SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 October 2012

Characterization of the Resistance of Protective Gloves to Pointed Blades


Hand lacerations account for a large percentage of occupational injuries. Wearing appropriate protective gloves has been shown to reduce these risks. However, the case of pointed blades, which include knife tips, metal sharps, and a large number of cutting tools, is still largely unexplored and calls for more research. This paper presents some initial results of tests performed with glove materials and several types of pointed blades used as a puncture probe. Tested glove materials include uncoated and polymer-coated Kevlar and Dyneema knits, leather as well as sheets of neoprene, nitrile rubber, and polyurethane. The effect of various parameters such as blade reuse, sample thickness, blade tip angle, probe displacement rate, blade lubrication, and sample support on the resistance of these materials to pointed blades was studied. The results show that the maximum force appears to increase in a non-linear way with the thickness of the membrane. A decrease in puncture force with decreasing tip angle was observed with all materials. In addition, measurements carried out at displacement rates between 1 and 500 mm/min eventually reveal in some instances the possible existence of two puncture regimes. Finally, the contribution of both friction and sample deformation on the pointed blade puncture process is evidenced by the large effect of lubrication and sample support on the maximum force. However, no correlation appears to exist between resistance to pointed blades and resistance to cutting or puncture measured with standard test methods. This demonstrates the need for more research in that area and ultimately a dedicated standard test method.

Author Information

Dolez, Patricia, I.
École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, CA
Azaiez, Mariem
École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, CA
Vu-Khanh, Toan
École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, CA
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 354–370
DOI: 10.1520/STP104087
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7562-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7530-3