Cyanoacrylate or Super Glue

Adhesives play a crucial role in the life of human beings. There are many types of suitable adhesives depending on various application needs. Generally, adhesives will be weak, mild or strong relative to the composition of the surface and the stress that the surface or joint might experience.

Cyanoacrylate glues, also called CA glues or superglues, are extremely strong when used for stabilizing and reinforcing purposes and bonding rigid material. However, due to their brittle nature, they're weak-to-mild in strength when used to bond wood or joints. Superglues should not be applied to critical joints that are expected to experience significant shear stress. In such case, epoxies or polyurethane adhesives are more suitable.

Difference Between Super Glue and Cyanoacrylate
Super glue, cyanoacrylate, and CA glue are all different names that describe the same adhesive — Cyanoacrylate. Despite the fact that CA glue and cyanoacrylate glue are all names for cyanoacrylate adhesive, various user groups adopt different names for them. For instance, woodworkers, model-builders, serious hobbyists and skilled crafting professionals utilize terms like instant glue or CA glue.

Industrial users are accustomed to calling the glue by the technical name i.e. cyanoacrylate. On the other hand, users who purchase CA glue from drug stores or home improvement stores for occasional use at home call it super glue. There are significant differences in adhesive performance among the various cyanoacrylate products. However, they all refer to the same kind of adhesive. Super glues bond through reaction with moisture both on the material surfaces they are bonding to and moisture present in the air.

Surfaces CA Glues Do Not Adhere Well To
One of the most adhesive used widely for gluing together surfaces is CA glue. It offers an instant bond to most surfaces that are friendly to the glue. The glue works best on wood and a few other surfaces. However, it does not glue well on every surface. Before using any cyanoacrylate super glue, you should make sure to run through the instructions very carefully. You do not want to waste time gluing on surfaces that will not adhere to the strong adhesive. Such as oily and dirty surfaces, liquids and gases, the following plastics do not adhere to the cyanoacrylate adhesive.

Delrin Plastics
Delrin plastics are acetal plastics that go by the brand name Delrin. It is a very tricky plastic to glue together with most adhesives, ca being one of them. When you apply ca on Delrin, it will not give it an instant bond. Instead, it forms a shell that is easy to remove.

Polypropylene Plastic
Polypropylene plastic, mainly used in automotive and textile industries, does not glue well with CA glue. This is mostly because of its semi-crystalline nature and its high chemical resistance.

Teflon Plastic
Teflon plastic has a number of property combinations that make it hard to glue together using some adhesives like CA glue. Teflon plastic is chemical resistance and does not weather easily.

High-Density Polyethylene Plastic
High-density polyethylene is a very common plastic used mainly in packaging. Plastic bottles, plastic lumber, resistant piping and geomembranes are some of the most common products made from polyethylene.

In addition to the above plastics, cyanoacrylate super glue does not adhere to the following surfaces:

Wet surfaces • Very smooth surfaces like glass
• Porous surfaces which fail to build strong instant bonds with cyanoacrylate adhesive like wood
• Metal surfaces
• Oily surfaces will not bond with most glues unless you clean up the surfaces first.
• Dirty surfaces might not get the instant bond with CA glue unless you use sandpaper on them to clean up the dirt first.

Wrapping it up
Ca adhesive is one of the strongest glues in the market and it is waterproof. It is best for repairs, filling up cracks or gouges, putting finer final additions on wood, eliminating pinholes, hardening cases and repairing chips among other things.

Make sure you get to know the surfaces you are gluing together to avoid any disappointments. Use only the right amount of glue because any excess will not do a good job. One drop of CA glue can cover a square inch of the surface you are gluing together.

Make sure you have gloves to avoid the glue from sticking on your fingers and if necessary, wear goggles to avoid eye irritation from the CA fumes. For bonding applications, the glue should sparingly be applied to one side of the surface. If you apply on both sides, it may not give the instant bonding you want.