Cyanoacrylates—also known as CA glue, ethyl cyanoacrylates, super glues, instant adhesives, or Krazy Glues—are adhesives made from cyanoacrylate esters (most commonly ethyl). These adhesives are primarily characterized by their fast cure time when moisture is present. Once solidified, they form strong and rigid bonds between two substrates pressed firmly together.
When discussing cyanoacrylates, two other product categories often come up: accelerators (or setters) and primers. In the following article, we provide an overview of these products and how they relate to cyanoacrylate adhesives.
What Are Cyanoacrylate Accelerators & How Do They Work?
Cyanoacrylate accelerators are setting compounds designed to increase the cure speed of cyanoacrylate adhesives. Generally, they contain solvents—either acetone, heptane, or ethyl alcohol—which act as a carrier for the active setting ingredient (amine) and evaporate rapidly without leaving significant amounts of residue on the bonding material. The addition of amine before the bonding and curing reaction hastens the formation of a proper adhesive bond in environments with little to no moisture like you might experience in low humidity or arid climates.
These compounds are generally used in high-speed assembly operations where rapid material bonding is essential to efficient and effective production. They are also employed for surfaces that are acidic, dry, or otherwise difficult to bond.
Accelerators can be added before or after the application of the adhesive to the bonding surface. Applying them onto bond seams and into bond gaps after the initial bonding stage can further encourage the formation of a strong adhesive bond. However, it is important to keep in mind that adding too much accelerator can reduce the tensile strength of the adhesive.
When using accelerators in cyanoacrylate application operations, some guidelines include:
- Test the accelerator on all bonding surfaces before implementation to ensure they are compatible
- Clean the bonding surface before applying the accelerator and adhesive to promote adhesive bond development
- Wear the proper protective gear to prevent incidental contact with the accelerator and adhesive
- Ensure there is proper ventilation in the application environment to avoid inhaling significant amounts of the evaporating solvent
What Are Cyanoacrylate Primers & How Do They Work?
Cyanoacrylate primers are surface coatings designed to increase the bond strength of cyanoacrylate adhesives. They change the surface of the bonding material to enable the adhesive to apply and adhere more effectively.
These compounds are generally employed in assembly applications between difficult-to-bond materials. Examples include polyolefins and other low surface energy plastics such as (EPT) ethylene propylene terpolymer rubber, polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP). Other challenging materials are silicone rubber, soft PVCs and glass.
Primers should be applied to the substrate before the application of the adhesive to the bonding surface. When using primers in cyanoacrylate application operations, some guidelines include:
- Use the appropriate primer for the bonding material (e.g., polyolefin primers for polyolefin plastics)
- Allow the solvent to evaporate off the bonding material before adding the adhesive
Cyanoacrylates, Accelerators, and Primers at Aron Alpha
Cyanoacrylates are versatile adhesives that enable the formation of adhesive bonds between many different substrates. The appropriate use of accelerators and primers can improve their performance even further. For customers looking for cyanoacrylate adhesives, accelerators, and/or primers of superior quality, Aron Alpha offers a complete solutions portfolio.
At Aron Alpha, we are an industry-leading manufacturer of industrial adhesive products. By choosing us, our customers benefit from our:
- Extensive industry experience. As one of the original producers of cyanoacrylate adhesives, we have over five decades of experience making and marketing quality adhesive products suitable for use in a wide range of industrial applications.
- Broad selection of standard and custom offerings. Our cyanoacrylate products include adhesives, accelerators, and primers. In addition to our standard line, we offer custom formulation capabilities to customers with highly specific or unique needs.
- Superior customer service. Our team is committed to supplying instant adhesive technologies that meet all of our customers’ assembly needs, regardless of the size of the project.
To learn more about cyanoacrylate accelerators and primers or our products and services, reach out to us today.