Good guide to common adhesives/glues?

joel_bcJanuary 6, 2014

I'm an ordinary DIY guy. Just wondering if anyone here has come across a good online guide to commonly available (hardware-store, big box, and building supplies) glues and adhesives? I'm wondering if there is a web page or site that explains which types of adhesives are best for particular materials and applications.

Hoping for something that is independent of the "brand power" of specific big adhesives companies, and is based on results of actual usage.

For background, I've used various white and yellow "wood glues", short and long-curing epoxies (from tubes), Crazy Glue, PL construction glue, silicone, pvc plumbing-component glue, and more recently Gorillia Glue. About the only thing I don't use glue for is metal-to-metal, where I used brazing or welding.

There are a lot of choices these days and it's getting confusing!

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    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:18PM
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You may be hard pressed to find an independent comparison of the major brands. Try the Consumer Reports site, maybe they have done a study.

For usage, most of the major brands have a product selection page that lists their best product based on the application.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:09AM
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For background, I've used various white and yellow "wood glues", short and long-curing epoxies (from tubes), Crazy Glue, PL construction glue, silicone, pvc plumbing-component glue, and more recently Gorillia Glue. About the only thing I don't use glue for is metal-to-metal, where I used brazing or welding.

it depends on what your gluing to what??
hold on..
wood to wood - sounds easy.. white/yellow wood glues..dry use or wet use?
ah..just for a simple wood/wood glue its more complicated..
-for me..wood/wood with good joints. dry Titebond 1. wet titebond2
just for moving outside the box polyurethane filling.. the better the joint the better they work..not so strong with larger gaps and most expensive..structural in most cases even with gaps if the proper filler is used..fillers..sand to foam beads..just depends..or even sand dust..even fiberglass, carbon fiber, kevlar fiber...and good at joining metal to metal if the temps are low..did you know the glue on air plane wings?

for PVC/CPVC - think not gluing but welding..solvent type welding..yes the glue melts the pieces into a single its not gluing..but welding sort of..

silicon..a caulk not really a glue or adhesive but sticky and holding. but flexible! many glues aren't..cannot paint it..

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Elraes Miller

I was just looking for adhesive yesterday to bond wood the house without blowing my self up having a furnace on. I'm still not sure how safe I am with what was bought, they will mention flammable, but nothing is said about not being flammable. And tech sheets are for some scientist I haven't met yet.

Branding doesn't help. It just adds confusion as to what the actual adhesive is meant for. There were more types than one would want to count.

Glues are as interesting as paint to me. Both can have properties for use beyond their specified application. And branded for doing so allows them to increase cost of material significantly over what they would normally be used for.

I remember 20 years ago seeing a crackle finish. A recipe combination of acrylic paint and hide glue. The guy at the hardware store said he had never heard of hide glue. When found, it was a couple of dollars for a quart. Now twice that for a very small bottle.

Hide glue is the centuries first glue. It is now used for fine furniture inlays, old manuscripts/books/art restoration and wood musical instruments. One has to be a skilled craftsman to use this. Although still used by many woodworkers too. Not clear if it is the same formula as once was. Just a glue history lesson...

Glue for the normal user can be very confusing. And due to regulations is not what we once knew. One of the things I have found is a good contractor may use the same type for an application, but their adhesives are far superior to what we are offered. If you want the best in various construction needs, even beyond adhesives, head for the contractor's options.

Thank NASA for our selections and gluing a plane's tail. A positive as they have given us hundreds of every day life products than we could list here.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:03AM
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Silicone adheres to the materials it is placed against but it will only adhere to smooth dense surfaces like aluminum, etc. and must be placed properly with a backer rod to allow movement without breaking the seal.

A true adhesive caulk/sealant is Phenoseal.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:05AM
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Like most things, it depends upon a lot of things

- Adherands (the things being glued together)

- The gluing process -- proper fit of joint, proper clamping, clean joints, temperature, assembly time parameters, etc.

- The type of stress. While there is a standard ASTM glue test, there are many types of stress -- shear, cleavage, peel, racking, tension. And there's sudden vs. continual stress. Glues do not have equal strength in all these areas. For example, CA (super-) glues have very good tension strength but little shear strength. That's why the ads used to show picking up a guy with a drop on his hard had or pulling a truck, but not how you could use it as a temporary thread-lock because it has little shear strength. And Gorilla glue is touted as a great glue but fails miserably in poorly fitting or improperly clamped joints.

- Operating temperature -- some of the cross-linking PVAs loose about 80% of their strength at 150F.

You can get a general guide by one vendor's comparison sheet.

I've often said that most woodworking glues have strengths within +-10% of each other and generally stronger than the wood (based on % of wood failure in stress tests), so it's more important to have all the other factors in a good glue job than which bottle you pull off the shelf. And choose on other characteristics such as cost, assembly time, water resistance needed, etc.

I was surprised recently when I saw the ASTM numbers for construction adhesives such as Liquid Nails. Numbers way below standard woodworking glues.

Multiple types of glues in a shop test are listed in the article below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glue Comparison Article

This post was edited by bobsmyuncle on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 18:18

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:13PM
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