Types Of Glue

A Quick Look At The Different Types Of Glue

While there are many different types of glue for many different purposes, we all too often only have one or two types close at hand. What we have available is sometimes up to the task, but sometimes it isn't. In our everyday world, the most of the glue we use is most likely paper glue, or mucilage. Once in awhile we need to join or repair something made of wood or plastic. Paper glue may work temporarily but usually lacks the strength needed and may not adhere at all to some plastics. Working with mucilage can sometimes be a little messy, and bits of dried mucilage tend to get mixed in with the liquid glue, leaving to bumps in your paperwork. The glue stick provided an easy answer to that problem, and has since become the product of choice for gluing paper.

White Glue And Wood Glue - Looking for something a bit stronger and with a wider range of uses than paper glue, we may settle on a container of white glue. White glue is advertised as an all purpose glue and in general lives up to that name. It is not a waterproof glue however, and its use is more or less restricted to indoor projects. In addition, white glue does not always have the strength needed, for example, in repairing furniture. For that, wood glue or carpenter's glue is needed. One way to distinguish between carpenter's glue and white glue, if the container doesn't tell you, is that carpenter's glue is usually yellowish in color.

There are a couple of ways to use wood glue. The right way and the wrong way, at least where gluing joints is concerned. When using wood glue, more is not better. Applying a thick coating of glue between two wood surfaces will actually give your a weaker bond than a very thin layer on each surface will. Thin layers will result in wood bonding to wood. Too thick a layer means that the weakest part of the bond will be in the layer of dried glue that is sandwiched in between the pieces of wood. Think thin.

Instant Glue - Although most types of glue used for paper tend to dry very quickly, wood glue usually dries more slowly and the pieces being worked with often need to be clamped tightly for several hours if not longer, while the glue cures and dries. This means, in spite of its strength, wood glue is not always the best choice for some materials such as ceramics or porcelain, or odd-shaped objects that are either difficult to clamp, or too fragile to clamp. Instant bonding glue, or Super glue, is the answer here. Instant bonding glue is something no household should be without. It is especially useful for repairing small objects, as the pieces only need to be held together for a minute or less before the glue dries. Instant bonding glue is designed for non-porous surfaces, but in some instances will work on wood, especially wood having a smooth, hard surface.

The Glue Gun - Another all purpose glue which can come in very handy, especially when there are plenty of things that need to be glued, is hot glue. Hot glue comes in sticks, about the size of a small candle, which are inserted in a glue gun. The purpose of the glue gun is to melt the glue long enough for it to be applied on a surface. There are several different types of hot glue available depending upon what is to be glued. One thing to note when using hot glue is, the surfaces you are working with need to be warm. If cold, the glue will solidify before it has a chance to form a bond.

The Epoxies - The strongest types of glue we are usually apt to use around the house are epoxy glues. These are usually prepared by mixing two non-adhesive substances together. The substances are sometimes solid, like play dough, and sometimes liquid and squeezed from a tube. When the two substances are mixed, a chemical reaction takes place, resulting in a very strong glue, which is usually waterproof and dries with a very hard surface.

Consult With A Barnacle - If you're looking for the ultimate in a bonding experience, you might have a discussion with a marine biologist, or get up close and personal with a barnacle or blue mussel.  These little creatures fasten themselves to rocks and pilings, in saltwater, with threads made up of what might well be the strongest glue on earth. Scientists have for years tried to find the recipe these creatures use to make their glue. One problem has been that when a barnacle or mussel is opened up to gather some information, its secret dies with it. In the past few years there has been some success in synthesizing barnacle and mussel glue, perhaps the ultimate all-purpose glue.