An introduction to cyanoacrylate glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is the manufacturing name for super glue. This versatile, quick-bonding glue has a range of industrial uses, and thanks to its easy application and relatively cheap price, has also become a household staple. It can be used to bond anything from metal to plastic and will stick skin to skin if given the chance.


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As its common name suggests, the bond Cyanoacrylate glue forms is incredibly strong, and this has also earned it the nickname “liquid nails”. But this said, it’s not without its application issues and deciding if the adhesive is right for your project takes some consideration.

How cyanoacrylate glue works

Curing is an important quality in every metal bonding adhesive application. And depending on the use and application, most metal-to-metal glues need radiation, heat or UV light treatments to facilitate bonding. Adding this process to an application is time-consuming and may require additional materials.

Cyanoacrylate glue is different from conventional water-based adhesives. This glue is an acrylic resin, meaning it converts to a hard plastic after drying. To do this, it needs to react with moisture and generate heat, which you may have noticed when the glue lands on your skin. However, the moisture-heat-plastic bonding process, although incredibly efficient, also means moisture needs to be present on both surfaces in order to create a bond.

Potential problems using cyanoacrylate glue

Dry surfaces can mitigate all cyanoacrylate glue advantages. Trying to bond two dry surfaces together with super glue can be a frustration and bewildering experience. One possible hack involves applying a thin layer of liquid on the surface to initiate curing and this trick can help with porous materials.



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But this method won’t work in all cases. On heat-resistant plastics, which tend to repel moisture to create surface droplets, you may achieve bonded patches but not a reliable bond. If this is the case, you’ll have more success using an epoxy resin like the ones found at to bind these materials.

Another typical problem is also its efficiency. Cyanoacrylate glue’s tendency to stick skin to surfaces can make it difficult to use, a problem not easily solved with gloves. However, with a little practice, most users find cyanoacrylate glue to be one of the most practical adhesive products on the market today and its range of applications is always growing.