An Introduction to Adhesives

We all use glue at some point in our lives, whether on an almost daily basis or just once or twice every few years, but how much do you actually know about this useful and omnipresent product?


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History of Glue

Glue has been around for thousands of years in one form or another – historians have found evidence that glue was used as far back as 8000 BC. Resin was often used as an early form of glue and was useful for attaching spear heads and securing other hunting aids and commonly used tools. Resin from birch trees was particularly useful and was widely utilised.

Types of Glue

There are countless types of glue, each serving a unique purpose and used to stick different types of material. Here are some of the more commons types of glue.

Craft glue – This is usually made from PVA and is widely available in craft shops and toy shops. It’s great for sticking paper, card and other lightweight materials, such as embellishments and scraps of fabric. It’s ideal for craft projects, school projects and general lightweight adhesion. It is not generally suited to more heavy-duty tasks, and it does break down over time.


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Super glue – Super glue is useful for household jobs and is as strong as its name suggests. It’s handy for household repairs and minor DIY tasks. There are rumours that super glue was even used to temporarily seal wounds in World War 2, according to Popular Mechanics website.

Wood glue – This is used to bond two pieces of wood and is often used in furniture manufacture. It’s also useful for small jobs around the home, such as repairing door panels, fixing wooden chairs, re-attaching embellishments that have fallen off and other tasks where nails aren’t suitable.

Metal glue – This is used to stick metal together and has many uses, including craft projects and general household repairs. Reputable retailers such as offer a wide variety of metal bonding adhesive products suitable for a range of projects.

Wallpaper paste – A very wet glue used for sticking wallpaper to walls, this is readily available from DIY stores and is supplied either ready-mixed or as a dry mix to be combined with water. As the glue dries, it forms a strong bond between the wallpaper and the wall.

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