Using Super Glue
by Bob Smith Industries
Cyanoacrylates (CA’s) have become the adhesive of choice for most hobby and household applications. High quality CA’s such as INSTA-CURE, when used properly, form bonds that in many cases are stronger than the material that is being adhered. INSTA-CURE is a highly refined CA which, combined with its freshness gives a guaranteed 2 year shelf life.
CA’s are reactive monomers that chemically link (polymerize) when pressed into a thin film. The very thin layer of water moisture present on most surfaces acts as as alkali, or weak base, which is the catalyst that results in bonding; however, the presence of detectable amounts of water usually degrades the performance of CA’s.
INSTA-CURE has a water-thin viscosity that wicks deep into joints by capillary action and cures in a matter of a few seconds. Surfaces to be bonded must be tight fitting and should be held together while you apply the CA around the edges of the seam. At the moment CA’s cure, they give off a vapor that can irritate the nose and eyes, so be prepared. Thin CA’s work very well on balsa since they penetrate into the wood and form more than just a surface bond.
INSTA-CURE+ is a higher viscosity CA for loose fitting joints in which the adhesive must bridge gaps. Normally, the thicker CA is applied to one surface and then the parts are held tightly together for about 5 to 15 seconds. For large surface areas, including those with close fitting joints such as laminations, INSTA-CURE+ should also be used. To prevent premature curing, don’t spread the glue into a thin film. Lay down a serpentine bead with about 1″ separations on one surface, then assemble the parts, letting the pressure spread the CA out.
INSTA-SET is a catalyst which acts as an accelerator that allows CA’s to quickly cure in thick layers by enhancing the alkaline conditions during polymerization. INSTA-SET in a spray bottle is normally used to cure the CA that flows from joints when parts are pressed together. Applying an additional bead of thick CA along a seam and then curing it with INSTA-SET significantly enhances a joint’s strength. For difficult to bond materials, INSTA-Set can be applied to one surface and CA to the opposite surface. When brought together, they will bond instantly. INSTA-SET is formulated with a strawberry scent and activates CA in 6 to 8 seconds without any significant degrading of the CA’s strength, which can occur with many other accelerators. It is compatible with all surfaces, even clear plastic and white foam.
MAXI-CURE extra thick CA is the best CA for most plastics, including GE’s Lexan. MAXI-CURE is the best choice for plastic model assembly. When used with INSTA-SET it works better than any putty for modifying or filling voids. It can be carved with a knife or razor blade and sanded and feathered to form a finish indistinguishable from plastic.
MAXI-CURE bonds hardwood and plywood better than any other hobby adhesive. For gluing to the inside, cloth textured surface of fiberglass, scrape the area to be bonded with a razor blade or coarse sandpaper before using MAXI-CURE or any other adhesive. Plywood should be lightly sanded before bonding.
SUPER-GOLD and SUPER-GOLD+ are our odorless INSTA-CURE CA’s. They are non-frosting and take only 2 or 3 seconds longer to bond. There are no fumes that irritate the nose and eyes. The SUPER-GOLD’s do not attack white foam; therefore, they can be used in the building of foam core wings and the assembly and repair of plastic and foam ARF’s. They will not fog clear plastic. SUPER-GOLD+ is ideal for attaching clear canopies in plastic model kits; however, MAXI-CURE is still recommended for assembling the rest of plastic kits. Wood can be bonded to white foam with SUPER-GOLD+ in less than fifteen seconds. For bonding foam to foam, spray a very light fog of INSTA-SET to one piece and apply SUPER-GOLD+ to the other before joining. Excess INSTA-SET may create too much heat, which can melt the foam. Both SUPER-GOLD’s cure to a more flexible consistency for better shock absorption. Whenever a large amount of CA is to be used in such applications as saturating fiberglass or Kevlar, SUPER-GOLD eliminates the irritating fumes from the evaporating monomer that make repeated use of CA unpleasant at times.
IC-2000 is a rubber-toughened cyanoacrylate that forms superior shock resistant bonds on non-porous surfaces. The black colored CA has added flexibility for the bonding of metals, fiberglass, rubber, carbon-fiber and other advanced materials. For model use, IC-2000 is ideal for the bonding of bulkheads, formers and servo rails to the inside of fiberglass hulls and fuselages. Set-up time is 20-40 seconds, which can be accelerated with INSTA-SET. When cured, IC-2000 is pliable enough to be carved with a hobby knife. IC-2000 is the best adhesive for R/C car tires.
UN-CURE debonder will soften cured CA. If parts are bonded incorrectly or your fingers are stuck together, a few drops of UN-CURE will dissolve the CA in about a minute. Apply on bonded skin and roll apart fingers.
Heat and moisture will decrease the shelf like of CA’s. Unopened bottles can be stored in a freezer or refrigerator, but allow them to reach room temperature before using. Keep your bottles in a cool place that won’t be exposed to direct sunlight and store away from bottles of accelerators. Due to the freshness of our CA’s their shelf life is guaranteed for 24 months.
For the initial opening of the top, loosen and retighten the top first to relieve internal pressure, then hold the bottle against a near vertical surface and cut off the top 1/32″ with a knife or razor blade without squeezing the bottle. To prevent clogging, do not let the tip of the nozzle tough a surface that has been sprayed with INSTA-SET. Before replacing the colored cap, set the bottle down hard to knock the remaining CA back into the bottle before squeezing it in an upright position to blow air through the nozzle, then wipe the tip clean.
With all CA’s, the closer the parts fit together, the stronger the bond. Always hold the bonding surfaces together as tightly as possible. Any rough spots on the mating surfaces should be smoothed out. Although CA’s will hold objects together with considerable strength within seconds, the full strength of the bond is not reached for several hours. Allow for this before subjecting the parts to maximum stress. Also, CA’s are generally a little less brittle and have a higher strength when they are allowed to cure on their own.
Reprinted by permission of Bob Smith Industries incorporated 8060 Morro Road, Atascadero, CA 93422 All Rights Reserved
INSTA-Cure, INSTA-CURE+, INSTA-SET, MAXI-CURE, SUPER-GOLD, SUPER-GOLD+, IC-2000, and UN-CURE are registered trademarks of Bob Smith Industries incorporated.