How does epoxy work as an adhesive?

Epoxy glues are actually a type of adhesive, but they are more specially formulated than most other common adhesives.

Epoxies create a stronger bond and have more resistance to heat and chemicals than many other types of glue. Epoxy is also used as coatings, paints, and composites in addition to its use as an adhesive.

Epoxy is sometimes confused with resin (i.e., “resin glue”), but the two are very different. Resin glues harden when they react with air; epoxies cure through chemical reactions that occur in the absence of air.

That’s why epoxy adhesives come in two separate parts: The resin and the hardener must be mixed before application or else the chemical reaction cannot take place.

How does epoxy work as an adhesive?

When you think of epoxy, you probably think of a two-part adhesive — or in other words, an adhesive that is made up of a resin and a hardener.

In order for epoxy to work properly and be strong enough to stick materials together, the resin and the hardener must be mixed together just before use. The resin and hardener work together to provide the strong bond characteristic of epoxy.

Can you use epoxy as an adhesive?

Epoxy has many uses, including as an adhesive, sealant, filler, and coating. Epoxy is an industrial strength adhesive used to bond a variety of surfaces that may include:

  • Metals
  • Ceramics
  • Glass
  • Wood

It is resistant to water and can be used for indoor or outdoor applications.

Why is epoxy used as adhesive?

Epoxy resin is a hugely versatile adhesive that can be used to join a huge range of materials together. It is the joint of choice for many because it offers so many benefits over other adhesives. The main advantage to using epoxy resin is its strength.

Not only can you rely on this stuff to hold things together, but you can also apply it in layers to create a strong bond between two surfaces.

Epoxy resin is incredibly versatile, which makes it useful in many different applications. Epoxy resins are the preferred method of repair for windsurfers and surfboard owners because they provide strong and flexible patches that don’t have to be sanded down after application as polyester resins do.

It’s often used as an adhesive by hobbyists and artists as well – especially where waterproofing or chemical resistance is required.

Epoxies also tend not to require any special equipment for mixing or application – some even come with mixing sticks built into their packaging!

This makes them ideal for quick repairs or emergency fixes where time may not permit finding more suitable products (or running around town looking for stores that sell them).

Is epoxy a strong adhesive?

Epoxy is one of the strongest adhesives available, making it ideal for many industrial applications. Not only does epoxy bond two different materials together but it also bonds materials with differing coefficients of expansion.

Epoxy can be used to join items made from a wide variety of different materials such as metal, glass, plastic, and more.

What is the difference between epoxy and adhesive?

A lot of people use the terms “epoxy” and “adhesive” interchangeably, but they’re not actually the same thing.

Epoxy is actually a type of adhesive, and it’s classified as an “engineering adhesive.” What does that mean? Epoxy is different from other adhesives for a few reasons.

First, epoxy is a two-part polymer mixture (usually available in separate containers) that typically needs to be mixed together before use.

Second, epoxy cures into a rigid plastic material rather than remaining soft or semi-solid like some other adhesives.

Finally, epoxies are generally used for bonding and sealing—not just sticking things together temporarily like some other adhesives—so they need to be very strong and durable over time.

In fact, epoxies are so durable that they’re often used in construction projects like building bridges or repairing cracks in concrete roadways!

What does epoxy not stick to?

Epoxy does not stick to:

  • Polyethylene is a common plastic that is often used in the manufacture of various food packaging materials.
  • Polypropylene is another plastic that is commonly used for food containers and water bottles.
  • Teflon is a non-stick coating found on cookware, making it easy to clean your pots and pans. This makes sense – a glue for sticking things together might want to be repellant to whatever substance you happen to be gluing them together with!
  • Silicone, can be found in caulking compounds, heat-resistant gaskets, and other products that need excellent flexibility or extreme temperature resistance (i.e., engine gaskets).
  • Oils, Waxes & Greases – these are all naturally occurring substances that won’t allow adhesives like epoxy to get a grip on them; if you’re trying to glue something where either of these occurs naturally (like the joints between two pieces of wood), it’s best practice not just wipe away any excess oil/wax/grease before applying epoxy.

What are the disadvantages of epoxy glue?

Here are some of the disadvantages of epoxy glue:

  • Epoxy glue is very hard to remove. If it’s used in the wrong place, you may need to use a grinder or file to get the bond off. This can leave scratches and scuffs on your material that would be better left untouched.
  • Because of this, epoxy glue is not recommended for glass repairs. You won’t be able to get it off without damaging your glass if you ever need to disassemble it again.
  • Epoxy can cause silicone rubber and similar materials to harden and crack if it touches them. Use a different adhesive instead.
  • In some cases, epoxy glue can be brittle over time when exposed to certain environments like extreme temperature changes (hot summers and cold winters) or high impact use such as sporting equipment that gets knocked around frequently on the field. It usually stays flexible enough for household uses though!
  • Epoxy adhesive will discolor over time when exposed to UV rays from sunlight which can make it look old and worn out in just a few years depending on how much light hits it every day (in other words, outdoor tables are at higher risk than indoor ones!).

How permanent is epoxy glue?

Epoxy glue is a permanent bond, which can be good or bad depending on your project. If you’re fixing a treasured heirloom, that’s probably good.

If you’re building a prototype, it’s less ideal because you’ll have to destroy the joint in order to separate the parts.

However, epoxy is very strong and impervious to water, making it the best adhesive for metal. It’s also an excellent adhesive for wood projects that will be exposed to water or moisture.

And while super glues are better than epoxy for bonding plastic together because they dry so quickly, epoxy is still a very strong option if you’re willing to wait longer for drying time (up to 24 hours).

Epoxies are also great adhesives for glass and ceramic materials because of their strength and resistance to heat.


We hope this article has given you a better idea of how epoxy works. Armed with a deeper understanding, you can make more informed decisions about whether to use epoxy in your next project.

When selecting an adhesive, it’s important to consider the properties of each one and what they can and cannot do. For example, while epoxy is great for repairing broken glass, it’s not suitable for fixing wood together.

By comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different adhesives, you should be able to choose the right one for your needs.

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Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

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