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Finding the right glue

Different types of glues: Let’s stick to the facts

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Glue tubes
Glues come in a wide variety of formulas and types, each with its own specialized purpose.

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.

who invented glue?

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 glues: Which is right for you?

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.

Messy glue tubes
Don’t get stuck! Avoid messy spills by choosing a gel super glue for easy application.

Around the house: Multipurpose super glue

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!

Super glue ceramic tile
A multipurpose super glue is a quick fix for broken tile corners.

Wood glue

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.

Gluing wood panels
For best results, choose an adhesive specially formulated for all types of wood, indoors and outdoors.

Metal glues

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.
Super glue metal post
A super glue designed for metal can make quick work in place of complicated welding.

Plastic glues

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.

Broken toy car
Avoid the heartbreak of broken toys, ornaments, or other plastic items and fix them with glue.

Glass glue

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.

Loctite truly provides a glue for every type of repair. The list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Super glues
  • Contact adhesives
  • Epoxies
  • Construction adhesives
  • Spray adhesives
  • Sealants
  • Surface treatments

Other glues

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.

Products used

  • loctite pl premium max 9oz cartridge
    Loctite PL Premium Max

    Strongest bond to most materials. Ideal for any project where long term strength and durability are a must.

  • loctite power grab all purpose 6oz tube
    Loctite Power Grab All Purpose

    Instant bonding that reduces the need for nails and screws. Low odor / water clean up.

Expert Tip

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