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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All About Adhesives - Super Glues

Continuing with our All About Adhesives, Wet Adhesives lesson, how about some tough stuff?

Synthetic Glues – Cyanoacrylate - (aka Super Glues)*
Cyanoacrylate is the generic name for glues which are typically sold under trademarks like Super Glue and Krazy Glue, and some which are used in medical glues such as Dermabond and Traumaseal (like “liquid bandage”). Cyanoacrylate adhesives are known as "instant adhesives".

This is what the chemical compound of Cyanoacrylates looks like, at right. Look, mom, I’m using my Chemistry degree! J


Cyanoacrylate is a very strong adhesive, particularly when used to bond non-porous materials or those that contain minute traces of water. It is also very good at bonding body tissue, and while this can be a troublesome side effect during everyday use, it has been exploited for the benefit of suture-less surgery. Acetone, which is sometimes found in nail polish remover, is a commonly available solvent capable of softening cured cyanoacrylate. (Have you ever glued your fingers together?)

Cyanoacrylate or Super Glue, Krazy Glue, and Gorilla Glue work best on porous materials. They are not good on glass. Regular formulations of super glue will destroy some plastics such as expanded polystyrene (foam coffee cups) and expanded poly propylene (impact-absorbing foam). Special formulations are available which will glue these other materials.

And now you know! ;-)

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