Super glue means powerful bonds

Super glue: the miracle adhesive for everyone

Super glue is very common today, but not everyone who owns a bottle knows how best to use it. Become a super glue expert by reading our short guide.

A short history of super glue

Did you know that cyanoacrylate adhesive or super glue was invented by accident? During World War II, scientists were trying to make a clear plastic that could be used for gunsights that was super clear and distortion free. Cyanoacrylates were being tested for this purpose, but they were found to be hard to work with because of their adhesive nature. Also, it was discovered because the slightest amount of moisture would cause them to polymerise and harden. Ultimately, this type of chemical was rejected for gunsight production.

Later, one of the scientists on that team, Dr. Harry Coover, went to work for Kodak Corporation and came across cyanoacrylates again. The potential for an excellent adhesive was realised, and the first super glue went to market in 1958.

Advantages of cyanoacrylate adhesives

When you think of super glue, you no doubt think of its incredible strength. It’s true, super glue is comparable to epoxy in strength but is easier to use because it is a one-part substance, unlike epoxy, for which a resin and a hardener must be mixed onsite to create the glue. Super glue has been found to have a strength of up to one ton per square inch.

Cyanoacrylate glue will bond to a wide variety of substances as well. Plastics, most metals, elastomers, wood, and ceramics are all compatible. Can you imagine if you had to buy a different glue for each of these materials? Super glue’s versatility is a great advantage.

Super glue is valued for its fast drying time, normally within just a few seconds to a minute or so the initial bond is formed. This makes super glue a great option for speedy repairs around the house.

Other advantages are that it is non-flammable, can withstand high temperatures, and is inexpensive to use as a drop or two can go a long way.

How to use Loctite super glue

Using super glue is a straight-forward process, much like using any adhesive. Follow these steps:

  • Make sure the surfaces to be glued are clean and free of oils, moisture, or dust. The parts should also be close fitting.
  • Open the super glue bottle. Be sure to take note of the type of tip the dispenser has as there are various types. Most dispensers allow for ease and control when applying glue.
  • Squeeze a small amount onto the surface. Usually, only a drop or two is needed.
  • Hold the parts together until the glue has set. See bottle for drying times.
  • Immediately replace the cap and store the super glue in a cool dry place.

Removing super glue from fingers or skin can be a little tricky, but don’t worry. It’s important not to try and tear bonded skin away from the glue. Soak the area in warm soapy water to soften the glue, then gently pry apart with a blunt object such as a butter knife. It’s best to gradually work along the bond, loosening a bit at a time. You can also try Loctite Glue Remover or acetone to loosen the super glue.

Choosing the best super glue for your job

To make the best selection, consider the materials you want to bond and the conditions the object will be subjected to.

For a strong and versatile liquid glue, try Loctite Super Glue Liquid. It dries transparent for an almost invisible repair and can stand up to temperatures from -50°C to 120°C. It is also resistant to water and shock or vibration. It comes in a variety of dispensers for easy use.

If you need a bond that must stay flexible, you’ll want to try Loctite Super Glue PowerFlex . This gel-type super glue is rubber infused and works great in applications where frequent shocks or vibration may be an issue. It also holds up to extreme weather and temperature changes. It is ideal for porous materials and vertical surfaces since it resists dripping or running when applied.

There’s even a formulation for bonding to glass. Loctite Super Glue Glass will bond to glass, metal, and crystal. It adheres in seconds and dries transparent for an invisible bond. It is water resistant and dishwasher safe.