The latest Dyneema® Diamond Technology – a fiber innovation, is allowing DSM Dyneema’s licensed partners to develop gloves with impressive cut protection, yet without compromising on light weight or comfort. By combining Dyneema® Diamond Technology with polyamide and elastane in a fine knitted (13-gauge) glove construction, EN388 Level 4 cut resistance can be achieved – with no need for glass fibers or thin steel wires that can often cause stiffness and sometimes skin irritation. The comfort factor is critical here – too often accidents can happen when workers in hazardous occupations take off their gloves, either because the gloves are restricting what they’re trying to do with their hands or they’re just irritated by constantly wearing them. Real comfort is the assurance that the gloves will be worn. Factors such as flexibility, dexterity and the cooling effect which contribute to wear comfort are assessed as part of an intensive collaboration process that license partners of DSM Dyneema go through in developing their products for market. This takes into account both the ‘active’ protection provided by cut and abrasion resistance, and the additional ‘passive’ security that true comfort allows.
“A market study is initially carried out with the help of focus groups as part of the collaborative process,” explains Edwin Grootendorst, Regional Manager DSM Dyneema. “The aim is to identify where the new product best fits into a licensee’s range, its potential target market and likely price point. The next step is to take the idea to the R&D team.” The R&D team will test different yarn combinations and coatings in order to achieve the specific feel and touch, as well as the required color and technical properties. Prototypes are then produced and sent to a certified laboratory for testing.
DSM Dyneema has also prepared a questionnaire that is used alongside wear trials conducted by selected customers of the licensed partner. “Comfort is often a personal thing, and highly intuitive,” adds Edwin Grootendorst, “so the response of the wearer is truly of the highest significance.”