What Is Nitrile Made Out Of

What Is Nitrile Made Out Of

  • Dan B

Nitrile is a synthetic material that has gained significant popularity in various industries due to its versatility and excellent properties. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of nitrile, exploring its composition, applications, and how it compares to other materials like latex. Let's get started!

What Is Nitrile?

Nitrile is a synthetic rubber known as acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR). It is created by polymerizing acrylonitrile and butadiene using a catalyst. This unique composition results in a highly resilient and durable material, making nitrile a preferred choice in diverse industries.

The chemical structure of nitrile grants it exceptional properties, making it stand out among other materials. One of its most notable features is its remarkable chemical resistance. Nitrile can withstand exposure to oils, greases, solvents, and various chemicals, making it invaluable in industrial settings where contact with hazardous substances is common.

Furthermore, nitrile offers excellent puncture resistance, ensuring enhanced protection in high-risk environments. Its tear resistance contributes to its durability, making nitrile products long-lasting and reliable.

A significant advantage of nitrile is that it is latex-free, making it a suitable alternative for individuals with latex allergies. Nitrile gloves provide a comfortable fit, offering both dexterity and protection, making them ideal for tasks requiring precision.


What are the Uses of Nitrile?

As a versatile synthetic material, Nitrile finds a wide range of applications across various industries due to its exceptional properties and reliability. Some of its prominent uses include:

Medical Industry

Nitrile gloves are widely utilized in the medical field for their exceptional barrier protection against chemicals, pathogens, and punctures. They have become a standard choice in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, offering a safe and reliable option for medical professionals and patients alike. Additionally, nitrile's latex-free nature makes it an ideal alternative for individuals with latex allergies.

Automotive Sector

In the automotive industry, nitrile is commonly employed to manufacture seals, gaskets, and hoses. Its resistance to oils, fuels, and other automotive fluids makes it a valuable component, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of automotive systems.

Industrial Settings

Nitrile is extensively used in industrial workplaces for producing protective gloves. These gloves are a crucial safeguard for workers, offering excellent protection against chemicals, solvents, oils, and other hazardous substances. Nitrile gloves also provide better puncture resistance than other materials, making them an essential safety measure in various industrial processes.

Consumer Products

Nitrile's versatility extends to the consumer product sector, where it produces a wide range of items. This includes footwear, adhesives, foam materials, and other consumer goods that benefit from nitrile's chemical resistance and durability.

Component of Nitrile

Nitrile, also known as acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR), is a synthetic material composed of two main monomers: acrylonitrile and butadiene.

The combination of these monomers during the polymerization process gives rise to the unique chemical structure of nitrile, which imparts its exceptional properties.

  • Acrylonitrile: This is a key component of nitrile and plays a vital role in determining the material's characteristics. Acrylonitrile contributes to nitrile's outstanding chemical resistance, making it highly resilient to a wide range of oils, solvents, and chemicals.

The higher the acrylonitrile content in the polymer, the greater the chemical resistance of the resulting nitrile material. However, higher acrylonitrile content can reduce the material's flexibility and increase its cost.

  • Butadiene: The other major monomer in nitrile is butadiene. It provides elasticity and resilience to the material, contributing to its excellent puncture resistance and tear strength. Butadiene helps maintain the flexibility of nitrile, allowing it to conform to the shape of objects and providing a comfortable fit in applications such as gloves.

Characteristics of Nitrile

Nitrile possesses several key attributes that make it stand out as a versatile material:

  • Chemical Resistance: Nitrile exhibits excellent resistance to oils, greases, solvents, and various chemicals, making it a reliable choice for industrial applications.
  • Puncture Resistance: Its strong and resilient nature provides superior puncture resistance, ensuring better protection in high-risk environments.
  • Latex-Free: Nitrile is a latex-free alternative for individuals with latex allergies, reducing the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Comfortable Fit: Nitrile gloves offer a snug fit, providing comfort and dexterity for tasks that require precision.
  • Tear Resistance: Its tear resistance properties contribute to nitrile products' durability and long-lasting nature.

Are Nitrile Gloves Rubber Or Plastic?

Nitrile gloves belong to the category of rubber, specifically known as synthetic rubber. While "plastic" is often used to describe various synthetic materials, it is not an accurate classification for nitrile gloves. Understanding the distinction between rubber and plastic helps clarify the nature of nitrile gloves.

  • Rubber: Rubber is a natural or synthetic material with elastomeric properties, meaning it can deform and return to its original shape when subjected to stress. Natural rubber is derived from the latex of rubber trees, while synthetic rubber, like nitrile, is manufactured using various chemical processes. Nitrile is officially called acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR), emphasizing its rubber-like properties.
  • Plastic: Plastic, on the other hand, is a broad term encompassing a wide range of synthetic materials. Unlike rubber, plastics do not exhibit the same elastomeric behavior; they tend to retain their shape once molded. Common examples of plastics include polyethylene, polypropylene, and PVC.

Why is it called Nitrile Gloves?

The term "nitrile gloves" is derived from the main component used in their production: nitrile. Nitrile is a synthetic rubber known as acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR), and it forms the basis for these gloves' unique properties and advantages.

Creating nitrile gloves involves polymerizing acrylonitrile and butadiene in the presence of a catalyst. This chemical reaction leads to the formation of a highly resilient and durable material with exceptional characteristics, making it an ideal choice for glove manufacturing.

Nitrile gloves offer several benefits, including superior chemical resistance, puncture resistance, and tear resistance, making them suitable for various applications across various industries. Additionally, nitrile gloves are latex-free, a crucial advantage for individuals with latex allergies who require a safe alternative for protective gloves.

The name "nitrile gloves" directly reflects the material they are made of, underscoring their composition and distinguishing them from other types of gloves. As their popularity continues to grow due to their reliability and versatility, the term "nitrile gloves" has become synonymous with high-quality protective handwear across medical, industrial, automotive, and household settings.

What Is The Difference Between Latex And Nitrile?

The difference between latex and nitrile lies in their composition, properties, and applications, making them distinct materials with unique advantages and disadvantages.

Material Source

Latex is a natural material derived from the sap of rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis), while nitrile is a synthetic material made by polymerizing acrylonitrile and butadiene.


One of the significant contrasts between the two is their impact on allergies. Latex gloves can cause allergic reactions in some individuals due to the proteins present in natural latex. On the other hand, nitrile gloves are latex-free, making them a safer option for those with latex allergies or sensitivities.

Chemical Resistance

Nitrile outperforms latex in terms of chemical resistance. Nitrile gloves offer excellent protection against oils, solvents, and various chemicals, whereas latex gloves are more susceptible to degradation when exposed to certain chemicals.

Strength and Durability

Nitrile gloves are generally stronger and more puncture-resistant than latex gloves. This attribute makes nitrile gloves suitable for demanding medical, industrial, and automotive tasks.

Comfort and Fit

Latex gloves are often considered more comfortable and offer better dexterity due to their elasticity. Nitrile gloves, while still providing a comfortable fit, maybe slightly less elastic, impacting tactile sensitivity in certain situations.


Latex gloves are usually more cost-effective than nitrile gloves, making them a preferred choice in some industries where budget constraints are a primary concern.

Bottom Line

Nitrile is a versatile synthetic material with many applications, especially in the medical and industrial sectors. Its chemical resistance, durability, and latex-free nature make it a preferred choice for various purposes.

Understanding the differences between nitrile and other materials like latex can help users make informed decisions while selecting the most suitable gloves.