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Adhesives and Sealants

The primary function of an adhesive is to bond two or more substrates together.

The primary function of a sealant is to fill a space and create a barrier between two or more objects.

There are some adhesives called adhesive sealants that can fulfil both adhering and to some degree a sealing function. Similarly some stronger sealants may qualify as adhesives but most sealants demonstrate weaker attachment and are not suitable for bonding or attachment purposes.

Common Types of Adhesives

Some of the more common types of adhesives employed throughout industry include:

  • Anaerobic adhesives: These are acrylic-based adhesives which cure in the absence of air. This type of adhesive typically has low viscosity, is available in liquid and paste solutions, and is suitable for securing, sealing, and retaining close-fitting and structural parts.
  • Cyanoacrylates adhesives: Also referred to as “instant glues”, are adhesives which cure in the presence of moisture and ultraviolet (UV) light  This type of adhesive ranges from low to high viscosity and is suitable for porous and non-porous substrates. It is not suitable for structural applications due to its low shear strength.
  • Epoxy adhesives: Epoxies are typically available as single-part and multi-part systems. These types of adhesives demonstrate high shear and peel strength (even in extreme temperatures and environments) and are suitable for gap filling and bonding dissimilar substrates.
  • PVA / White glue: Traditionally used for arts and crafts purposes this type of adhesive requires contact and pressure during solidification and is suitable for cloth, cardboard, paper, wood, and other porous substrates.