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Monday, 29 July 2013

Don't Get Stuck - picking out adhesives and glue. Part 1

**Getting the right glue for the right job is very important, so modelers need to know what is available.  Although this article will cover the main types of glue, the huge variety of glues from so many manufacturers means that you should always pay attention to the instructions on the particular product you are using.**

Types of Glue

The main types of glue that a modeler will need in their armoury are;
  • Polystyrene cement
  • Cyano acetate (‘super glue’) also known as cyanoacrylate (CA glue) 
  • Epoxy Resin
  • Clear ‘canopy’ glue
  • Gloss varnish
  • Clear rubber/silicone cement
  • PVA adhesive
  • White glue/woodworkers glue
  • and there is always a new one coming to the market

Polystyrene Cement

Polystyrene (poly) cement is only suitable for rigid polystyrene plastic.  It works by dissolving the surface of the plastic which then re-hardens.  If a bead of poly cement is put between two pieces of plastic, then both faces of the plastic dissolve and meld together so that when they harden they have formed a solid joint.  In effect, the two pieces have been welded together, so a very good bond is formed that is as strong as the plastic.

Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (‘Superglue’)

When this glue was introduced, it was advertised as instantly bonding almost anything to anything else and indeed it is very versatile.  The only substances that resist it seem to be certain soft plastics.  As such, it is very good for bonding hard plastics, resin and metals to each other, which makes it very useful on multi-media kits.  However, it not easy to use and should perhaps be avoided by novices and children.  It can be unforgiving, with the thin formulas curing in one or two seconds and often seeming to stick fingers to the kit much better than it sticks kit parts together. 
Click here for tips on storing Superglue

Watch for Part 2 Next week!

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