What Glue or Adhesive Do I Use?

There are all types of glues and adhesives and it is important to know the difference between these so that you use the right one for the task.






Have you ever had the experience that you have glued something together or used an adhesive and it has failed? Perhaps you were fixing your shoes or trying to mend something broken and it didn't work. Like any other person, chances are that you blamed the glue or adhesive or that perhaps you did something wrong and this is what we hope to rectify with this article as we explain what glue or adhesive to use for a specific task and also how to know the right glue or adhesive you need for a particular job.



Firstly, whether you call it glue or adhesive makes little difference other than the fact that glues are conventionally manufactured using natural products while adhesives are manufactured using synthetic ingredients but they both serve the purpose of sticking or joining something together



When a glue or adhesive fails to do the task you bought it for, 9 times out of 10 you either bought the wrong product or you used it the wrong way!







The problem with glue and adhesive is the wide range of products on the shelves and knowing the difference between each one, especially if you have a specific task and this is where most people just grab a product off the shelf without really knowing if it will do the job. But it is always recommended that you read the package instructions to understand what purposes the glue or adhesive can be used for as it might not cover the task you have in mind and this is where we hope the following information will come in handy when you need it.



1. Craft Glue (natural and synthetic)

The most basic glue you can purchase is craft glue. This glue is not intended for anything other than craft projects and, while the synthetic version is similar to wood glue in that it is a PVA-based product, it is nowhere near as strong as wood glue or PVA adhesive.





Use craft glue for school projects, scrapbooking, paper mache, paper crafts, etc.



2. Wood Glue or PVA Adhesive

Wood glue is a polyvinyl acetate (PVA) adhesive that bonds wood and board products together. When it comes to woodwork there are claims that using wood glue on its own creates a strong joint that is doubly increased when using wood glue in conjunction with fasteners (screws, nails, etc.). Wood glue is not intended for any purpose other than joining wood or board products.



When using wood glue to join timber or board, or to fix cracks, clamps must be used to hold the joint firmly in place until the glue sets hard.





Use wood glue to join two pieces of timber or board together to create strong joins. Do not use wood glue if the piece needs to be disassembled in the future.







3. Polyurethane Glue or Adhesive

Polyurethane glue is another glue that is used for bonding and joining wood and board products but it is also an all-purpose adhesive that can be used for other tasks as well. Polyurethane glue can be used to bond two nonporous materials together so you can use it to bond leather, glass, tile, concrete and brick, but do read the package instructions before you apply. According to a study conducted by Popular Woodworking, polyurethane glue is not a better substitute than wood glue, so keep this in mind.



Do not purchase any glue or adhesive before checking the package instructions to determine whether it can be applied to porous or nonporous surfaces as this will ultimately affect the outcome.





Polyurethane glue can bond brick and concrete, wood, glass, leather and tile but cannot be used with PE or PP plastics.



4. Contact Adhesive or Contact Cement

This rubber-based glue is often used incorrectly since it only works on larger surface areas for effective bonding, making it ideal for bonding laminate to surfaces, carpets and other cladding or laminating materials. It is commonly used in households for shoe repairs where insoles or the soles of shoes have become loose or carpets need to be stuck down. For effective bonding contact adhesive must be applied to both surfaces before waiting for 10 minutes until the glue is almost dry to touch before joining the two surfaces together - the contact part.





Contact adhesive is ideal for bonding textiles such as carpet, organic woven textiles, laminate and veneer as well as leather, vinyl and cardboard.







5. Epoxy Adhesive

One of the strongest adhesives out there, epoxy adhesive can be used to bond almost anything. As a 2-part adhesive, it comprises a resin and hardener that, once combined, begins the process of setting within 30 minutes with the option to select a 5-minute or 10-minute epoxy if you require a faster solution. The only downside to using epoxy adhesive is the waiting time and the fact that you might have to hold items in place until the epoxy sets hard.





With the ability to bond together almost all materials, epoxy has become a popular choice for use on a wide variety of materials.



6. Construction Adhesive

As the name implies, construction adhesive is commonly used in the construction industry or as part of home maintenance, home repair or home improvement. This general-purpose adhesive has a quick-setting formula that bonds various materials including wood, tiles, brick and stone, metal and aluminium. These adhesives are strong and durable and are used to seal around doors and windows, stick down tiles and even bond onto cement.





While construction adhesive provides a strong bond between materials it is not a substitute for fasteners.



We hope the above information provides what you were looking for and that, if you are still unsure about what glue or adhesive to use for a specific project, you check the package instructions when searching for products.






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