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Breakthrough Glove Proves to be a Cut Above The Rest

Flexible safety glove made with Dyneema® Diamond Technology

10 July 2014 - Flexible safety glove made with Dyneema® Diamond Technology increases hand protection, boosts productivity, cuts insurance costs – and people like to wear it too.

13 pairs of protective gloves – one clear winner

When managers at chainsaw giant Stihl decided they needed new gloves to protect the hands of the staff at their Swiss chain production facility, they did their homework. First they decided they needed gloves that met EN 388 cut level 3. This standard – two levels higher than that of the gloves they used at the time – would be needed to ensure employees could work safely with the cutting chains’ sharp points and edges.

Next they set about testing. And testing. And testing. For cut resistance, for dexterity, and for longevity. But also for general wearability and user comfort – on the sound basis that people are more likely to wear a comfortable protective glove and therefore less likely to put their hands and fingers at risk by not wearing it.

Altogether they tested 13 different gloves. And the clear winner? The HyFlex 11-518, from Ansell, a highly cut-resistant safety glove that is the thinnest, lightest, most dexterous, and most comfortable glove in its protection class.

"The gloves we had been using were either too thick and heavy, or not safe enough. This glove offers high cut resistance and leaves our employees with a safe feel for the parts." - Roland Zürcher, Stihl Kettenwerk GmbH & Co KG

Excellent hand protection with excellent dexterity

Despite conforming to EN 388 cut level 3, the HyFlex 11-518 glove is relatively thin, which increases dexterity significantly. In fact the HyFlex 11-518 is the world’s first 18-gauge safety glove to meet EN 388 cut level 3. The secret? It’s based on DSM Dyneema’s Dyneema® Diamond Technology.

Using Dyneema® Diamond Technology makes it possible to create a yarn that is about half the weight and thickness of those used in traditional HMPE gloves. This in turn opens the door to finer knitting structures that are more flexible without compromising on cut, tear, and abrasion resistance. The fiber is also an excellent heat conductor and so keeps keep hands cooler – another quality that makes gloves made with Dyneema® Diamond Technology pleasanter than its heavier, stiffer alternatives. A thin polyurethane coating on the palm side ensures optimum grip.

Wide acceptance and lower insurance premiums

“The gloves we had been using were either too thick and heavy or not safe enough. This was particularly true for the handling of smaller parts, such as the razor-sharp cutting teeth for the chains of our power saws,” explains Roland Zürcher, safety expert at Stihl Kettenwerk. “This glove [the Ansell HyFlex 11-518] offers high cut resistance and leaves our employees with a safe feel for the parts. And when everything is under control at the first grip, work also has a much smoother and more productive flow.”

Crucially, the HyFlex glove has been readily accepted by Stihl’s employees. This in turn has cut the cost of the factory’s occupational safety insurance. Insurance rates reflect accident rates, so reducing the number of hand injuries and lost working time helps reduce the premium that has to be paid. And there’s one more cost benefit: Dyneema® Diamond Technology’s lower carbon footprint. The HyFlex gloves not only require less material to make, but they can also be washed and reused many more times than their traditional alternatives.

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