Disposable Glove Dispenser
Figure 1: Final design of the disposable glove dispenser.
Team Glovetrotters worked with Shoe Inn to design and manufacture a disposable glove dispenser that assists a user in applying a single pair of disposable gloves; the dispenser makes the application process of disposable gloves faster, easier, and safer. In many industries, it is common to see workers having difficulties applying gloves, especially under conditions of wet or sweaty hands. This can cause a loss in time and work productivity. It is also common to see people tear their gloves during application, resulting in excessive trash and additional costs. The purpose of this device is to reduce the amount of time spent applying gloves, create an easier application process, and prevent any excessive tearing of the gloves. The disposable glove dispenser is directed towards any industry required to wear personal protective equipment, including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, medical device manufacturers, hospitals, disease research facilities, animal research laboratories, biotechnology, restaurants, and food processing industries.
Proof of Concept:
Team Glovetrotters’ proof of concept (PoC) was a single vacuum system consisting of an open ended vacuum chamber connected to a pump. The vacuum chamber had an elliptical shaped body consisting of two acrylic plates connected to two half pipe PVC tubing. One side of the chamber had an insulation foam material that acted as a replaceable connection for pumps with different sized hose connections to be used with the vacuum chamber. The open ended side of the chamber had a small, vinyl gasket lip around the entrance. The rim of a glove was to be wrapped around the lip at the open entrance with the glove inside the vacuum chamber to create a sealed system. This rubber lip was used to create more friction between the vacuum chamber and glove, resulting in a stronger seal.
Figures 2 and 3: A SolidWorks models of the proof of concept design. This design was created using readily available materials at a very low cost.
The vacuum chamber was created to verify the functionality of a vacuum system to expand gloves, as it is desired that inflating disposable gloves will make them easier and faster to apply to one’s hands. By testing multiple sizes and styles of disposable gloves, conclusions can be made as to whether or not the PoC verified the vacuum’s function as a method of expanding and applying gloves.
Testing determined whether or not the gloves remained sealed around the rubber lip on the vacuum chamber entrance while the glove was expanded. The PoC was also designed to determine if the glove could be easily released from the rubber lip once the user inserted his or her hand inside the glove. It was equally important to answer the design question of whether or not the gloves would tear during the removal process. Two types of pumps, electrical and mechanical, were tested on the PoC. Using vacuum systems with different types of pumps helped to conclude on the best conditions for the glove inside the vacuum. Constructing this PoC was important in designing and creating an effective glove dispenser.
Figure 4: Final design and creation of the proof of concept project. All components, with the exception of the insulation foam, were glued together using epoxy.
By testing the proof of concept, Team Glovetrotters was able to confirm the practicality of inflating gloves in order to make them easier to apply. Once inflated, it took little time to insert a hand inside and detach it from the lip as most trials only took roughly one second to do this. However, it did take some time to apply the gloves manually to the vacuum.
Figures 5 and 6: Testing performed on the proof of concept device. A neoprene glove is shown attached to the vinyl gasket lip before inflation (Fig. 5). Some air was pumped out using a mechanical foot pump, expanding the glove for easier and faster application (Fig. 6).
Not all the gloves easily released when the user pushed their hands into the gloves, which was the removing process during this phase in the design process. Because of this, a single fixed size opening would not be viable for the dispenser to incorporate all sizes and styles of gloves. As a result, a detachable lid system was considered to accommodate for those glove types and sizes.
However, after additional testing and by changing the removal process of the gloves, every size and style of glove was able to successfully remove from the rubber lip, eliminating the need to have multiple detachable lids.
The final design of the disposable glove dispenser incorporated many of the same features as the proof of concept design. The view window, made of polycarbonate plastic, allows the user to view the application of the gloves; the window was also raised to offer additional room for the users hands. The same rubber lip was used to apply the gloves to the dispensers. The vacuum chamber dispensers were made of 6061 aluminum. A foot pump was connected to a piping system, consisting of PVC and rubber couplings, to remove air from the dispensers.
A steel foundation was used to give the dispenser system enough weight to prevent any movement during application. An adjustable system was created using a sliding rod and brackets rotating on pins to allow for users of varying heights to easily use the disposable glove dispenser.
Figure 7: 3-Dimensional SolidWorks model of the final design.
All of the metal and plastic was fabricated in the Mechanical Engineering Department’s manufacturing lab at the University of Nevada, Reno. Below are only some of the machines used throughout the fabrication process:
Figure 8: Milling machine used to create a groove to support the plastic window on the dispenser.
Figure 9: Andrew Forest drill presses holes for the dispenser brackets.
Figure 10: CNC milling machine was used to create many components including the dispenser lids, shown in the above figure.
Figure 11: Figure 11 shows all of the fabricated metal finished and ready for welding.
Figure 12: Figure 12 shows Mechanical Engineering student Jordan Decker welding one of the aluminum dispenser systems.
Figure 13: Result of the stand foundation assembly after the welding process was completed.
Figure 14: Result of the dispenser assembly after the welding process was completed.
