How to choose the right glue for each job

Written by Posted On Saturday, 12 May 2018 06:01

To keep together the surfaces of the same material or others of different materials we will need an adhesive, glue or paste that seals or fixes allowing a resistant union. In this article, I am going to give you some basic tips to choose the right glue for each job.

What do I want to glue?

Before choosing the glue or adhesive, it is necessary to take into account some considerations: if the material that I want to stick is rigid or flexible, if it is porous or not, or if it will be inside or outside. In addition, it is important to know how much weight the joint will support if it will be exposed to impacts, temperature changes or humidity.

Also, make sure that the surface is completely dry and free of dust and grease before applying any adhesive, glue or paste to ensure adhesion. It is also advisable to sand it, if it is an uneven surface, and cover the adjacent area so that it does not stain.

Different types of glues

The glues allow fast and reliable bonding of rubber, leather, stone, ceramics, glass, wood, cardboard, fabric, paper, metal ... There are glues that need different glue times, depending on the speed with which they adhere to another surface, and with different drying times, to facilitate the fixing task. It is important to observe the time of gluing or resting and the time of drying or pressing that appears in the specifications of each product. They can be chosen with or without an applicator and, in this case, it can be useful to have a brush at hand to facilitate the work.

à Instantaneous adhesives: join any object of the material that is. The fixation is made in a very fast, durable, solid and not very visible, but we must be careful when using them to avoid sticking our fingers.

àUniversal adhesives: they are the easiest to use and are indicated for several uses. As a contraindication, they usually do not tolerate heat and their joints are not very resistant.

Presentations according to their density

Not all glues have the same density; there are liquid and other more viscous, by which the presentations can be in the form of foam, bar or gel. The adhesives liquids or tails are substances that allow binding of materials by surface contact. The most commons are:

àContact queue: It is used especially in very wide spaces and on surfaces that do not have to hold too much weight. It is not indicated to stick the boards of a table or the floor, for example, however, if they are more useful on flexible surfaces, like the sole of a shoe.

àWhite tail:  Also known as vinyl or carpenter's tail. Its use is very widespread, also among schoolchildren, since it is ideal for making crafts, for sticking wood, plastics, paper, cardboard or cork. It is a highly resistant adhesive, which penetrates very well into the material. It is washable, does not contain solvents and does not irritate the skin with its contact.

àWood glue: Its use is limited to this material.

Sealers and sealants, the most elastic glues

There are other repair tasks that, on the contrary, need very dense, flexible adhesives, but that harden when dried. For this is putty, a filling material that is used to repair cracks, fissures or imperfections. It is important that the fillers are adherent, have a high filling power, are of low porosity and facilitate subsequent sanding. There are different types, depending on the material they use as a main component:

à Silicone sealant: It is used mainly to repair cracks, join materials or seal together, guaranteeing the tightness in glazing, avoiding the filtration of water, air, odors, and dirt. It is an especially useful material for sealing wet surfaces, such as sanitary ones, because it limits the appearance of mold.

à Acrylic sealer: It is used especially to seal connection joints around windows, PVC pipes or wooden doors. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, but their use underwater is not recommended.

àPolyurethane sealant: It offers excellent adhesion on all types of materials, such as concrete, wood, cement, steel, aluminum or glass, among others. It can be painted and resists being out in the open, being very useful for sealing joints and cracks in walls, door frames and between prefabricated elements. 

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