Database will ensure a better fit for gloves


Hohenstein scientists determine precise data by scanning actual hand measurements

To ensure that in the future gloves have a perfect fit and also provide the highest possible level of safety at work, scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim are currently creating a database with actual hand measurements.

Using state-of-the-art 3D scanners, detailed and accurate virtual hand models and hand measurement tables are being created that can be used by glove manufacturers to create customised ergonomic gloves. The actual market shares of the different sizes, which have been extrapolated from the measurement data, provide an additional tool for optimum market coverage.

For work in cold stores, in steel works or on a building site or even when practising different sports, wearers depend on perfectly fitting gloves. However the full functionality of work gloves and sports gloves can only be ensured by the correct ergonomic properties.

Standard DIN EN 420 specifies only hand circumference and length for protective gloves. But until now there have been no precise and validated data of the ratio of hand circumference to finger length, finger circumferences nor any three-dimensional shape information. Therefore scientists at the Hohenstein Institute have used state-of-the-art 3D scanner technology to develop a hand database.

Average Hands of size 8.5<br> Picture copyright Hohenstein Institute

Average Hands of size 8.5
Picture copyright Hohenstein Institute

An initial pilot study measured the hands of 100 male test subjects. The 3D data capture enabled 48 longitudinal and circumference measurements for each hand to be recorded and analysed quickly and accurately.

In addition to the capture of hand dimensions, the innovative digital method enables the generation of “average size hands” to be determined. This is achieved by consolidating all hands that should fit a particular glove size in an elaborate method using specialised 3D software. The results are virtual 3D mouldings that represent a glove size both in its measurable dimensions and also in its three-dimensional form.

In addition to capturing the hand data of the test subjects, a market analysis questionnaire was completed. From statements relating to the purchase behaviour of consumers, preferences as well as the handling and fit of gloves was derived.

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However, further measurements are required to be able to develop a reliable and representative hand size database covering all hand sizes. The Hohenstein Institute is still seeking interested industry partners who would like to use the results of the hand measurements and the resulting generated data for their product development and optimisation of current product ranges.