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bootneck

are there 'good' and bad CA superglues?

34 posts in this topic

As the heading refers; I am trying to find out if all CA/superglues are the same and as good as each other, or if there are particular types to get or avoid.  I like to do scratchbuilding and recently I have started to cast some parts in resin, which then need additional pieces of styrene sheet or rod being attached to continue the build.  These pieces are quite small, the rod and sheets tend to be around 10 thou (0.25mm) thick and therefore can be too small for two-part epoxies and suchlike.

 

The problem I am currently finding is that the gluing of the plastic to the resin can be hit and miss.  Once day everything sticks instantly but another day the piece will separate after a few hours just by the slightest catch with the tweezers etc.  I do clean both pieces and sometime abrade both the resin and the plastic pieces before adhering them.

 

Mike

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Good question Mike, its something I'd like to know too .

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I would have expected a positive response from all those experts out there by now.  Perhaps I've posted this in the wrong forum?

 

Mike

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Yes. The cheap ones generally perform more poorly.

 

They can also be affected by ambient humidity.

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I'm not an expert, but I've had decent results with Hot Stuff Super T and Zap, both the thin types. Tamiya gel and supermarket/stationery shop glue have been less good.

 

Things that often make it go wrong: Applying too much, applying glue and then bringing the parts together, using tools to apply which have old glue on them. I try to fit the parts together and then apply glue with e.g. a bent wire or a sharpened paperclip and let it wick into the join. I really like using accelerant since I tend to have trouble holding parts dead still for long enough and movement weakens the join.

 

The glues also have limited shelf life - I think they're OK when they're sealed but once you've opened the tube the seal never seems to be perfect. If I notice the glue is a little thicker than it was I tend to relegate that tube for filling rather than gluing and get a new one.

 

Hope that helps,
 

Cheers,

 

Will

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I've also had mixed results. My favourite is Roket Odorless which is a bit too thin for some uses but doesn't throw a vapour which cripples my nasal area every time for days and I think possibly this means it doesn't give the fogging issue so badly either. One of the worst in this respect that I have tried is Gorilla which is cheapish and sticks OK but puts out horrendous white fogging which almost ruined our new Karndean flooring when I used it on a chair leg repair recently. Definitely don't get it anywhere near a model!

Shelf life is hard to gauge. They all go off after a while but the thin Roket seems, again, a bit better. I've tried keeping it in the fridge too which seemingly does little to extend the life of the glue or my marriage!

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I'm using a great one that my mate Stringbag gets from his suppliers for use in windows and uPVC work.  It's less than £2 per bottle, doesn't shrink, dries well, lasts ages and also sticks things together.  When you add the word "modelling" to any product, they multiply the price several-fold. :shrug:

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Used Roket, Zap and Locktite.

 

Found all 3 very good. A lot depends on the thickness of the glue and it is very difficult, I find, to determine which is best.

 

Locktite gel type I found very good especially fro building up strength behind the scenes.

 

Zap thin I found first class for PE although you have to be quick and accurate. Roket Rapid a little thicker than Zap thin and gives more time (not much). Found the Roket is much more reliable in that it performs the same every time. Zzap Thin I have found a bit temperamental.

 

On the Roket Oudourless I have not got it to work yet. Is there some secret.

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I have used several different brand super glues over the years, but I do not remember anyone to be superior to another. Now I buy gel type from Tesa because Tesa is simple to get here and is pricewise OK.

For the more common thinner type I use what they sell in "pound stores" (well it is Euro sores here...) not just because they are unbeatable cheap but also come in the small tubes (3g). I get a blister with 8 such tubes for 1.90 Euros here in Germany. One such tube with a brand name on will cost me more than the entire pack.

