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Super Glue – Everything You Need to Know

Do you want to learn everything there is to know about super glue? Well, if you’re planning to glue something together, what you will need is the right kind of adhesive or glue. Now there are of course many different kinds of glues out there, with super glue being one of the most popular.

Today we are here to take a very close look at superglue. Right now, we want to teach you absolutely everything and anything there is to know about super glue, including what it is, how it works, how to use it, the benefits of it, and so much more.

Super Glue Guide

What is Super Glue

Super Glue

Super Glue is a very special kind of glue or adhesive, otherwise known as cyanoacrylate glue. Cyanoacrylate glue is simply the industrial name for what we know to be Super Glue or Krazy glue. This is a term generally used to describe very quick bonding and high adhesive super glues. This is the type of glue that can generally bond with virtually any material.

Super Glue can bond everything from paper and felt, to wood, plastic, human skin, and metal too.

What is important to note here is that super glue is not like a traditional adhesive in the sense that it is not water based. Many adhesives out there are water based, which can of course be problematic when it comes to solvents and weather resistance.

So, what is super glue made of? Unlike traditional adhesives, cyanoacrylate glue is composed of an acrylic resin. The main super glue ingredient is cyanoacrylate.

This is an acrylic monomer that transforms into a plastic state once it is cured.

In other words, in layman’s terms, super glue is technically a type of liquid plastic that, once exposed to a certain element, hardens and cures.

Simply put, super glue is plastic that has the ability to bond a wide variety of items and materials to each other. When it comes down to it, particularly for home use, this is one of the most common and most popular types of glue out there.

When Was Super Glue Invented

Supeg glue test

What you might like to know is when super glue was officially invented. Well, super glue was invented all the way back in 1942 by a man named Doctor Harry Coover. What is really interesting to note is that super glue was actually discovered by accident.

Doctor Harry Cooper was in the middle of attempting to create clear plastic gun sights that would be put on the rifles used by Allied soldiers during World War Two. One of the formulations he came up with did not at all work well for making gunsights, but turned out to be an extremely fast bonding and very strong adhesive. Officially, this is when superglue was discovered.

Although Doctor Harry Cooper did not really start refining it until 1951. when super glue first hit the market it had a different name. This glue was first sold in 1958 by a company known as Eastman Kodak, with the glue first being called Eastman #910.

What is also interesting to note is that this first variation of super glue was then licensed to the brand Loctite, which re-branded Eastman #910 into Loctite Quick Set 404. By the year 1970, various companies and manufacturers began creating and producing their own formulas of cyanoacrylate glue.

How CA Glue Works

how super glue works

OK, so now we know what super glue is and what it is made out of and this is important to know because affects how it works.

Once again, the main ingredient in this type of glue is cyanoacrylate, an acrylic monomer that transforms into a certain type of plastic once cured.

Now, what is important to note here is that because this is not a water based adhesive, it does not dry or cure in the same way that other adhesives do. Most other adhesives simply need to be exposed to the air and they will start to dry.

This is not the case with cyanoacrylate super glue.

Super glue requires one very specific thing in order to begin bonding and curing. This one specific thing is moisture. Yes, it definitely sounds odd that glue requires moisture to cure, because after all glue and moisture are usually mortal enemies.

However, the fact of the matter is that for the main ingredient in super glue to begin curing, it needs to be exposed to a small amount of moisture.

Therefore, if you were to use super glue on a 100% dry surface, it would not bond and it would not start to cure.

Now, generally speaking, no surface is 100% totally dry, so this is usually not much of an issue. After all, it’s not like you pour a bunch of water onto a piece of paper before you put super glue on it.

Generally speaking, the humidity or moisture in the air around you is more than enough to cause super glue to start curing.

So, although super Glue does technically require moisture to start, bonding moisture is all around us at all times, so this really isn’t an issue. As long as the relative humidity in the air is not zero percent, this is not a problem.

Curing Process

Super glue curing process

Before we talk about the curing process of super glue, it’s probably a good thing for you to know what curing actually means.

So, generally speaking, curing of glue is defined as a process where chemical reaction takes place to form a harder and tougher link in a chemical substance.

When it comes to super glue, when those cyanoacrylate monomers are exposed to moisture, a chemical reaction occurs that bonds those monomers together, thus creating one hard and solid surface that bonds together virtually anything that the super glue comes into contact with.

Keep in mind that normal water based adhesives cure through evaporation, or in other words, when the moisture evaporates out of the glues, they become hard.

Super glue, on the other hand, requires moisture to create a chemical reaction that causes bonding in a very quick manner.

This is one of the reasons why super glue is of course so popular, is because it bonds nearly instantly.

Super glue doesn’t require clamping and it cures within minutes. This super fast after curing process is one of the main selling points of super glue.

How Strong is Super glue

Generally speaking, super Glue is known as being one of the strongest adhesives out there.

What is interesting to note is that Loctite Super Glue currently holds the world record for being the strongest super glue in the world, as it was able to lift a car weighing well over 5 tons with just 9 drops of Loctite Super Glue.

Now, in terms of the bond strength and the ability to bear a lot of weight, super glue is probably the best option out there.

What is very surprising is that a single square inch of super glue can provide you with up to 1000 pounds of bonding strength, which is of course incredible. Terms of pure bond strength and the ability to bear weight.

Super Glue is going to be one of the number one choices across the board. In terms of water resistance, super glue is also very high up there.

