When things break at home, work, or school, all of us want the proper tools to properly fix them. The fight between epoxy and superglue has been going on for years. But the question is, how can you tell which adhesive you should pick for the specific situation?
There are many applications for adhesives. From crafting heavy objects to fastening fine china at home, adhesives have become nearly a primary human need. And as a user, we consistently desire the most powerful and finest adhesive possible to put our hands on.
In this article, we will review the features of two of the most powerful adhesives available today: Epoxy and Super Glue. Lots of people swear by both, while professionals will more likely go for epoxy than your mom if she needs to get her favorite vase fixed.
Whether for creative crafts or hard-hitting commercial projects, a good adhesive is a must in any home or office.
Not only does it bond two separate objects together, but it also ensures that the bond between them remains stable for years to come. Thus, it also contributes to the overall reliability of your brand. But besides the strength of the adhesive, we also have to keep in mind the ease and convenience of the adhesive. This is particularly relevant for daily housekeeping jobs and other usual fixes.
Consumers are seeking a secure, easy-to-use adhesive for fast fixes.
Among the adhesives typically used, epoxy glue and superglue are among the most popular. Although they may seem similar to many, their properties are quite different! To learn more about these two popular adhesives and their properties, let’s compare epoxy and super glue!
So let’s now take a look at the critical factors of these two adhesive types.
What is epoxy glue?
Epoxy glue is the trade name for poly epoxy. This is among the most universal and powerful kinds of adhesives that exist today. Its range of applications is correspondingly broad, covering a number of different areas of interest and sectors. From DIY to commercial construction, it allows you to bond many things together.
To make epoxy adhesive, an epoxy resin and a hardener are combined. These two ingredients are stored in separate containers and are then blended in equal parts with a double-barrel syringe. The resulting two-component adhesive is formed after the pot life has elapsed, which can range from minutes to two hours.
After this period, it is necessary to wait a few hours until the adhesive reaches its maximum strength.
Benefits of Epoxy Glue
Epoxy resin glue is regarded among the strongest adhesives that exist today on the market. The strength of the adhesive is determined by the proportion of hardener to the epoxy resin used in the production process.
The more hardener is used, the more potent the adhesive will be.
Although this lengthens the time it takes to dry, the resultant adhesive will also be more durable. Therefore, if you are in no rush and would like to reach a higher strength, it is possible to increase the percentage of hardeners in the compound.
Among the handiest features of epoxy glue is its ability to withstand water. As it is waterproof, there is no need to be concerned that your bonded object will become wet or immersed in water. This glue can keep its strength even underwater, making it highly recommended for fixing and production.
Normal adhesives generally provide no choice of more than one color or finish. But with epoxy adhesives, you do not have to be satisfied with a single shade! There are white, transparent, or metallic finishes to pick from, allowing you to complete your project while still being aesthetically appealing!
Although epoxy is mainly developed for use only on non-porous materials, it can also be applied to other substances. Indeed, you may use this glue on a variety of surfaces including marble, metal, glass, wood, brickwork, and ceramic tile. Hence, it will be able to assist you in troubleshooting issues with just about any object.
Drawbacks of epoxy glue
Whereas solid epoxies are normally harmless and safe substances, liquid epoxies can be quite harmful. They can be irritating to the eyes and skin. In addition, it may be highly toxic to water animals. The glue may also be easily flammable since liquid epoxy is normally inherently flammable.
Blending the two ingredients in the proper ratio to get the final epoxy glue prepared before applying can be a bit tricky for anyone who has never made something similar before.
For this reason, ask an expert or someone experienced to assist you in the preparation process to ensure you get a great outcome later on.
What is superglue?
Super glue is commonly more loved by the global audience. But superglue is a trademark of glue instead of a grade of it. It is mainly a cyanoacrylate bond that bonds two surfaces together through exothermic reactions. It reacts with the material or surface you put the adhesive on, then releases heat to glue the two items to each other.
This water-based or gelatinous adhesive is offered in tubes. Exactly like other cyanoacrylate adhesives, this one works extremely fast and succeeds in forming a great connection between the two surfaces involved.
