You may not be familiar with the term, but epoxy is a type of glue. It is used to bond two materials together. Epoxy can be found in many industries such as construction, automotive, and aerospace.
Epoxy is ideally suited for these industries because it has an excellent combination of strength and resistance to heat when cured correctly.
So, you may be wondering, what makes epoxy better than regular old glue? The answer lies in the curing process.
Is epoxy stronger than glue?
If you’re in a hurry, go with glue. Glue is a generic term for adhesives that use water to cure and activate the product. Glues can be strong, but not as strong as epoxy; they also have a shorter shelf life and can weaken over time.
On the other hand, glue is easier to work with and doesn’t require mixing or precise measurements; it’s also cheaper than epoxy.
Epoxy is a two-part adhesive formula made of resin and hardener. When the two parts are mixed together, they chemically react to form an extremely strong bond capable of sticking metal, plastic, and even wood together.
While epoxy forms incredibly strong bonds under ideal conditions, it has some shortcomings that should be considered before you reach for it:
- Epoxy can actually be brittle when it cures—and this brittleness makes it more susceptible to failure when subjected to shock or vibration (think vehicle engines).
- It typically takes longer for epoxy to set up than it does for glue—and once you mix them together you have about 10 minutes of working time before the mixture starts curing into its final strength.
- Once hardened epoxies are difficult (if not impossible) to remove from skin or clothing.
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Should I use epoxy or glue?
If you’re bonding oil- or water-based surfaces and need a clear, strong bond that dries fast, then it seems like epoxy should be your go-to glue.
But on the other hand, if you’re joining two porous materials with a large gap, then PVA is likely the better choice. Making the right decision depends on several factors:
- The surface of your substrates: If both surfaces are smooth, clean, and nonporous, then epoxy will often be the best choice (otherwise known as a “structural adhesive”).
- Open time: How much time do you have to apply your product? PVA glue can take up to an hour to set; epoxies cure in minutes.
- Setting time: How long do you need before you can walk away from your project? Epoxies cure in hours; PVAs set in days.
- Working life: Would you rather mix more epoxy after a few minutes or apply more PVA glue after 20 minutes?
- Clear finish needed?: Do you want a clear finish that won’t affect the appearance of what you’re gluing? With “crystal clear” PVAs available today, this is less of an issue than ever before.
Can I use epoxy as glue?
The short answer is, “No.” Epoxy is not a good glue replacement.
So, what is epoxy? Epoxy comes in two components: the resin and the hardener. The two are mixed together to form an exothermic chemical reaction that cures into a solid plastic adhesive.
It is this chemical reaction that makes epoxy much stronger than normal glues (like Super Glue or carpenter’s glue).
Because of its strength and durability, it is used for many applications where a strong bond or repair is needed.
Because of its strength and rigidity, however, it does have some limitations when compared to glues. Primarily, epoxies are not flexible; they are very rigid when cured and can crack if flexed too much after curing (or in extreme cold).
They also don’t do well with high heat. For example, if you try to use it to fix your broken coffee mug, you will discover that it cannot take boiling-hot water and might become unglued if left on a hot stovetop (though some epoxies might be able to withstand these conditions depending on their makeup).
Which is better epoxy or Gorilla Glue?
At the end of the day, both epoxy and Gorilla Glue can be used as strong, reliable adhesives. However, Gorilla Glue is generally a better choice for woodworking projects because it’s more forgiving to use in larger quantities and it isn’t as susceptible to crazing.
In all other situations, epoxy is likely going to be your best bet. It’s stronger and cures much more quickly than Gorilla Glue.
This makes it the better option when you have to join materials that are under tension since you won’t have to wait very long before being able to apply pressure to them again.
Epoxy is also great for objects that will spend a lot of time submerged in water or exposed to harsh conditions like extreme heat or cold.
How long does epoxy glue last?
When used properly, epoxy glue can last for more than twenty years. The main factor that contributes to longevity is the setting environment. If you use the glue in a cool and dry area, it’s likely to last for decades.
Is epoxy really strong?
So, is epoxy stronger than glue? In most cases, the answer is yes. Epoxy tends to be stronger (and more workable) than both silicone and acrylic adhesives; it’s also more durable than Gorilla Glue. But there are some instances where super glue reigns supreme.
What is the strongest adhesive in the world?
The strongest adhesive in the world is a glue secreted by barnacles. It’s so strong, that it can hold up to 800x or 900x its body weight on the bottom of rocks and ships.
Scientists have studied this glue sheath to see what makes it so powerful, and they determined that it’s made up of two proteins: one that’s starchy, and one that’s fibrous.
The sticky starchy protein anchors the barnacle to a surface, while the fibrous protein holds fast and keeps the starchy portion from slipping when pressure is applied. The result is an amazingly strong bond stronger than steel!
That being said, you’re probably going to want something else for your next woodworking project or boat repair job. While we love barnacles, their glue probably won’t hold up as well as you’d like on anything besides rocks at sea level.
What is the strongest construction adhesive?
Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive is a versatile premium grade, moisture-curing, polyurethane-based, construction adhesive.
Loctite PL Premium provides superior adhesion to most common construction materials. It can be used for interior or exterior projects and is 3X as strong as ordinary construction adhesives. It is also waterproof, paintable, and cures even in cold temperatures.
Loctite PL Premium is VOC compliant and contains no chlorinated solvents or water.
- Versatile – bonds to wood, stone, concrete, and more
- Moisture cure – bonds when wet or frozen
- 3x stronger than ordinary construction adhesives
In conclusion, epoxy is a better choice than glue in most situations. It bonds as well as superglue, but is easily removed with a solvent like acetone or paint thinner.
When you use it to adhere to wood joints or broken vases, the bond will stand up to stress and humidity.
And because epoxy comes in two-part formulas that blend into a clear, glassy substance when mixed together, it will make your projects look professional and polished.