, wearing gloves is better than washing hands or using hand sanitizer. Also, nylon and cotton gloves, in particular, are preferred in these industries.
Due to their durability, firm grip, and exceptional comfort level, these gloves are widely used in many industrial applications.
They’re made of breathable material that’s cooler to wear, more comfortable to touch, and easier to remove than plastic or synthetic gloves.
Cotton gloves are reusable, soft-style gloves that avoid fingerprints and scratches.
Polyurethane Coated Nylon Gloves
In today’s market, those gloves are recognized as Superior Touch nylon. This abrasion-resistant polyurethane coating also provides exceptional grip.
The seamless, 100% nylon material is ideal for delicate or precise operations such as handling small parts and samples without fingerprint contamination.
They are usually used in electronics assembly, cleanroom, and pharmaceutical work.
These nylon gloves are tricot fabric, durable, reversible, and lint-free. These gloves will exceed any cotton glove since they cover the wrist and are incredibly smooth and untextured.
Of course, these reusable soft gloves stop natural finger oils from reaching into the interface of your artwork, documents, or collectibles, minimizing fingerprints and scratches.
Furthermore, white lintless nylon gloves are suitable when handling prints, film, negatives, transparencies, or artwork that might attract lint from cotton gloves.
Also, they are helpful for cleanroom environments, microscopy applications, cleaning, handling instrument parts, and any other area where hand contamination is a problem. Let’s go in-depth on Nylon gloves. Keep reading!
What is Nylon Fabric?
Nylon is known as one of the most useful synthetic fibers used in the world today. It is a thermoplastic synthetic polymer in everyday products(6).
What are its applications?
Undoubtedly, other general-purpose gloves, such as leather-palm or cotton gloves, have been replaced by nylon gloves.
These lightweight work gloves are perfect for precise and delicate work that still needs protection, such as electronics operations, laboratory work, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and other light work.
What are the nylon glove’s characteristics?
Nylon gloves, which are low-lint and more durable than cotton string-knit gloves, are well-suited for operations like the ones we listed because they necessitate complete cleanliness and no fingerprint contamination.
What are the nylon work gloves types?
It’s worth mentioning that there are other various classifications.
- Does the color matter?
It does not matter whether it is black nylon or any other color because the color does not play any role in the glove function.
Here it is the classifications of nylon gloves according to the function are listed below(7):
Nylon Inspection gloves
They are also known as the “white inspectors’ gloves.”
Contaminants are immediately noticeable on inspection due to their white color. They’re also suitable for reviews because of their low-linting quality.
Painting and inspecting are the most common uses for nylon inspection gloves. Besides Cleanroom, the electronics and aerospace sectors all use them too.
Finally, these gloves are commonly used as glove liners under latex, nitrile, or latex disposable gloves, providing a cooling layer between the outer glove and your hand that absorbs sweat.
Anti-static glove or ESD:
It is a carbon filament nylon static dissipative glove known as electrostatic discharge or “ESD” for short.
Carbon filament runs throughout these nylon gloves, preventing static charge accumulation.
It is ideal for wearing ESD-safe gloves while handling delicate static-sensitive equipment or components such as PC hardware, other electric circuit boards, or performing smartphone repairs.
In addition, there is film processing, video film handling, and the petrochemical industry. When this anti-static glove is worn, fingerprints and scratches on products are eliminated.
Yet, electrical applications are where the gloves are much more popular. However, they also can be used in pharmaceutical and paint line applications.
In the workplace, fingerprint contamination cannot be avoided only by washing hands or wearing gloves.
The most commonly used gloves for this purpose are lightweight nylon work gloves.
Nylon gloves are divided into categories based on their anticipated application.
The most common nylon gloves in the market today are white inspectors’ gloves, anti-static gloves, and polyurethane-coated gloves.