Super glue and Epoxy are common adhesives that we use regularly in our homes, offices, and even in industries. Highly effective, super glue and epoxy give extremely strong bonds in multiple applications making them quite popular with many people.
However, super glue and epoxy have some differences in applications and functionality. In this article, we are going to discuss the properties, advantages, and differences of using super glue and epoxy for different applications to help you make the best choice of which adhesive to use for each application.
Differences of Epoxy vs Super Glue
Both epoxy and super glue are quite excellent adhesives that provide a strong bond when applied on multiple surfaces. There is no big difference in the bonding abilities of super glue and epoxy. The major difference between the two comes in the curing stage. As such, you may want to use epoxy in one application and not superglue and vice versa.
To begin with, Super glue is made of a single component referred to as cyanoacrylate. When this component is exposed to air it hardens bonding with the surface it has been applied to. On the other hand, epoxy is used in combination with another component commonly referred to as a hardener before you can apply it to any surface. When you mix epoxy with a hardener, a chemical reaction takes place which makes the epoxy harden. This gives you a limited time to use the epoxy when working on a surface and that’s the biggest difference between super glue and epoxy.
Even though both super glue and epoxy provide strong and durable bonds, the manner of application is quite different. This requires careful analysis before you can settle on which adhesive to use for your application.
Qualities of Epoxy
- Epoxy has a better structural strength making it an ideal choice for cementing or binding gaps between two separate surfaces.
- Epoxy can maintain its strong bond even when encountering resistance from different angles. As such, a bond formed with epoxy can be able to withstand heavy weights and pressure without giving way easily.
- You can purchase epoxy as putty as it is extensively used in the industrial sector. The putty form of epoxy has other uses apart from being used as an adhesive. It can also be used as a filler to seal cracks, holes, and gaps. Once it has cured or hardened, all you need to do is to sand it down forming a strong smooth surface finish.
Advantages of using epoxy
- Epoxy cures quickly. It bonds quickly and within 5 minutes has hardened on the surface it was applied on.
- Most epoxy adhesives give a crystal clear finish after drying making it ideal to use on almost any surface.
- It is easy to clean a surface with epoxy adhesive.
- Epoxy is water-resistant and solvent resistant. You can therefore use it on surfaces that will be exposed to water and other solvents without worrying much.
- It is an excellent choice for filling cracks and gaps.
- It can bond on glass, tiles, wood, plastic, ceramics, and many other surfaces.
- Epoxy has very high bond strength and can withstand pressures of up to 3300 PSI.
- It is also flexible. You can sand and paint on it once it has cured.
Disadvantages of epoxy
- It emits fumes that are harmful if inhaled.
- You will need to use protective clothing when handling it.
- It takes a little bit of time to prepare with a hardener before using it.
Qualities of super glue
On the other hand super glue is a quick fix adhesive that comes in handy for doing minor repairs at home or the office. However, unlike epoxy, super glue has lower shear strength and can therefore withstand high pressures when compared to epoxy. The other qualities of super glue include:
- It can only be used in bonding smaller items or areas.
- It provides a crystal clear finish once it has cured.
Advantages of using super glue
- It is easily available in small and affordable packages.
- It dries quickly hardening in less than 2 minutes.
- It forms a crystal clear finish once it has dried.
- It is resistant to moisture and extreme temperature changes.
- Repairs made with super glue are invisible.
- It comes ready for use without the need of mixing it with anything else.
Disadvantages of using super glue
- It cannot withstand high pressure and is therefore only ideal for doing minor repairs.
- Super glue sets quite fast and if not careful can stick to your fingers, skin, or clothes and is hard to remove.
How strong is the epoxy bond?
When comparing the available adhesives in the market currently, epoxy has proven to provide the strongest bond of all. Once it has cured fully on a strong item or surface, epoxy can be able to withstand pressures of up to 3000 PSI.
Is Epoxy Better than Super Glue?
Well, there is no straight way of comparing epoxy to super glue head to head. However, it is important to note that both these adhesives provide extraordinary bonds. Moreover, each is well suited for a particular purpose that the other can’t deliver as much. Therefore, it is safe to say that they are some situations where super glue will serve better than epoxy and vice versa.
How long will the epoxy bond last?
As we discussed in the qualities of epoxy above, it is resistant to water and freezing temperatures. Therefore if it has bonded on the right surfaces, you can trust it to last for a long time. It can last the lifetime of the material it has bonded to.
In conclusion, both super glue and epoxy are excellent adhesives and do well when applied on the right surfaces. Although epoxy requires some preparation before use, it is an ideal choice when dealing with surfaces or items that are likely to bear some pressure. Superglue on the other hand gives you a quick fix when you need things fixed up quickly although it is not an excellent choice for surfaces that are likely to face some pressure. Therefore, you will need to weigh your options and the outcome you are expecting before settling to use epoxy or super glue.