Because of its rapid effect, super glue is frequently applied in the medical, industrial, and household sectors.
Benefits of superglue
Cyanoacrylates just like super glue perform extremely fast, which will definitely be helpful to people who fix or create objects on the job. The adhesive succeeds in forming a bond between two surfaces in no time.
Also, the needed quantity decreases once you use Super Glue in place of other glues.
Perfect for non-porous surfaces
This adhesive is great for just about any non-porous surface. Indeed, it performs most effectively on objects created from metal, glass, plastic, stone, wood, paper, and other related surfaces. Therefore, if you often work with these kinds of surfaces, then you can surely load your stock with super glue.
Simple to use
As Super Glue is always supplied in tubs with a number of dedicated applicators, this means it can be used just about everywhere and at every angle! This will make the process much more comfortable, because you won’t need to strain to insert the glue, regardless of how narrow or inconvenient the target area is.
Super glue is available in two basic forms: as a gel and as a liquid. The liquid version better penetrates the cracks of the surface and is faster drying compared to the gel version. As a result, you can accomplish jobs more quickly with fluid glue.
Whereas, on the other hand, the gel-type adhesive drips less and gives you more control. Thus, you can pick either of the two adhesives based on the needs of your project.
Drawbacks of superglue
Questions of safety
The exothermic responses of super glue definitely add to the quickness of its application. Yet, that heat could also be the reason for terrible accidents if not careful enough. One drop or more of this that accidentally drips onto the skin can lead to painful hurt and burns. Instantly soak the affected spot in warm, soapy water and finish by applying an acetone-based nail polish remover to dissolve the glue. Once the spot has slightly dried, clean off the adhesive with a nail polishing pad.
Limitation of the material
Super Glue is not suitable for application to cloth or fibrous textiles including cotton, wool, and leather. The combination of these substances may result in a severe and fast exothermic response, which could lead to serious burns or cause the emission of harmful white smoke that irritates the eyes. Moreover, it will not stick to any wet or porous surfaces.
Comparison between super glue and epoxy resin
Where applications are involved, epoxy glue is commonly used for bigger projects because of its awesome strength. Besides being used as an adhesive, this glue is often used to layer metal and insulate electronics. There are also some other industrial uses for epoxy glue.
Superglue, meanwhile, is usually used for smaller projects, such as mounting small parts. Other uses of this adhesive include surgery and carpentry.
Super glue is perfect for common materials like metal, stone, wood, paper, plastic, or glass-ceramics. It shouldn’t be applied to cotton, wool, and leather. Moreover, this kind of glue is damaging to objects that are to be used in the microwave or dishwasher in the future.
Epoxy glue is suitable for use on a broad spectrum of non-porous finishes, among them marble, glass, metal, wood, ceramic floor tiles, and stonework.
While this can be used on virtually any fabric, it may cause the object to look wet and leave the cured area stone-hard. It also may modify or darken the initial fabric color.
Superglue and epoxy are two of the strongest adhesives currently for sale today. However, they differ significantly when it comes to strength.
While epoxy provides great structural strength, super glue delivers ultra-low shear strength. In simpler terms, the joint made with superglue can break due to angular loading but can withstand direct tension.
Conversely, epoxy adhesive’s tremendous strength makes it best suited for filling gaps or cracks and maintaining a solid surface.
The use of super glue is quite straightforward, unlike epoxy glue. Using a tiny portion of this super glue, you can make a joint with decent firmness. It is supplied in practical containers that let you get to trouble spots without any difficulty. Epoxy adhesives may also be supplied in such containers, but they need significant preparation time before being used.
Superglue is more readily cleaned than epoxy. Both in the solid condition after curing as well as in the liquid condition right after applying, superglue is removable with acetone or gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).
Unlike this, once the epoxy adhesive is dry, it gets very hard and is practically unremovable. If it is still raw, then you can try to clean it using white vinegar or acetone.
Both of these adhesives present their unique safety concerns. You have to be cautious while using both adhesives. Super glue can irritate your nose, throat, and eyes. It may also cause sudden inflammation when you apply it to wool or cotton.
