Think beyond right now when choosing your instant adhesive


Instant adhesive is something most adhesive manufacturers have in their portfolio, whether it’s just a product or two or, more likely, an entire range. They come in a considerable variety of sizes and formats, and are sometimes marketed more to private consumers while in other cases they are sold strictly to industrial customers.

At the first glance, comparing technical data of several different products, many can appear similar in characteristics, which makes it easy to make the mistake of choosing the cheapest out of the offering. However, it’s really important to keep in mind that:

  1. you don’t purchase the product the moment it leaves the production line, nor will you use it up entirely at the moment you purchase it
  2. the elements you bond together will be in service for a certain amount of time in certain conditions which can affect the properties of the used adhesive

The time an adhesive spends in its bottle between the moment of production and the moment of use can affect different properties. Curing speed is only one of them, but an important one because instant adhesives (it’s all in the name) are often chosen because of the speed at which they cure. Looking at the graphic data below, it’s quite obvious that the level of change in curing speed over time can be very different from product to product. It also shows the level of stability that a reliable brand like Loctite will secure.

graph_CA_curing speed vs age

This is usually the first indication of the product’s stability in its cured form, and of how much you can trust your bond line over time. So, be sure to look at the fine print on the technical data and ask your adhesive expert extra questions, just to be sure.

(Thanks to my colleague Robert Dunkel from Canada for bringing this topic forth!)