IRONCLAD Performance Impact Testing: This Study Resulted in the First-Ever Calculation of the Hand Impact Protection Offered by a Glove.

IRONCLAD Performance Impact Testing: This Study Resulted in the First-Ever Calculation of the Hand Impact Protection Offered by a Glove.

Ironclad’s KONG Original, the first glove of its kind to offer Heavy Impact protection, debuted in 2008. Large drilling companies started asking for a way to compare the impact protection provided by various impact glove styles in 2010 after several other impact gloves with varying levels of impact protection and hand coverage entered the market. There were standards for gloves that dealt with abrasion, cuts, and punctures, but not with impact.

Ironclad set out to solve this problem in collaboration with the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to develop a dependable, repeatable glove impact test.

The criteria for this test included simulating impact forces, simulating the biomechanical response of the human hand, measuring impact forces at different zones covering the entire hand, identifying the determining factor of blunt force trauma, and determining the level of protection offered by a glove.

This innovative study resulted in the first-ever calculation of the hand impact protection offered by a glove, the development of a biomechanically accurate ballistic manikin hand, and the discovery that peak impact force causes blunt force trauma.

As part of Ironclad’s ongoing commitment to being a market leader in hand impact protection, the company released 18 different models of impact gloves between 2010 and 2015. Impact forces that cause bone fractures in the human hand were determined after expanding testing to include 18 glove styles and human cadaver hands. A new Impact Protection Symbol was developed to summarise the findings; this symbol denotes the degree to which a glove protects the hand from impact.

Peak Impact Forces Causing a Bone Fracture in a Human Hand:

  • Fingers & Thumb: 50 lbs
  • Knuckles: 100 lbs
  • Metacarpal: 75 lbs

Impact Testing of Ironclad Performance

Ballistic manikin hands are used for baseline testing, with the same weight being dropped onto bare hands. At the point where the glove meets the hand, sensors measure the peak impact forces. Both the peak impact force reduction and the impact protection factor are determined for each zone.

Pros: Provides an Actual Impact Protection Factor Rating System Tested on Ballistic 3D Hand and Relative to Bone Fracture.

Cons: Low Volume of Affordable, Independent Studies


Veteran Owned- KPaul Industrial has been a distributor of Ironclad products and hundreds of other industrial product categories serving a wide range of industries and customers since 2006. Click here to learn more about the services offered by KPaul Industrial.


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