Different types of glues: Let’s stick to the facts
Glue comes in so many varieties, it’s often not easy to pick the right one for a project. Here’s an overview on adhesives and when they can be used.
Most of us have been using glue since we were children, but it was actually invented long ago. In fact, the earliest evidence of glue is on cave paintings that are over 5,000 years old! Early man discovered that animal products contained collagen, which is the main substance that makes up glue.
Since then, many types of glue have emerged, for all sorts of applications, including adhesives, protective coatings, and medical application solutions. But, for most of us, glue is primarily an invaluable tool for simple household repairs and construction projects.
Super glue really is “super.” A one-square-inch bonding of super glue can hold around one ton!
There are basically two types of super glues: gels and liquids. The job you have will dictate which is best for you.
Liquid super glues are ideal for bonding non-porous, smooth, close-fitting surfaces. Mending broken plates, cracked wood, or the exteriors of small appliances is easy with a strong liquid super glue.
Gels are especially useful when working on non-horizontal surfaces, because gels don’t drip or run. Choose a gel formula when bonding vertical surfaces that are overhead or those at a marked slant. So, whether you are working on a project involving polyester, wood, cork, steel, glass, paper, concrete, tiles, or ceramic, a super glue is right for you.
A great multipurpose super glue is an essential tool to keep in your kitchen cupboard or workshop. Most multipurpose super glues will do the trick for bonding fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP), Styrofoam®, wood, cork, varnished surfaces, metals, glass, cardboard, leather, and even concrete and ceramic tiles. Be sure to find a glue that meets your project needs for moisture, temperature, and impact resistance!
For paneling, drywall, or plywood work, you’ll need a specialty construction adhesive. Look for water-based formulas that will be both non-flammable and environmentally friendly – no harsh chemicals to worry about. These adhesives bond to a variety of materials, so whether your wood is wet, frozen, or treated, the job gets done. Plus, with almost no odor, you can use it indoors as well as outside.
On occasion, one of your trusty machines, tools, or appliances breaks down and you need to repair it. When that happens, you might want to choose a specialty high-strength bonder. These adhesives typically consist of a resin and hardener, which combine upon application to make a truly powerful bond. There are some advantages to using bonders:
- It’s safe for sealing up electrical devices since it does not conduct a current.
- It only needs to be applied once because it never shrinks.
- Its resistance means it will not crack when drilled.
- The double syringe means that a measured equal amount of each component will be dispensed every single time.
- If you need a project done quickly, you only need 12 minutes (or less!) before it sets.
Damaging a prized possession, like an accessory, a priceless figurine, your child’s favorite toy, or mom’s trusty camera, can be more than a little disheartening.
To repair these cherished items, try a cyanoacrylate adhesive designed for bonding plastic. It bonds a wide variety of plastics and usually dries transparent, so no telltale signs of repair are seen. It’s as if the item had never been damaged or broken! It sets in seconds with no clamping needed. Plus, with no mixing, it’s very easy to use.
Once in a while, you need to bond glass and only glass. The unique properties of glass demand an adhesive specifically designed for the job. Look for specialty glass glues, particularly ones that offer water resistance, clear drying, and, especially for dishes and glasses, a dishwasher-safe formula. Remember that glass glue is usually not food safe, though.
If your project does not exactly fit in with the categories above, Loctite still has a wide range of glues and adhesives for any task: the Power Grab Multipurpose line of products, the PL Premium Performance line, and more.
Whatever your repair needs, Loctite has a glue or adhesive to fit your job and your budget.