Super Glue: Everything you need to know
Accidents happen. No matter how careful you are, every now and then that favorite coffee mug slips from your grasp or that precious ceramic keepsake gets knocked over. Don’t despair! Common cracks and breaks are precisely what super glue is designed for. Super glues offer an effective way of mending various materials, while being super easy to handle.
Super glue (or, by its industrial name, cyanoacrylate adhesive) is a type of fast-bonding, high-strength, instant adhesive engineered to bond almost any material. Super glues are valued for their resistance to temperature and moisture and are commonly used with stone, metal, wood, plastic, glass ceramic, paper and most other common substances.
While super glue works with most common materials, avoid using it with cotton, wool, or items that will be placed in a microwave, oven, or dishwasher. Remember that super glue is generally not food safe.
Loctite super glues come in a variety of specialized applicator styles meant for every application, no matter how awkward. The applicator of Loctite Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control has a patented side-squeeze design for more precise gluing, even in tough-to-reach areas. The Longneck Bottle features a precision tip for controlled, drip-free, drop-by-drop application and an easy-open cap with a metal pin for clog-free usage.
Super glues typically come in liquid or gel forms. Liquids are best for penetrating cracks or fractures and generally dry faster than gels. Gels create a more flexible bond than liquids and their higher viscosity means less dripping, offering a more controlled application for projects requiring greater precision or vertical application, like building models or fixing delicate flatware. Loctite offers a range of super glues in both liquids and gels, customized for every job.
Who invented super glue?
Super glue was invented in 1942 by Dr. Harry Coover. He was part of a wartime research team developing clear plastics for use in precision gun sights. They unintentionally discovered a chemical compound of extraordinary stickiness, but they initially saw no use for it in their research.
Only later did Coover see the potential in cyanoacrylates as a glue, and it was produced for commercial sale in 1958 by Loctite. It quickly became hugely popular as a useful and versatile household adhesive.
Super glue creates an incredibly strong adhesive bond. Because of cyanoacrylate glue’s unique properties, the bond formed is nearly unbreakable. It’s so powerful, Loctite cyanoacrylate adhesive broke the Guinness World Record by lifting a car weighing more than 5 tons with just 9 drops of adhesive.
A quality super glue, such as Loctite Super Glue Liquid Professional (20g bottle), dries and sets in seconds. For full bond strength, the parts should be left undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. The glue will be fully cured in 24 hours.
Super glue bottles can dry out quickly once opened. Loctite applicators come with airtight caps to keep bottles fresh.
Super glue is an ideal choice for gluing metal to metal, or to other materials. Be sure to keep metal surfaces clean and use a clamp to keep parts fitting snugly while setting.
Loctite Super Glue Professional contains a patented additive that creates a stronger hold than ordinary glues, making it ideal for bonding metal and a variety of porous and non-porous surfaces.
Working with plastic? Super glue’s strength and speedy application makes it a great choice. A super glue designed for plastic is perfect for repairing Plexiglass, polycarbonate, polystyrene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s a two-part adhesive that sets quickly without clamping and provides tremendous strength with one drop.
It can be difficult for adhesives to bond with plastic because of its smooth texture and low porosity. Choose a super glue designed for plastic to avoid unreliable bonds.