Types of Consumer Glues

(Courtesy of DPNA International, Inc.)

There are four main types of consumer glues. They are:

Multipurpose: Typically used in bonding ceramics, plastics, wood and some metals. Polyurethane products are quite effective in filling gaps, is water-resistent and dries within 24 hours. Note that polyurethane does expand when curing and typically requires clamping to achieve a superior bond. In addition, it can result in skin sensitivity and breathing problems for those with respiratory ailments. An alternative product is contact cement, which may dry in as little as 16 hours. Solvent cleaning of the surface may be required prior to application to ensure a strong bond. Also be advised that contact cements should not be used near flames or an open fire.

Superglue: Used primarily on plastic, wood, and ceramics. In the case of superglues, less is more. Apply a small quantity to achieve optimal bond. Products bonded with superglues are quite strong and diifficult to break.Superglues are not good for filling gaps and require a tight, close fit to work most effectively. Note that superglues can bond skin within minutes (so exercise caution when applying; common nail polish remover is useful to help break the bond) and give off strong odors (use in a well ventilated area).

Wood Glue: By their name, wood glues are effective for bonding wood products. They also exhibit gap-filling property. Safe to use, they are easy to clean up and typically wash up with water (note: some wood glues are not water resistent -- many are not recommended if the product you are bonding will be exposed to the outdoor elements). Wood glues normally take 24 to 72 hours to dry completely. Clamping is recommended. Bonds are quite strong and difficult to break.

Quick-Set Two-Part Epoxy: Effective at bonding wood, ceramics and other rigid materials. They are good and filling gaps and tend to be water resistant. Application requires the mixing of two components, which come convenientaly packaged often with a mixing applicator. Drying time is 24 hours. Note that some epoxies do cause skin irritations and give off strong odors. To undo a joint bonded with a two-part epoxy one should use a hammer and chisel.