There is much truth in the old saying: If it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape. But sometimes the tape doesn’t work. If you need something that is stronger, more durable and generally lasts longer than a strip of tape, adhesives like epoxy and superglue are a good choice. Epoxy resin and superglue, suitable for both domestic and industrial use, make fixing and securing joints a breeze. But when should you use epoxy and when superglue? If you’re in the habit of taking what’s closest, maybe you’re doing something wrong. Although both have the same general purpose, their applications, uses and properties are very different. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between epoxy and superglue, find out now by checking out everything there is to know about epoxy and superglue.
What is superglue?
Superglue is a type of cyanoacrylate compound. It is usually prepared from methyl-2-cyanoacrylate (having a molecular weight of 111) or ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate (having a molecular weight of 125). If it means nothing to you, don’t worry about it. Knowing the chemical composition of a product can be impressive, but strictly speaking, you don’t need to know what it is or what it does. The most important thing to know about superglue is that it is a thin, water-based liquid glue that is water-resistant and cures much faster than most adhesives. In the home, superglue is typically used to assemble furniture, appliances or woodwork.
What is an epoxy resin?
As can be seen from the distinction, epoxy is a thermosetting polymer formed by the manual reaction of a resin and a hardener, the resin being an epoxy and the hardener being a polyamine. The resin and hardener are mixed in different proportions depending on the application. The more hardener, the stronger the bond and the longer the curing time. Epoxy resin has exceptional water resistance and can even bond underwater, making it popular in the marine industry. In the residential sector it is used for furniture and heavy machinery.
What is better?
When it comes to choosing between epoxy and superglue, there is no easy answer. In some situations, epoxy is the best option. In other cases, it is better to use superglue. To know whether to use epoxy or superglue, think about things like….
The time it takes to make a connection (usually called work time) is more important than you think. If you’re working on a larger project, longer hours are generally better, as you’ll have more time to make contacts, etc. If you are working on a small project, shorter hours are generally better. If you are working with epoxy, you can expect a turnaround time of 5 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the amount of hardener used in the product. In contrast, superglue has a processing time of only a few seconds. If you need to solve a small project quickly, superglue is usually the best choice. If you are working on a large assembly or repairing a complicated joint, a longer epoxy time is desirable.
As Glue Insider writes, epoxy tends to be stronger than glue. It forms a strong and durable bond to a variety of surfaces and is resistant to high pressure. Superglue tends to form a more moderate adhesion. Despite its strength, it is less durable than epoxy and less suitable for certain substrates.
Epoxy resin is a popular choice in the industry because of its adhesive properties and long life. In addition to its use as an adhesive, it is also used as an insulator for electronics, as a coating for composites and metal, in model construction and for other large-scale engineering purposes. Superglue is usually used for small projects, such as. B. for surgical operations, assembly of small parts and wood finishing. Both adhesives can be used on surfaces such as plastic, rubber, ceramic, fabric, leather and glass. However, their different properties lead to different strength characteristics depending on the surface. Superglue tends to form a weak bond with glass, so it is not usually used on quartz glass. It can also cause a chemical reaction with cotton or wool, which can lead to material burns or even injury.
As Hunker explains, superglue and epoxy can form a strong bond, but superglue has a very low shear strength. Therefore, the glued parts are resistant to direct stresses, but not to angular loads. On the other hand, epoxy resin has tremendous structural strength.
Once the epoxy has dried, it is virtually impossible to remove it without damaging the surface it was applied to. Before it hardens, it can be removed relatively easily with white vinegar or acetone. Superglue, on the other hand, can be removed with gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) or acetone, before and after drying.
Although epoxy resin has a shorter lifespan since its discovery, it can still last for many years thanks to its resistance to water, moisture and air. Superglue has a relatively short shelf life: Open or not, its low resistance to air and humidity makes it unusable after about a year.
Epoxy and superglue are chemical compounds. Therefore, neither is completely risk-free. Epoxy resin presents an allergy risk and should only be used in well-ventilated areas. Skin contact should be avoided. In addition, Super Glue should only be used in a ventilated area and with protective clothing on. When it comes into contact with the skin, it can immediately adhere to the tissue. It may be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat when inhaled. Because of the risk of chemical reactions and possible burns if superglue comes into contact with cotton or wool, caution should be exercised when using on certain surfaces.
Superglue and epoxy are excellent adhesives with a wide range of applications. And which one is the best… it really depends. If you need to quickly glue a crack in your furniture, superglue is probably your best option. If you are working on a large project in an industrial environment, epoxy is generally preferable.
frequently asked questions
Is epoxy better than superglue?
The two form a very strong bond and are well suited for a particular application. Which type you choose depends on your project. Superglue has a lower shear strength, but is easier to work with. Epoxy resin has the best structural strength.
Epoxy – the strongest adhesive ?
Epoxy is the strongest of the reactive adhesives and is resistant to high temperatures, solvents, UV light and shock. The epoxy cures in 2 to 60 minutes (longer is stronger) and reaches full strength in 24 hours. Acrylic requires less surface preparation than epoxy, but is weaker.
Can I use epoxy as a glue?
Using Epoxy Glue for Metal Epoxy glue can be an excellent and very effective tool for bonding metal. It also eliminates the need for time-consuming soldering or brazing.
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