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The adhesive industry has many technical terms that can be difficult to understand if you are new to the business. Words such as cyanoacrylate and acronyms like PUR can leave you frustrated when purchasing adhesive.

Here is a summary of some common terms you might encounter to make navigating the world of adhesives much easier.

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A substance for bonding, affixing or holding things together.


Ambient Temperature

The temperature surrounding the object to be glued.


Anti-Seize Compounds

Anti-seize compounds are applied onto metal parts to prevent them from seizing. They ensure entire systems stay functional, as they lower the friction encountered by the metal parts.

Most anti-seize compounds can withstand extreme operating conditions, such as high pressures and temperatures. They are also resistant to corrosion and come in various types for multiple industries, such as food, packaging or marine.



The attachment of an adhesive to a surface or surfaces.



A substance added in small amounts to an adhesive to speed up the cure time.



Another term for adhesive.



Curing refers to the chemical process in which a material hardens. It can occur because of cross links forming between polymer chains. Other possible ways a material can harden include exposure to heat or UV light, and with the addition of special chemicals.

Different glues have different curing processes. For example, cyanoacrylate glues cure almost instantly the moment they come into contact with a surface. PUR glues, however, will only cure when they come into contact with moisture.



Cure Temperature

The ideal temperature for the maximum cure to take place for a specific adhesive.


Cyanoacrylate Glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is used to describe quick-bonding super glues. They are also commonly known as Crazy or Super Glue, and they can be used to bind anything from metal to plastic.

Traditional glue is water-based, while cyanoacrylate glue is made of an acrylic resin. As a result, cyanoacrylate glue can only bond to a surface when there is moisture present, and will not work on dry surfaces.


Epoxy Glue

Epoxy is an organic compound made up of chains of carbon linked to other elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen. It is a broad term used to refer to the epoxy resins that appear after curing.

Epoxy adhesives have a wide range of applications, as they can withstand heat, water and harsh chemicals. They also come in either one-component or two-component systems, which are differentiated by the variations in their curing temperatures.


Fugitive Glue

Fugitive glue is a technical term for credit card glue. It is a unique glue that does not leave behind any residue when it is removed. You may recognize it as the clear strip of sticky gummy on the back of new credit cards.

Most fugitive glues set quickly, so the user does not have to worry about the bound pieces falling apart. They are most commonly used in promotional materials, such as flyers, to bind product samples, such as perfume or shampoo.


Gap Fill 

This is the ability of an adhesive to fill the space between materials and hold them in place.


Heat Resistant Glue

Heat resistant glue is designed to withstand extreme temperatures. They are also available in many types, and each has different properties, such as high strength, low viscosity and quick setting times.

The most common heat resistant glues are epoxy glues. They can resist temperatures up to 250 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit. Other heat resistant glues include silicone and UV based glues.


Open Times

When you use hotmelt or glue, you should know the open time of the adhesive. This refers to the time you have once you apply the glue before it bonds.


PUR Glue

PUR stands for polyurethane. It was first invented in the 1930s as an inexpensive alternative to the more-costly rubber.

Since then, numerous applications for PUR have been developed. These include airplane finishes and adhesives. PUR adhesives are commonly used in packaging because of their flexibility and superior strength.


RTV Silicone

RTV silicone stands for room temperature vulcanizing silicone. It is available in a wide range of harnesses, from 15 Shore to 40 Shore. The vulcanizing term refers to a process that is used to give the glue desirable properties, such as flexibility. This process is done by mixing rubber polymers with additives, such as sulfur.

Common uses for RTV silicone include making molds and prototypes of models. This is because RTV is flexible and resistant to tear. Additionally, it can also be used as a sealant that can be sprayed, brushed or pumped onto a surface.



The surface to which an adhesive is to be applied for bonding.



The stickiness or ability of an adhesive to affix to an object.



This is the ability of an adhesive to stick to a surface immediately upon contact.

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