Whether you want to repair a porcelain cup or join materials such as wood and paper: There is a special adhesive for almost every job. This guide introduces you to the most common adhesives. You will also find a practical table in which you can see at a glance which adhesive is suitable for which material.
Which Adhesive is the Right One?
Which adhesive is right for you and your project depends primarily on the material? An all-purpose adhesive is characterized by the fact that it is useful for a wide range of materials. If you want to glue wood, you use wood glue. With assembly adhesive, you can attach things to the wall without drilling holes. If you have little time and want to quickly fix something, superglue helps. In any case, you will achieve the best results when the surfaces are clean, dry, and free of grease.
One of the best adhesives for all types of surfaces is Bondic UV Glue. This UV glue is capable of bonding, building, fixing, and filling anything – from plastic and wood to metal and ceramic.
Which Adhesive Do I Use for Which Plastic?
If you want to glue plastics together, you first find out which material it is. Most plastics can be bonded with hot glue and power glue. However, if your parts are made of soft plastics such as PE, PP, or PTFE, you will need a special plastic adhesive. Normal glue fails because of the smooth surface and chemical properties of these materials.
Glue and Suitable Materials at a Glance
- All-Purpose Adhesive: Cardboard, paper, fabric, and wood
- Installation glue: Metal, ceramic, and wood
- Repair adhesive: Metal, PVC; Polystyrene, textiles, wood, ceramics, and stone
- Superglue: Metal, glass, and ceramics
- Hot glue: Wood, glass, and plastic
- Power glue: Ceramic, plastic, and glass
- Wood glue: Wood
All-Purpose Glue, 100% Glue, and Paper Glue
An all-purpose adhesive is usually a wet adhesive. True to its name, the all-purpose adhesive is suitable as a binding agent for countless materials, including cardboard, fabric, or wood. On the other hand, all-purpose glue does not adhere well to some artificial materials such as polystyrene or polyethylene. Most all-purpose adhesives give in quickly when exposed to moisture or higher temperatures: It is, therefore, best to only use them inside the house.
A kind of universal all-purpose adhesive that is also suitable for outdoor use and assembly work is the 100% adhesive. This adhesive is available in different versions: among other things as a superglue, as a gel, or with certain sealing properties.
You also use all-purpose glue for paper. For the office and study, we recommend a special paper glue that is available as a liquid or glue stick.
Gluing Instead of Drilling with Assembly Adhesive
Today numerous adhesives achieve a remarkably high level of adhesive strength even on smooth surfaces: for example, assembly adhesives. If you glue with this adhesive, it is no longer necessary to drill holes in the wall, for example for a towel rail in the bathroom. You can use assembly adhesive to attach a wide variety of materials such as metal, ceramics, bricks, aluminum, or wood. Until you strain the connection, you let it harden for twelve hours. You can simply remove excess glue with water. The robust adhesive is also suitable as a sealant. You also prefer to use this adhesive indoors.
Special and Repair Adhesive
There is a special adhesive for many materials: for example, special adhesive for metal, PVC, polystyrene, soft plastics, and textiles. The manufacturers develop these mostly liquid adhesives in such a way that they are particularly suitable for bonding certain materials. Adhesives for model making also fall into this area. We recommend special adhesives for smaller jobs – or for repairs to special materials and things such as tents or inflatable boats.
There are also some repair adhesives with special technology. For example, you can get glue sticks whose adhesive hardens under LED or UV light and sticks to materials such as wood, ceramic, or stone. Kneading is also useful, the shape of which adapts to the object to be repaired and then hardens.
Fast and strong: Superglue reacts particularly quickly with the selected material – sometimes literally in a matter of seconds. Superglue adheres particularly well to metal, glass, and ceramics. It is not for nothing that it often acts as a savior in an emergency when the coffee cup has fallen on the floor. Due to its chemical composition, superglue only bonds small areas efficiently.
When handling this quick-drying adhesive, sometimes your fingers suddenly stick together. If this happens to you, do not worry, superglues are usually not harmful to your skin. This adhesive can be easily removed with a little warm soapy water.
The hot glue was initially only used in industry, but now a lot of hobby do-it-yourselfers also use it. This adhesive works differently from normal household glue: a hot glue gun heats special hot melt glue sticks to up to 200 ° C and liquefies the glue.
Make sure that the materials to be bonded can withstand high temperatures without deforming. While you can glue wood, glass, and various plastics with hot glue without any problems, this type of glue is not an option for materials such as polystyrene. Do not necessarily use the hot melt adhesive for assembly work, as the connection deforms easily even with little load.
You always use power adhesives when you bond materials with a high degree of impermeability – ceramics, hard plastic, or glass, for example. Adhesives that contain water or solvents do not evaporate easily with these materials.
Power adhesive is a contact adhesive. This means that you apply glue to both materials that you want to connect. When the power adhesive is dry, you press the adhesive surfaces together firmly and thus ensure a very firm connection. The hardening is very quick with this adhesive. Corrections are no longer possible due to the enormous adhesive force.
You use power glue both selectively and on large areas. With this adhesive, you can connect almost all materials. The few exceptions usually include certain soft plastics such as PE, PP, and PTFE.
Most adhesives can also bond wood, but natural or synthetic wood glue is best. You can use most types of wood glue very flexibly, but there are also waterproof types for damp rooms or quick-drying variants. The use depends on the absorbency of the wood: the more absorbent the wood, the more glue you apply.
We recommend that you fix the workpiece with clamps when gluing until the adhesive is hard. Please note that some woods such as oak discolor when they come into contact with wood glue.
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