Pros and Cons of Kevlar® Arm Protective Sleeves
Why Wear Arm Protection?
In workplaces where your entire arm (from your fingertips all the way up to your shoulders) will be exposed to sharp metals, piece of glass, sparks, heat or anything else that could cause a cut-related injury or thermal burn, you should be wearing a glove with adequate protection AND protective arm sleeves.
Now I’ll get to your next question…
Why Should I Choose Safety Sleeves Made With Kevlar®
Kevlar® is a material that we come back to time and again when we create cut-resistant products. Since it has such a celebrated history of being strong and reliable, it’s been used in everything from car tires to bulletproof vests. And now, we’ve used it to create some of the finest cut- and heat-resistant sleeves on the market as well!
Here are some of the pros and cons of Kevlar® arm protection sleeves as well as some tips on how to choose the right type of cut-resistant sleeve for your facility.
The Pros of Kevlar® Sleeves:
1. Kevlar® Offers Good Cut Resistance:
Kevlar® provides excellent strength and cut resistance.
A typical Kevlar® two-ply sleeve (meaning it is made of 2 Kevlar® layers folded over itself) will automatically provide ANSI level 2 or 3 cut resistance. When combined with other types of thread, it becomes even stronger.
2. It’s Inherently Flame-Resistant:
This is the biggest feature that sets Kevlar® apart from Dyneema®, which we originally pointed out in Kevlar® Vs. Dyneema®: The Ultimate Showdown.
This means that along with being extremely cut-resistant, products made with Kevlar® won’t ignite should you wear them around open flames. Unlike some other FR treatments, flame resistance is an inherent property of Kevlar® and not something that has been added to the material along the way; this means that it won’t wash out over time.
This is a huge plus in automotive welding applications, refineries, and steel plants, as well as in a variety of other industries.
3. You Can Wash It:
Kevlar® launders very well and actually increases in cut resistance after the first wash (although admittedly only slightly). Washing your sleeves multiple times will also result in dramatic savings over time, since it means that they won’t need to be replaced nearly as often. The typical 18-inch Kevlar® sleeve should cost you around $8 per pair. If you can wash it 4 times at 50 cents per wash cycle you’ve just brought your cost-per-use down to $2.50!
Just make sure that you never bleach Kevlar®…
The Cons of Kevlar® Sleeves:
Kevlar® Sleeves Are Hot:
If you’re working in really hot environment, (think automotive plant in the South East in July) Kevlar® sleeves can be pretty unforgiving.
If you don’t require protection flame or spark hazards, look towards sleeves made with HPPE. It has cut-resistant properties that are on par with Kevlar® but isn’t flame resistant.
2. Kevlar® Shrinks in the Wash:
If you’ve purchased an 18-inch sleeve you will likely find they’ve shrunk an inch after the first laundering.
To account for this shrinkage, Superior Glove knits our sleeves an inch longer.
3. They Fall Down:
No matter how long they are, Kevlar® sleeves tend to fall down over time. This is an issue for safety as well as your own sanity… my blood is starting to boil just thinking about having to slide them back up for the fifth time.
To fix this problem, we did two things:
- We offer sleeves in XS-XL sizes to ensure that they fit your arms better and won’t fall down nearly as easily.
- We’ve incorporated STAYz-UP™ Elastic into many of our sleeves, which is basically a grippy band at the top of the sleeve that secure it in place comfortably.
With STAYz-UP™, you can rest assured: that sleeve isn’t going anywhere!
Want More Information on Arm Protection?
Read our quick guide to heat-resistant sleeves