The objective of this study was to develop a convenient and reliable adapter method for testing and evaluating vibration-reducing (VR) gloves and VR materials at the fingers. The general requirements and technical specifications for the design of the new adapter were based on our previous studies of hand-held adapters for vibration measurement and a conceptual model of the fingers-adapter-glove-handle system developed in this study. Two thicknesses (2 mm and 3 mm) of the adapter beam were fabricated using a 3-D printer. Each adapter is a thin beam equipped with a miniature tri-axial accelerometer (1.1 g) mounted at its center, with a total weight ≤ 2.2 g. To measure glove vibration transmissibility, the adapter is held with two gloved fingers; a finger is positioned on each side of the accelerometer. Each end of the adapter beam is slotted between the glove material and the finger. A series of experiments was conducted to evaluate this two-fingers-held adapter method by measuring the transmissibility of typical VR gloves and a sample VR material. The experimental results indicate that the major resonant frequency of the lightweight adapter on the VR material (≥800 Hz) is much higher than the resonant frequencies of the gloved fingers grasping a cylindrical handle (≤300 Hz). The experimental results were repeatable across the test treatments. The basic characteristics of the measured glove vibration transmissibility are consistent with the theoretical predictions based on the biodynamics of the gloved fingers-hand-arm system. The results suggest that VR glove fingers can effectively reduce only high-frequency vibration, and VR effectiveness can be increased by reducing the finger contact force. This study also demonstrated that the finger adapter method can be combined with the palm adapter method prescribed in the standardized glove test, which can double the test efficiency without substantially increasing the expense of the test.
Keywords: Hand-arm vibration; Hand-transmitted vibration; Anti-vibration glove; Vibration-reducing glove; Glove finger test