If you need to glue various materials together so that they adhere in a very secure and stable manner, then two of the types of glue that you might want to use include super glue and epoxy. Now both Super Glue and epoxy are known for being extremely strong and durable, but with that being said they are not at all the same types of adhesives.
What we are here to do today is to compare super glue and epoxies on the side by side basis to figure out exactly what they are designed for, what they can do and what the differences between them are.
Our main goal today is to help you find the best type of group for the application at hand so that you can achieve the best possible results. Let’s get to it and compare epoxy and super glue on a side-by-side basis so you know exactly which one to choose for your next project.
|Loctite Super Glue||Gorilla Epoxy|
Main Component: Cyanoacrylate
Application Scale: Small scale
Materials: Everything but smooth plastic
Curing Time: 5 minutes or less
Main Component: Polymers
Application Scale: Large scale
Materials: Everything but smooth plastic
Curing Time: Up to 2 days
Toxicity: Minimal (less than super glue)
Super Glue Review
The first type of glue that we want to look at right now is of course super glue. Super Glue is a very widely used type of glue, especially when it comes to home use, particularly for small repairs and projects. Let’s figure out exactly what super Glue is, what it is made of, how it works, what the different types are and more. By the end of this section, you should know everything that there is to know about super glue.
What is Super Glue?
Super Glue is a very special type of glue that is often use at home for its small repair jobs and for artistic purposes. Super Glue is also known as crazy glue. Now to be specific, super glue is actually cyanoacrylate glue, which is the main component of it. Super Glue is well known for its extremely fast bonding time, which usually only takes a few seconds, and moreover this is an instant adhesive that has very high strength and has the ability to bond with virtually any material, thus making it one of the most versatile types of adhesives around.
What is Super Glue Made of?
As mentioned above, the number one main component in Super Glue is known as cyanoacrylate. To be clear, the cyanoacrylates are a family of very fast bonding glues that are derived from ethyl cyanoacrylate and methyl cyanoacrylate. Once it dries and cures, it takes the form of a polymer, or in other words, it turns into what is essentially plastic. Of course, plastic is very strong, thus making super glue at great type of adhesive.
What is Super Glue Used for?
The really cool thing about Super Glue is the fact that it is so versatile. This type of glue has the ability to form very strong bonds on a variety of materials, such as of rubber, leather, ceramic, vinyl, wood, and even some plastics as well as other similar surfaces. With that being said, Super Glue does not bond very well to very smooth plastics. Not said if you do want to use super glue on smooth surfaces, you just have to sand them down a little bit first.
Different Types of Super Glue
Ok, so what you need to know here is that there are three main kinds of super glue, these being ethyl, alkoxy, and methyl super glue. To be honest, these are scientific distinctions that you will probably never encounter when you go to buy super glue so it is more or less irrelevant to your purposes. With that being said, ethyl ester cyanoacrylate super Glue is one of the most versatile and the most general purpose super glue out there. The one that you are probably used to buying.
How Super Glue Works
What is very interesting about Super Glue is that unlike many other types of glue that require moisture to evaporate in order to dry, this type of glue actually uses moisture to create a chemical reaction that causes the glue to harden and cure. Even the air surrounding you contains enough humidity to cause super glue to activate. For this reason, super glue cures very quickly, because as soon as it touches the moisture in the air, it starts to cure.
How to Make Super Glue Stronger
Although there are some rumors that mixing baking soda with super glue can increase its strength, this is completely unproven as far as we know, there is no real way to improve the strength of super glue.
One of the best parts of Super Glue is, of course that the drying time is extremely fast. Super Glue starts to dry within just seconds and can become completely hard and cured within a matter of minutes, sometimes as little as one minute.
Is Super Glue Toxic?
Technically speaking, Super glue is toxic when in liquid form, but due to the fact that it cures so quickly, it is almost impossible to ingest it and therefore really does not pose much of a risk at all.
What Brand of Super Glue is Strongest?
This really depends on who you ask, but the debate here is between Loctite super glue and Gorilla super glue.
