An Adhesive for Every Purpose: Choose the Right One the First Time
Before you glue or stick anything together, make sure you're using the right adhesive. This guide will help.
- Also known as polyvinyl acetate (PVA).
- A non-waterproof adhesive used mostly for interior woodworking jobs where a waterproof joint is not required.
- Usually packaged in plastic squeeze bottles, these inexpensive, milky-white glues dry clear, and are fast setting.
- Bonds paper, fabric, cardboard, cork and leather, as well as wood.
- Can withstand a moderate amount of strain, and cleans up easily with soap and water.
- Non toxic and non flammable.
- Also called carpenter’s glue.
- Has a faster grab than white glue (set time is usually within 15 minutes).
- Is usually tinted an off-white or yellow.
- Woodworkers’ glue is used in applications where better water resistance, heat resistance, and ease of sanding are desired.
- Aliphatic wood glue, a general-purpose adhesive, is also popular among people who are doing woodwork, including those building or repairing furniture.
- It is non-toxic and non-flammable.
- Also called Super Glue (cyanoacrylates), this glue creates a strong, instant bond with a small amount of glue.
- Regular cyanoacrylates will bond almost all non-porous materials such as ceramic, some plastics, rubber, metal, or synthetics.
- Comes in gel form.
- Should be handled with extreme care and kept off of skin.
- One of the strongest adhesives known, epoxy is designed primarily for the bonding of non-porous surfaces, but can also be used effectively on wood.
- Available in clear, white, or metallic finish.
- Most epoxies come in two parts: a resin and a hardener (or catalyst) which must be mixed together before the adhesive is used.
- Once mixed, the material will set permanently in a specified length of time—most will permanently bond, even under water.
- The bond will withstand most solvents when curing is complete.
- Excellent for sealing gaps and will withstand vibration and shock.
- Can be used on pipes, radiators, wood, metal, ceramic tile, china, marble, glass, and masonry.
- Since epoxy is toxic and flammable, use extreme caution when handling.
- Is a one-part adhesive offering the strength of an epoxy without mixing.
- Generally requires 4 to 24 hours to fully cure, but it does bond to most materials.
- Cures in the presence of moisture, so wetting one or both materials to be joined is required.
- Good for a bond between either similar or dissimilar surfaces an is commonly used in woodworking.
- Waterproof, sandable, paintable and stainable.
- Can be used on many surfaces, but the joints it makes may come apart under a heavy load.
- Good to bond laminates to countertops and cabinets, or to glue plastic foam, hardboard or metal to wood.
- Instant adhesion makes contact cement difficult to use. It bonds immediately without clamping and resists water, temperature extremes and fungi.
- Contact cement is most effective when one or both surfaces are porous or semi-porous.
- Contains solvents that should be allowed to flash off before assembly. Non-flammable versions are available.
- Is two-component adhesive of liquid resin and powdered catalyst.
- Used in wood joints, it cures under pressure in 10 hours at 70° F.
- Ideal for exterior structural applications because of its waterproof and weatherproof qualities.
Silicone Rubber Adhesive
- Ideal for strong, flexible joints on wood, dissimilar surfaces such as metal, rubber, glass, ceramics, brick, wood, and polystyrene foam.
Plastic Resin Glue
- Is powdered urea formaldehyde glue.
- When mixed with water, it makes highly water-resistant bonds.
- Frequently used for furniture repair, it is applied to clean, close-fitting surfaces and cured under pressure for at least 10 hours at 70° F.
- The finished glue is non-toxic and impervious to most materials.
- Also known as mastic, which is a general term for any thick adhesive.
- Used in heavy-duty bonding and construction, mastics are usually applied with a caulking gun or trowel.
- Reduces the need for screws, nails, and other fasteners.
- Flexible and waterproof qualities make them ideal for outdoor applications.
- Can be used to join flooring and sub-flooring, paneling, drywall and roofing, molding, tile, masonry and concrete, metal, and wood.
This guide will keep you from getting into a sticky situation with your next project. Knowing their purposes will ensure you choose the right adhesive.