Cyanoacrylate is the umbrella term for instant adhesives (also known as superglue or power glue). You may recognize popular cyanoacrylate brand names such as PermaBond, Krazy Glue, or Gorilla Glue. Cyanoacrylate is incredibly versatile and has been used for almost 70 years in product assembly throughout a variety of industries, including automotive, medical device manufacturing, electronics, construction, and consumer products. While one may think they’re aware of all the uses of this powerful adhesive, there are some “unconventional” applications of cyanoacrylates we thought would be interesting to share with you.
What Are Cyanoacrylates?
Cyanoacrylate glue is composed of an acrylic resin. It starts as an acrylic monomer, then transforms into plastic after curing. While they are known for creating a strong bond, cyanoacrylates can also be brittle, depending on the conditions involved. They are ideal for stabilizing and bonding stiff or inflexible items but are less stable when used on wood or joints. Cyanoacrylates have many beneficial qualities, including:
- Fast curing
- Dries clear
- Low odor
- No mixing necessary
- Bonds to a wide range of materials
- Can be used in automated dispensers
- Can be used in high-temperature applications up to 250° F
Unusual Applications of Cyanoacrylate & Super Glue
Fossil & Mineral Repair
For years, fossils and minerals that broke or were already broken as they were excavated and prepared for analysis had to be thrown away. Then, scientists discovered that the viscosity and instant bonding qualities of super glue were ideal for salvaging these specimens. Cyanoacrylate doesn’t shrink and remains clear as it dries, making it perfect for use with minerals or jewels.
Crime Scene Investigations
A common procedure in crime scenes is collecting fingerprints, but did you know that cyanoacrylate is the adhesive used to collect them? Cyanoacrylates will adhere to the moisture that is deposited by the skin and turn the fingerprints white.
Repairs to Sunglasses, Shoes, Boots, and Straps
One of the handiest uses of cyanoacrylate glue is for small household repairs. You can extend the life of household items with just a small bead of the adhesive.
Finger Protections for Guitarists
Guitarists can protect their fingers from cuts or blisters while playing by using super glue. Once the adhesive is applied to the tips of the fingers and allowed to dry, it creates a thin but tough layer that protects the skin from the abrasive guitar strings. Then, to remove the cyanoacrylate from skin, they can apply one of the methods we mention here.
The initial contact of cyanoacrylate with liquid creates a plastic outer shell, but the interior remains liquid for a short time. When you are ready to bond the items, you use a little force to break the outer shell, revealing the viable adhesive.
Finishing Wood Pens
This adhesive forms a hard, acrylic coating over the wood, protecting it from the ink. The cyanoacrylate glue is also very thin, allowing it to flow smoothly over the surface and dry to a high-gloss finish.
3D Printing Infiltration
3D finished components can remain powdery and granulated unless they are coated. Cyanoacrylates seal the porosity and create a solid, hard surface. Qualities like an ultra-fast cure, good penetration, brilliant color, and a matte or glossy texture make these adhesives ideal for 3D printing infiltration.
Tying Fishing Knots
Strong knots in fishing lines can be made simple with super glue. Place a bead of adhesive on the line where you tied it and drop it into the water for a much stronger bond that equates to a double or triple knot.
Most DIY Projects
The availability, ease of use, and low cost make cyanoacrylates ideal for almost any DIY project!
Cyanoacrylates From Aron Alpha
While cyanoacrylates are used for a wide range of industries and common applications, their versatility has allowed them to be leveraged for many other unusual uses. Aron Alpha has a long history of providing quality, high performance instant adhesives to meet a variety of needs. We produce many cyanoacrylate products, including:
For further exploration of cyanoacrylates, check out these resources: