What is good strong glue

Adhesives overview: which adhesive is good for what? | Tips

From all-purpose glue to superglue: There are many types of adhesives in the home.But do you really need so many different ones? And what should you generally pay attention to when gluing?

Regardless of whether you want to tinker with paper, glue Grandma's collecting cup or repair a wobbly wooden chair: There are special adhesives for this and other work. But which one is suitable for which material? Here is an overview of the most common adhesives, their advantages - but also their limits.

All Purpose Adhesive

Disadvantage: All-purpose glue does not adhere as strongly to plastics such as styrofoam or polyethylene (PE). It is also important to know that many all-purpose adhesives lose their adhesive strength in extreme heat or moisture: therefore only use them indoors.

Wood glue

Wood glue is good for repairs to wood. "Wood is a living material. It expands when it is warm and contracts when it is cold," says van Halteren. "A wood adhesive can absorb the resulting shear and shear stresses to a certain extent."

Wood glue: If children use it, it should be made on a water basis. (Symbol image) (source: blickwinkel / imago images)

Disadvantage: Some types of wood, such as oak, can discolour if they come into contact with wood glue.

Two-component glue

Disadvantage: The adhesive can only be used for a limited time. And it only reaches its final strength after a temperature-dependent curing time.


Disadvantage: Skin contact should be avoided at all costs. Sometimes a drop goes wrong and the fingers stick together. Over time, oils and skin moisture solve the problem. It goes faster with warm soapy water. After peeling, the affected areas of the skin should be well greased. If the adhesive gets into the eye, a doctor must be consulted immediately.

hot glue

It is popular among hobby craftsmen because it can be used for handicrafts and gluing many things. Hot melt glue sticks are heated in a glue gun, which then liquefy. The materials to be bonded should therefore withstand high temperatures without deforming or breaking off. Glass, wood, fabric and various plastics are therefore suitable for hot glue. It is not suitable for large-scale work. Even thermally conductive materials such as metal cannot be glued with it.

Hot glue gun: It can be used to glue different materials without any problems. (Source: BE & W / imago images)

Disadvantage: However, there is also a particular risk of accidents when working with a hot glue gun. If handled incorrectly, there is a risk of severe burns because the glue sticks are heated up to 200 degrees Celsius, explains Ludwig Popp, trainer at the DIY Academy in Cologne. "Anyone who comes into contact with it immediately has a terrible burn blister."

Contact adhesive

Disadvantage: Corrections are no longer possible due to the strong adhesive force.

Installation glue

It is always used when screwing, nailing, drilling and dowelling is not possible. For example, if you want to attach a towel rail to the tiles in the bathroom. Assembly adhesive is suitable for metal, ceramics or wood, but also as a sealant instead of silicone.

Disadvantage: Some assembly adhesives can only be used indoors.

What should you watch out for when gluing?

The same applies to all adhesives: They only adhere optimally to a well-cleaned, grease-free surface. "To do this, the surface can be wiped off with a cloth or kitchen paper and a little acetone, for example," recommends van Halteren. Under no circumstances should the surface be pretreated with nail polish remover. This contains solvents that impair the adhesion of the adhesive.

If you don't work at a workbench, you should use a smooth, hard-wearing surface when handling glue. "You also need a rag to pick up dirt and clean the tip of the tube or cartridge," advises Popp. A screw clamp should also be available for wood gluing work.

How dangerous are solvents?

Care must also be taken when handling adhesives with organic solvents. These evaporate during processing and allow the adhesive to set in the air. The released substances can put a strain on the mucous membranes, burn the eyes or scratch the throat. The alternative are solvent-free adhesives in which water takes over the function of the solvent. They bind a little slower, but stick just as well.

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