Epoxy glue can lead to allergic responses and irritation of the eyes and skin. In addition, it is flammable in liquid form and damaging to aquatic animals. Therefore, keep in mind to use eye protection along with rubber gloves while using adhesives.
Best super glue for plastic
GORILLA Glue Super Gel
- dries in 10-45 seconds.
- specially formulated for increased impact resistance and strength.
- bonds plastic, wood, metal, ceramic, rubber, leather, paper and more.
Gorilla Super Glue Gel is formulated with a handy, non-leaking gel formulation that provides ultra-strong bonding. Its modified formulation contains rubber particles that increase impact resistance, making it perfect for attaching children’s toys, ceramic handles, and many other household applications.
Gorilla Glue super glue bonds to materials such as wood, ceramics, and plastic and takes only 10 to 30 seconds to cure, and is considered by many users to be the best super glue for plastic.
One drawback to this adhesive is that it is not waterproof. So if you are attaching sections that will be in contact with water, we recommend applying a waterproof coating first. It is not recommended to apply Gorilla glue to cotton or wool because it interacts with the fibers and generates heat and confusing steam. Also, it is a high-speed gel adhesive that will not run or spread all over the exhibit.
Best super glue for rubber
3M SCOTCH-WELD adhesive
- medium viscosity adhesive is easily applied from the bottle.
- strong, durable and long lasting bond on a variety of substrates.
- glue has fast handling time and cure to keep jobs moving quickly.
3M Scotch-Weld is a medium viscosity super glue with a formulation that works perfectly for challenging finishes like EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), plastic, and nylon.
It forms a long-lasting and strong joint with a total shear resistance greater than 2000 psi (pounds per square inch). The glue has a quick cure time and can be used within 45 seconds, but will not completely harden for 24 hours. The 3M Scotch-Weld is supplied in a pinch dispenser that lets you measure out the quantity of adhesive to a single drop.
Best super glue for glass
LOCTITE Glass Adhesive
- dishwasher safe.
- sets in seconds and dries clear.
- bonding all types of glass to itself and glass to non-porous materials such as steel and certain plastics.
Featuring a unique formulation, Loctite Glass Adhesive is the only patented super glue designed for the adhesion of glass. Use Loctite Glass Adhesive to achieve a dependable, high-performance bond for any type of glass, along with a number of synthetics and metals. It provides durable, fast bonds that are waterproof and hold up to routine usage. When it dries completely, it creates crystal clear bonds that do not need to be stapled, can be washed in a dishwasher, and resist high temperatures.
It dries quickly, but is not suitable for outdoor use. It is a very versatile adhesive that bonds well to amber glass, clear glass, opaque, tinted, and colored glass. It is completely safe for you to use Loctite Glass Adhesive for these particular kinds of crystal and glass fixes. Reviews of the super glue are pretty good, with the majority stating that the glue does what it claims to do.
How strong is epoxy
Epoxy compounds are highly appreciated for their ultimate strength and their ability to form a solid bond with a variety of materials. The bond force and physical strength of epoxy differ greatly and will depend on the resin mix and hardener used, along with the material to which the epoxy adheres. Generally, the ultimate strength of epoxy can be between 5,000 and 6,000 psi.
Is epoxy stronger than superglue?
The ultimate strength of epoxy may not be as great as that of superglue, though its resistance to shear is a lot greater. If you are going to glue your helmet to a beam and have it hang off of it, superglue may be stronger. For most of the things you actually intend to do, epoxy is normally stronger than superglue. Superglue’s shear resistance is 14 PSI versus epoxy’s shear resistance of 4,560 PSI. The ultimate tensile strength of superglue is approximately 4,000 PSI. The ultimate tensile strength of epoxy can be anywhere from 2,900 to 4,400 PSI, based on the formulation.
What is epoxy glue used for
Epoxy adhesives have a wide range of applications. Epoxy adhesives are preferable when a strong bond is necessary. They are widely used in construction and production. Epoxy adhesives are used to join building elements together or provide protection to the underlying finishes from debris and moisture. While using epoxy adhesives, be sure to work in a properly ventilated area, as the vapors are dangerous. If you do spill anything on a surface, mop it up using vinegar or acetone. If you have spilled on yourself, use vinegar to clean off the glue. Acetone may be absorbed through the skin. Below is a list of some great uses for epoxy adhesives.