 

Before I used these packs I had the bigger bottles from several brands (20 g): I was unable to use any completely. First the glue sets around the bottle opening so it becomes more and more difficult to properly close it. Then the glue stared to became thicker and hardened in the bottle completely so I had to trow 30-50% away. Superglue ages and looses some of the bonding abilities the longer it is open to the air - or not properly closed. I kept the glue in the fridge but this did not prevent the process. The pound store glues do not have this issue because of the small packing. Sure - other brand superglue also come in the small tubes but at a much higer price. Fogging can be an issue with cheap glues but the ones I have (no-brand) are very good in deed. The bond is also not weaker than any other brand super glue I used before. frankly I do not see the point to go for bigger packing unless you really use lots of Superglue in a short time - but even then the pound shop price will be hard to beat.

 

When your superglue does not bond properly and gets loose after some time from your resin pieces you might find the problem in the resin and not the superglue. Mixing resins can be tricky. Even the 50/50 mixes should be done by a precise scale and not by eyeballing. If the parts are not mixed properly they maybe not harden completely and remain somewhat "oily". Superglue will not bond for long then.

 

Rene

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I've always struggled with CA and fear that I probably always will but once I figured out what you were suppose to do with that little tube that comes with ZAP it has got a lot easier.

 

My biggest problem is the inconsistent grab times, winds me right up! Sometimes I'll put a piece down with a little CA and it grabs instantly, normally when it not quite gone down in the right place. Then the next time I put it down it won't grab for ages and I have to sit there trying to hold it perfectly still for what feels like an age waiting for it to grab, if it grabs at all!! My latest attempt was trying to fit a PE wiring harness to an engine, couldn't get any stick what so ever so gave up and figured the detail would be lost under the cowling anyway.   :wall:

 

Certainly makes me appreciate all of the fine work I see others managing to pull off! :lol:

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Thanks everyone,

 

I would like to get a liquid superglue which is thin, mainly as this model build is of a container ship at 1:1200 scale.  Well that's what I hope it will be, eventually!

DSCF3030_800.jpg

 

This means that some of the parts will be extremely small and I think a thick glue or gel would require considerable cleaning/scraping around the glued pieces once joined.

DSCF3031_800.jpg

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The reason CA adhesives thicken up over time is that they absorb moisture from the air. From what I understand they bond by grabbing onto the water molecules present in or on just about everything ( which is why they stick your skin together so well).

 

It's also why sometimes a slightly larger blob of CA doesn't grab instantly - the CA is absorbing moisture to set and theres just a bit too much to set quickly ( or at least thats how I rationalise it!) , so if something isn't sticking - don't add more CA,  remove the part and wipe of the CA and try again with less.

 

I sue a lot of CA - as when mixed with Talc it's my filler of choice for just about all jobs - you can mix it thin or thick, it sets up quick and sands out well.

 

 

Cheers

 

Jonners

 

 

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I personnally use "Colle21" - big advantage is that it doesn't dry in the bottle, and bonds by pressing parts together.

Used along Tamiya liquid glue green cap it covers all my modelling needs.

 

Though I'm very tempted by testing Zap ^_^ too...

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3 hours ago, Mike said:

I'm using a great one that my mate Stringbag gets from his suppliers for use in windows and uPVC work.  It's less than £2 per bottle, doesn't shrink, dries well, lasts ages and also sticks things together.  When you add the word "modelling" to any product, they multiply the price several-fold. :shrug:

 

What is it called Mike? Or is it a riddle?

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13 minutes ago, bzn20 said:

 

What is it called Mike? Or is it a riddle?

 

I'm too thick for riddles... it's called SX Siroflex, medium viscosity, and I use the 20ml bottles, as anything more ends up being wasted as it absorbs all of Jon's moisture. :unsure:

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Thanks Mike. My Crystal ball is broken !

 

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4 hours ago, DannyB said:

I've always struggled with CA and fear that I probably always will but once I figured out what you were suppose to do with that little tube that comes with ZAP it has got a lot easier.

