Glove Testing Methods

Freedom from Holes

The Association of Testing Materials (ASTM) standards require that gloves be air tested, as per ASTM D5151, to confirm quality meets specifications. Manufacturers of surgical and examination grade gloves are also required by the FDA to water test the gloves for pinholes. In both of these processes, gloves are inflated with air or water and visually inspected for holes and other defects.

Physical Requirements

Tensile strength and elongation are measured before and after aging, as per methods specified in ASTM D412 and D573, to ensure the glove’s durability and flexibility conform to ASTM requirements.


Gloves are also measured to ensure their dimensions fall within acceptable levels, as established by ASTM. Relevant dimensions include: width, length, palm thickness, and finger thickness.


To be considered sterile, gloves must meet criteria specified by the US Pharmacopoeia.


ASTM has defined the types of donning powder or other lubricants that are acceptable for use on gloves. Most typically, gloves are powdered with 100% USP Cornstarch.

Both powdered and powder free gloves are also tested for powder/powder residue, as per ASTM D6124, to ensure levels conform with specifications.