Remember, this is not a water based glue and therefore water is not going to dissolve it. It actually requires water to cure. Now super glue may begin to deteriorate overtime with prolonged experience. Exposure to lots of moisture.

However, with that said, generally speaking moisture should not be much of a problem. With all that being said, although super glue does have incredibly high bond strength and water existence, it does have some disadvantages too all of which we will discuss later on today.

What is Super Glue Used for

Now that we know exactly what super glue is, how it works, and how the curing process functions, let’s take a closer look at the main applications that super glue is used for.

The fact of the matter is that super glue can be used for an extremely wide variety of applications, and this is because of its tremendous strength.

In terms of materials that super glue can bond, it has the ability to bond most porous materials, including porous plastics, metal, paper, fabrics, and everything in between, including wood, human skin, and more. Although Super Glue is technically one of the best glues out there, one of its most common uses is for arts and crafts.

The future in Arts and Crafts and need a piece of that holds very well.

Super Glue is a great way to go. Moreover, due to its water resistance and high bond strength, super glue is also an ideal thing to use for various types of repairs.

This type of glue also has the ability to form bonds with ceramic, leather, stone, rubber, and vinyl.

If you need to bond any of these materials together or repair small cracks in any of these materials, then super glue is a great option to consider.

Keep in mind that one of the only things that super Glue won’t adhere to is very non porous plastic.

Super Glue does not do the best job at forming bonds with extremely smooth surfaces. Do it due to its high strength and moisture resistance.

It makes for a great option for a very variety of home based tasks.

When it comes to home adhesive that people use for random repairs and tasks around the home, super glue is definitely one of the most popular and trusted ones.

Popular Brands

The cool thing about super glue is of course that this is not a brand but a type of glue.

When it comes down to it, there are many different brands that make their own versions of Super Glue.

Now what we need to say here is that you should stick with one of the more trusted brand names because they tend to use much better formulas. The last trusted brand names or no name super glues might not use all of the right ingredients. Here we have a list of some of the most popular brands of super glue that your money can buy.

  • Gorilla Super Glue
  • Krazy Glue
  • Loctite Super Glue
  • Scotch Brand Super Glue
  • Glue Masters
  • The Original Super Glue
  • Starbond Super Glue
  • BAZIC Super Glue

Fun Facts About Super Glue

Besides everything we’ve talked about so far, mainly the technical facts about super glue, there are some pretty cool fun facts about it too. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting details about super Glue that most people don’t know.

  • A really cool fact about Super Glue is that it is often used to fix cracked bird eggs of birds that are not yet hatched. Specifically, Super glue is often used in zoos to glue together cracked penguin heads, thus saving the lives of baby penguins.
  • As we have already noted, another interesting fact about Super Glue is the fact that it was invented by accident.
  • At this time, super glue also holds the world record for the glue that can hold up the most weight. In 2013, a 15.5 x 15.5 square inch of a glued area managed to lift 16.09 tons.

How to Remove Super Glue

OK, so super glue does of course format very strong bond, but this does not mean that it came off you removed. In case you get super glue on yourself or on a material that you need to remove it from, here is how you do just that.

In fact, there is one specific method that works very well for removing cured and dried super glue.

how to remove super glue

What we will discuss below in the section about the bad thing about super glue is that for one it is not very resistant to solvents. One of the best solvents out there is nail polish remover. Yes, you can use nail Polish remover to remove super glue and quite easily too. Follow the steps as outlined below to remove super glue from skin, wood, metal, and everything in between.

  1. Get a basic cotton ball and soap it in nail polish remover.
  2. Take the cotton bowl that has been soaked in nail Polish remover and apply it to the glued area. Make sure to completely saturate the good area with the nail polish remover.
  3. You need to hold the cotton ball there, but until the glue starts to loosen. You may need to repeat this a few times until all of the glue comes off.

Just remember that this process will take a while. Super glue. It’s acceptable to nail Polish remover as a solvent for. Keep in mind that it will take a few minutes for it to take effect.

Bad Things About Super Glue

Yes, super glue is very strong. It has many benefits and it can be used for a wide variety of applications. But that being said, there are some bad things about it, that you need to know.

Limited Temperature Resistance

One big drawback about Super Glue is that it is not very resistant to extreme temperatures, and this is true for both extreme heat and cold.

Does not Bond with Non-porous Materials

Another drawback of super glue is the fact that it requires chorus materials to bond too. It does not bond well to very nonporous materials such as smooth plastic.

Cannot be Repositioned

Although it’s nice that super glue dries quickly because it does not require bonding, this can also be seen as a bad thing because you have virtually no time to reposition materials once the glue has been applied.

Rapid Skin Bonding

If super glue touches your skin, it will bond to your skin virtually right away, although it can be easily removed with nail polish remover.

Poor Solvent Resistance

The other big drawback of super glue is that it has poor solvent resistance. There are many solvents that can dissolve and we can super glue with nail Polish being one of them.

FAQS

Why does super glue get hot?

The chemical reaction created between cyanoacrylate and moisture, the curing process, creates a lot of heat.

Does Krazy Glue work on metal?

Yes, this glue can be used to bond metal to metal, and to bond metal to other materials.

How long does Krazy Glue take to dry?

This type of glue takes just minutes to dry and cure.

Conclusion

There you have it. People, literally everything and anything that you need to know about super glue. Now that you know what super glue is, what it does, and what is best used for, you can make your decision in terms of which adhesive that you need to use for your next project.

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