 

My biggest problem is the inconsistent grab times, winds me right up! Sometimes I'll put a piece down with a little CA and it grabs instantly, normally when it not quite gone down in the right place. Then the next time I put it down it won't grab for ages and I have to sit there trying to hold it perfectly still for what feels like an age waiting for it to grab, if it grabs at all!! My latest attempt was trying to fit a PE wiring harness to an engine, couldn't get any stick what so ever so gave up and figured the detail would be lost under the cowling anyway.   :wall:

 

Certainly makes me appreciate all of the fine work I see others managing to pull off! :lol:

 

On certain things Danny I use Power Drop Conditioning Pen. Think you can get it direct form PowerDrop but their site is down at present.

 

A felt tip which has conditioner seeping trough. Rub on one of the surfaces to be glued. Care is needed as it sets off the CA quickly. Also care as mentioned above not to apply to much CA as the conditioner will not work.

 

Also use a CA accelerator in the same way. Suspect that is the stuff in the Conditioner Pen above. A cotton bud with just a smidgen of accelerator on and wipe on the plastic or PE. Works well especially for rigging which is darn pain. Also a point best to abrade both plastic and PE very lightly and smoothly to give the CA some grip. On shiny plastic it is highly likely to fail.

 

It does have advantages CA that is. It is guaranteed to bring out the worst in temper and fruity language. It is even worse than being nagged at by she who cooks and nags. Cooking is brilliant :D

 

Laurie

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It is fascinating stuff CA but I do find that it is temperamental. Interestingly the acrid smell is, apparently at least in part sulphuric acid (or it might be sulphurous acid I am not certain) which is added to the acrylic monomer to stop it from hardening too quickly, that is why it smokes and gets hot on contact with organic materials (particularly cotton). Most accelerators include an alkali in their makeup which neutralises the acid and so allows the CA to polymerise almost instantly on contact with moisture in the air or the thing to be glued (Like skin as mentioned by Jonners). I have found that even a brand that I use regularly with good results will have off days when it doesn't set as well. Perhaps an atmosphere with low humidity slows the polymerisation?

 

I would say that, if you need quick setting then the use of an accelerator is a must and more important than the brand of superglue.

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I'm a big fan of Locktite as I used to be able to " acquire " it at work. However, since I retired over a year ago, my source and my last bottle have dried up.

 

 

Chris

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17 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

I'm a big fan of Locktite as I used to be able to " acquire " it at work. However, since I retired over a year ago, my source and my last bottle have dried up.

 

 

Chris

 

Chris B & Q do both the thin and the Gel. Plus being retired you get 10% on a Wednesday.  At least I do in Jersey.

 

Laurie

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Oh, I can get lots, just that now I have to buy it. No more " resource reallocation " from the plant.

 

Chris

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I'm a big fan of the Locktite gel, it seems to have a decent shelf life & be amenable to post stick handling. The best part is that its available at our local supermarket so I can buy it with the groceries. :)

Steve.

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I've not found much difference between cheap and expensive CA in terms of stickability, The main difference I've found is in viscosity, if that's the correct term. Some cheap versions advertised as 'thick' etc are just not not. This can lead to it not performing as you'd expect it to.

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1 hour ago, Digger1895 said:

I've not found much difference between cheap and expensive CA in terms of stickability, The main difference I've found is in viscosity, if that's the correct term. Some cheap versions advertised as 'thick' etc are just not not. This can lead to it not performing as you'd expect it to.

 

I have about 5 types I use. Fifferent manufacturers. Rocket Loctite and Zap. They all have different abilities. Some go off at a touch some give time others are thick yet go off quickly and vice versa.

 

Depends on what you are doing. Putting together some Airfix Soldiers the last few days. Not used for a while the Loctite Powerflex. Works well with resin as it fills in the joints. Once gone off it is tough. Also used to fill in the joins of the arms to body and similarly the head to shoulders. squeezed it on and used a hard cotton bu to smooth over. Much better job than a filler (providing you do not have to sand).

 

Mentioned earlier about Powerdrop Conditioner pen. apply to one surface before using c/a. This is the stuff.

 

http://www.cyberbondukonline.co.uk/ourshop/prod_1480198-Cyberbond-Conditioner-Pen-ActivatorPrimer-combination.html

 

 

Laurie

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