Testing and Results:
Below are pictures of the final results of the disposable glove dispenser, showing details of the project. Following the pictures are the results obtained from testing the device in order to determine if the project requirement specifications were met.
Figure 15: Final design of the disposable glove dispenser.
Figure 16: One of the vacuum chambers showing the polycarbonate window designed for user friendliness. The windows are used to view the gloves expanding and to check the fit of the gloves.
Figure 17: Figure 17 shows the inside of one of the vacuum chambers. The polycarbonate window is shown to be raised from the dispenser which allows for users with larger hands to use the device.
Figure 18: The disposable glove dispenser uses two legs and a connecting rod with wing nuts to change the angle of the device. After the wing nuts are loosened, the connecting rod can be pushed back and forth to change the angle. This changing allows for multiple users of different heights to use the device.
Figure 19: Both vacuum chambers are connected to a piping system through the use of rubber couplings and PVC piping. A polycarbonate tubing is used to connect the PVC to the foot pump.
Figure 20: The foot pump in figure 20 is used to remove the air from the vacuum chambers and expand the gloves.
Figure 21: Instruction labels were included on the front of the device to give first time users directions when applying their disposable gloves.
Five different tests were conducted to evaluate the project requirement specifications. The device was tested to confirm that each of the three main disposable glove types can be used. Each glove type was tested 10 times to validate their uses. The device was tested with all available glove sizes to determine which sizes were acceptable. Glove sizes ranged from extra small to XXL depending on the glove type being used. The device was tested to determine the time to successfully dispense a pair of gloves with dry hands. This test was conducted five times for each glove type and size available. The timing test was conducted again, except the tester then placed water on their hands to test how well the device worked with wet hands. Lastly, during the wet hands testing, each glove was inspected during and after the application process for any tearing that may have occurred. All of the data was tabulated and presented in table 1.
Table 1: Results from the four main design specifications. Table provides the specifications, goals set by the team, results from testing, and whether or not the project requirement specifications were met.
Each glove type was tested and found to work with the dispenser. Although not shown in table 1, each glove size successfully worked on the disposable glove dispenser. These results indicate that any glove size and type may be used on the disposable glove dispenser, allowing for a wider variety of users to use the device. The average time it took to apply a single pair of gloves for both dry hands and wet hands fell below the time limit goal. Similarly, the number of gloves to tear during testing fell below the set limit of gloves allowed to tear. The four major design specification were met. From these test results and analyzing the device, team Glovetrotters successfully created a disposable glove dispenser that met all of the project requirement specifications.
Meet the Glovetrotters:
Brian McElrath (Project Lead)
Brian McElrath is a senior mechanical engineering student graduating in spring 2016 at the University of Nevada Reno. He will be pursuing his career as a design engineer with interests in the medical field, renewable energy, heat transfer, and designing products to benefit the environment. During his free time, Brian enjoys hiking and playing basketball. He also enjoys playing guitar, bass, and piano with his friends and in his band.
Andrew Forest (Team Member)
Andrew Forest is a senior mechanical engineering student graduating in fall of 2016 at the University of Nevada Reno. He plans to become a design engineer for an engineering firm in Reno after graduating. His career interests include robotics, aeronautics, and renewable energy. In his free time, Andrew enjoys to ski in during the winter, rock climbing, running, and volunteering at the humane society.
Walid Ghani (Team Member)
Walid Ghani is a senior year undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has a strong desire to further his education to the graduate school. He is interested in thermal science and wants to work as a research engineer in the future. Besides pursuing his academic and professional goals, he also wants to travel the world.
Grant Mason (Team Member)
Grant Mason is a senior mechanical engineering student graduating in the spring semester of 2016 from the University of Nevada Reno. Although Grant hopes to pursue a career as a project engineer with interests lying in renewable energy and aerospace, he hopes to travel abroad after graduation for a short period prior to pursuing his professional career. His defining thought is that personal experience is invaluable.
Team Glovetrotters would like to express their great appreciation to the following people for their continual support throughout our project:
Dr. Emil Geiger:
Dr. Emil Geiger provided excellent engineering advice and suggestions on the initial direction of the project. His effort to help with the conceptual design of the project is much appreciated.
Mr. Steven King:
Mr. King brought in an extensive amount of knowledge about industry and the types of processes and procedures engineers and industries go through on a regular basis. Providing this knowledge has helped us gain a better understanding of how to prepare for our careers as mechanical engineers.
We would like to thank Shoe Inn for their sponsorship of the project, providing all of the disposable gloves used for testing, and for all of their feedback and support on the structure of the project.
Mrs. Marissa Tsugawa:
Marissa provided excellent engineering suggestions, feedback and advice. She also let the team use her own 3D printer to test the functionality of a design. Her mentorship on all aspects of the project allowed the team to think creatively and design a successful device.
Mr. Tony Berendsen:
Tony’s manufacturing advice for the project helped to prevent many possible setbacks. His help fabricating the project components in his manufacturing lab deserves great recognition.