✅Purchase link: Buy Loctite Super Glue at Amazon
Now that we know what super glue ends, let’s figure out what epoxy is, how it works, and what it can do.
What is Epoxy?
Epoxy or epoxy glue falls into the family of cured end products of epoxy resins, with epoxy resins also being known as polyepoxides, a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers. Although different than super glue, once cured, the result is more or less the same (at least in terms of composition basics), or in other words, it turns into plastic.
What is Epoxy Made of?
Epoxy is essentially plastic that is made out of cured epoxy resins. Epoxy is plastic.
What is Epoxy Used for?
The cool thing about epoxy is that it is extremely versatile and has many different applications and just one of these applications is the use as an adhesive. Epoxy itself can be used for paints and in coatings, as adhesives, as industrial tooling and composites, for wind turbines, for electrical systems, and much more. Epoxy adhesives can be used for glass, metal, wood, stone and some plastics, although not really for very smooth plastics. Epoxy is known for being extremely heat and chemical resistant.
Different Types of Epoxy
Although there are some types of one part epoxy that will start to cure when they touch the air, just like Super glue, most of them come in the form of two parts. Pure epoxy usually comes with a resin and a hardener. There are also other types of epoxy glue, including polyester resins and epoxy acrylates. Generally speaking, two part epoxy, although a bit harder to work with, will end up being stronger than one part of epoxy.
How Epoxy Works
Without getting too scientific two part epoxy consists of a resin and a hardener. The two agents need to be mixed right before use and the chemicals within the hardener will create a chemical reaction that causes the resin to cure.
How to Make Epoxy Stronger
As far as we know, there is no real way to make epoxy stronger than it already is, but with that being said, you can make it dry faster by applying heat and airflow.
Depending on the specific epoxy you are using, it could take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours for it to fully dry and cure.
Is Epoxy Toxic?
At very low levels, before Epoxy is cured, it is considered non toxic. With that being said, it’s still not something that you want to consume.
What Brand of Epoxy is Strongest?
Most people would agree that Gorilla Epoxy is the strongest brand.
✅Purchase link: Buy Gorilla Epoxy at Amazon
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Comparing Super Glue vs Epoxy
Now that we know what both super glue and epoxy are, let’s do a quick side by side comparison to figure out which is best for your specific purposes.
In terms of applications, Super glue is used on a very small scale, but in applications that can vary from the assembly of very small parts and small repairs, even to surgery. Super Glue can even be used as a wood finish. Super Glue is generally just used for smaller applications. Epoxy on the other hand has many more applications, and while it is often used as an Adhesive can also be used for many other applications. It can be used to coat metals and composites, to insulate electronics, to make models, and much more.
Generally speaking, both of these products have the ability to adhere to rubber, leather, ceramics, plastics, wood, metals, and many other such materials. One thing that they have in common is that they both don’t adhere well to very smooth surfaces such as smooth plastic. If you do want to use either of these types of adhesives on smooth plastics, you want to send them down first.
In terms of overall strength, Epoxy definitely has much more structural integrity than super glue. Super Glue also does not have very much sheer strength, but it does have a lot of tensile strength.
Once epoxy cures, it is nearly impossible to remove with any type of solvent without damaging the material below, whereas super glue can be removed both cured an uncured using acetone.
While both of these types of glues are not considered very toxic and you still shouldn’t inhale too many of the fumes and you definitely don’t want to consume them either. That said, super glue is more of an eye, nose and throat irritant than epoxy, and this stuff will also bond to your skin immediately. When using these types of adhesives, especially super glue, that bonds to skin very quickly, it is recommended that you use gloves. It is also recommended that you wear eye protection.
One of the main differences between Super Glue and epoxy is that while Super Glue does form a very strong bond, it doesn’t have all that much shear strength, and it doesn’t have nearly as much structural integrity as epoxy. Moreover, super glue cures by reacting with the moisture in the air, whereas Epoxy reacts with itself or in other words the two components that you get. Create a chemical reaction that causes the resin to harden. Super glue, however, bonds and cures within a matter of minutes, whereas epoxy can take hours or even days to fully cure.