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Types of Glue and their Functions

Updated on December 30, 2012

There is no glue which sticks everything, so check the manufacturers recommendations carefully before you select the glue for a job. Below are some common types of glue, together with their functions and the appropriate cleaner to remove excess glue before it dries.

1. Super glues

Super glue is also known as cyanoacrylate glue. This fast acting glue bond in seconds and is easier to use, as no mixing is needed and it leaves hardly any glue line. However, it will not stand up to immersion in water. This type of glue is too thin to fill gaps, so surfaces to be joined with it must be a perfect fit.Superglues can be used for mending toys or pieces of kitchenware made of rigid plastic, mending broken china ornaments or fixing glass to metal.

Some Brand Names: Bostik Super Glue 4, Evo-Stik Super Glue, Permabond C, Devcon Super Glue.

Cleaner: Nail varnish remover, or release agent which may be supplied with the glue. You can also use hot, soapy water.

2. Epoxy Resin

Epoxy resin is a very strong adhesive, suitable for most rigid materials. This type of glue is supplied in two parts; resin and hardener. They are mixed together and applied to both surfaces. They are totally waterproof when set, but leave a glue line. They are not suitable for gluing clear glass to clear glass, as the bond will be visible. Epoxy Resin can be used for mending a broken china ornament, fixing a broken plate, reattaching loose stone to metal base of earing or pendant.

Some Brand Names:Bostik Epoxy, Humbrol Superfast Epoxy, Loctite Tough Bond, and Plastic Padding.

Cleaner: White spirit

3. Wood adhesive

Wood working glues are suitable for bonding hard and softwood, laminated plastic and manmade boards such as chipboard, plywood, hardboard and block board. Waterproof types are available for outdoor uses.Wood adhesive are also suitable for making model planes from balsa wood.

Some brand names: Bison Wood Glue, Bostik Woodworking,clam 7, Unibond waterproof woodwork,and Evo-Stik Wood Adhesive.

Cleaner: see container

4. Paper and card adhesives

Paper and card adhesives are widely used for light household and craft work. Liquid pastes and gums are the traditional way of sticking paper and card, but tend to wrinkle the surface. Reusable adhesives are used in lumps to fix card and paper to notice boards. Some of these glues are designed especially for children to use.

Brand names: Gloy Gum, Cow Gum, Bostik Gluetime, Copydex, Borden School Glue and Copydex Children’s.

Cleaner: Wipe up liquid paste or gum, stick glue or children’s glue with a damp cloth.

5. Fabric adhesive

Fabric adhesives are used for sticking carpets and fabrics. A Latex-based fabric adhesive is white when wet i.e. when first applied, but is less obvious when dry. Rubber-based waterproof types of fabric adhesive can be used for repairing canvas. This type of adhesive can also be used for fixing fabric to card or paper.

Brand names: Copydex, Evo-stik Fabric, Clam 5 Carpet and Textile, Bostik Weatherproof,and Hi-Gear Tent Adhesive.

Cleaner: Damp cloth.

6. Expanded-polystyrene adhesive

To stick expanded polystyrene to walls or ceiling, either as tiles or sheets, use the expanded polystyrene adhesive.

Brand names: Unibond Polystyrene Adhesive, Evo-stik Ceiling Tile Adhesive, and Bison Styrabond.

Cleaner: Damp cloth

7. Hard plastic cement

Hard plastic cements are widely used for making plastic models and for mending toys and household items made of rigid plastic.

Some brand names: Evo-stik Hard Plastic Adhesive, Humbrol Polystyrene Cement, Uhu Action + Plastic Glue and Loctite Multi Bond.

Cleaner: Universal cleaner.

8. PVC Glue

This type of adhesive can soften plastic surfaces and make a very good bond. It is ideal for patching plastic raincoats and beach balls or mending a child’s blow up toy.

Some brand names: Bisonyl Vinyl, Loctite Vinyl Bond, Evo-Stik Leather Adhesive, and polycell Vinylweld.

Cleaner: Nail varnish remover

9. Purpose-made adhesives

Suitable for specific tasks such as gluing soles onto shoes, fixing ceramic tiles to wall, fixing flooring tiles, doing plumbing repairs and mending items that will be exposed to extreme heat.

Some brand names: Evo-stik´s Leather, Fabric and Paper Adhesives, Evo-stik floor tile fix and Grout, Loctite Vinyl Bond,Cemfix tile Adhesive,and Denso Plumberfix.

Cleaner: Nail varnish remover.

10. Contact Adhesive

Plastic laminates and flexible sheets, such as foam or leather can be stuck with a contact adhesive. It is spread on both surfaces and allowed to dry before the two pieces are joined. They stick immediately they come in contact. Clear contact adhesives are good for general household repairs. Some are water based, but many are solvent based.

Brand names: Solvent based: Bostik Contact, Clam 3, Evo-Stik Impact. Solvent based with slip period: Evo-Stik Timebond, Bison-Tix etc. Water based: Evo-stik Impact 2 etc.

Cleaner: special solvents are sold for solvent based contact adhesives. You can also try nail varnish removal. Water based types can be cleaned up with a damp cloth.


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