1. Fiberglass repairs
Epoxy adhesives may be used for repairing the body of automobiles and cattle trailers, as well as for the interior of marine boat hulls. But, they are not suggested for the exterior of boat fuselages as they are susceptible to ultraviolet light. Carefully sanitize the deteriorated surface and grind away all uneven spots on the surface. Set out new fiberglass mats before you mix the adhesive resin and hardener. A coffee can lid works great as a container for blending. Use a paintbrush to put the epoxy compound on the mat. Keep applying it until the mat is properly coated and fully soaked. Let the epoxy set following the directions on the bottle.
2. Carpentry and woodworking
For emergencies, epoxy glue can substitute for wood glue in the building of furniture or cupboards. Its key benefit compared to wood adhesive is that it sets more quickly, thus rendering it handy for emergency purposes. It may also be applied as a supporting glue to strengthen the wood glue. Epoxy adhesives are used for laminating plywood with fiberglass. This enhances the strength and longevity of the construction. Epoxy is a great option for laminating bar tops and other commonly wet wooden tops.
3. Wood and metal filler
Epoxy adhesives could be used to fix wood decay or rust. Just fill in the deteriorated part of the wood or metal support and leave it to dry. When handling metal, be sure to pick an epoxy-containing the appropriate additives to prevent any unwanted chemical effects.
4. Reinforcing bolts
Epoxy adhesives have been used to strengthen mounting hardware. A popular application is bolting heavy vibrating equipment to a cement floor. Epoxy protects the screw from rust, reinforces the connection, and slows stress-related cracking.
5. Jewelry production
Epoxy glues are used to make fashion jewelry. Adhere a picture to a bezel with superglue, and then laminate it with a coat of epoxy. Also, you can do a ” window” inside a metal ring. Using multiple inclusions and several coats of epoxy, you can even create a layered assembly in a deep metal cavity.
Glue strength comparison
Superglue is mainly suitable for ceramics, rubber, foam, glass, and some metals. It provides a firm hold and expands about three to four times, so not much is needed. It forms a sticky bond immediately, but won’t hold until it comes in contact with another object. It is possible for superglue to come in contact with the skin and stick fingers together. In this case, a little acetone nail polish remover will help to loosen the fingers from each other and remove any traces left on the skin. Water increases the superglue’s adhesion and ensures that it remains waterproof and virtually unbreakable.
Epoxy adhesive is best suited for metal, electrical, synthetic resins, and many building materials. This type of adhesive is highly resistant to temperature and chemicals, making it one of the strongest, albeit expensive, adhesives on the market. In industrial manufacturing, it can be an alternative to welding and riveting.
Difference between glue and adhesive
The difference between glue and adhesive as nouns is that glue is a hard form of gelatin produced by cooking bones and skins and is used in solution to act as an adhesive, whereas adhesive is a compound like the glue that allows or encourages adhesion.
Can superglue be used for industrial use?
No. This glue is not sufficiently strong to retain heavy objects. In this case, epoxy adhesive is recommended.
What should I do when I get superglue on the skin?
It can be hazardous, which means you need to take action fast. Let cool water run over the affected spot and use a towel or your hand to wipe off the glue. This takes a while, but as soon as the adhesive sets and cools, it will peel off readily in flakes.
For how long can I keep the glue?
Epoxy glue will keep for about two years if stored in a cool place. Superglue does not last as long, but to extend the shelf life, keep the tube sealed to prevent air from entering.
Making the proper decision regarding epoxy versus superglue is the choice you will most likely use on your projects. It might be determined by your individual tastes or the preferences of your repeat clients.
Despite the fact that both epoxy and superglue are great for a lot of materials, epoxy seems to be a superior option for fabrics, since superglue can burn suddenly once it comes into contact with them.
Epoxy is also known to give more firmness to the product. Superglue, on the other hand, is simpler to get clean and easier to get into tricky spots. Therefore, identify which of these factors might be the most significant difference for your business or hobby to make the proper choice.