Unusual Applications of Cyanoacrylates

Cyanoacrylates are quick-acting adhesives, often known as super glues or power glues. They are a strong and convenient product used for many purposes in industry and at home. Let’s look at what cyanoacrylates are, the advantages they offer, and some of the more unusual applications super glues are used for.

What Are Cyanoacrylates?

Cyanoacrylates are a group of adhesives called acryls that bond materials instantly in the presence of moisture. Because they are fast to work with and create high-strength bonds, they are often used in assembly tasks in automotive, medical device manufacturing, electronics, construction, and consumer products.

Cyanoacrylates set quickly without the use of clamps, so objects or assemblies can be handled within seconds. Bonds have high tensile strength and are effective with stiff or rigid materials. Once cured, cyanoacrylates have low ductility and can be brittle, making them vulnerable to impact loads. They are less stable when used with wood or at joints.

Advantages of Cyanoacrylates

Cyanoacrylate super glues provide many advantages, including:

  • Ease of use: Cyanoacrylates are single-component adhesives, requiring no mixing to activate the chemical bonding process. They are simple and non-messy to apply.
  • Fast cure time: The polymerization process is quick in the presence of moisture, so there is no need to clamp or secure components during cure time.
  • High bond strength: Long and strong polymer chain bonds are created as the glue cures. Some formulations can reach strengths of up to 20 megapascals.
  • Versatility: Cyanoacrylates are effective at bonding similar and dissimilar materials including wood, ceramics, elastomers, plastics, and metals.
  • Low Toxicity: Cyanoacrylates have relatively low toxicity compared to other adhesives.

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 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 the skin, they can apply one of the methods we mention here.

Underwater Bonding

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!

Medical & Veterinary Cyanoacrylate Uses

Surgical cyanoacrylate is used for suture replacements and various other applications in medicine. Additionally, absorbable grades of cyanoacrylate are being used to facilitate advancements in medical technology. Within the veterinary industry, butyl cyanoacrylate is commonly used to close surgical wounds.

Cyanoacrylates From Aron Alpha

Aron Alpha has been the leader in industrial cyanoacrylate adhesive products and innovations for over six decades. We manufacture and supply cyanoacrylate adhesives, accelerators, primers, and applicators. In addition, our team of engineers and product experts provides custom formulations, lab services and testing, industrial adhesive consultation, and prototype testing.

Contact us to speak with a specialist about how Aron Alpha can help you reach your goal.

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