TUCoPS :: Truly Miscellaneous :: suprglue.txt

Cyanoacrylate - the world's most powerful glue


                         World's Most Powerful Glue
                  First Published by Information Unlimited
  Transcribed to the electronic media for you by Thallion of WUFO MCMXCIV.


        Glues, or adhesives, have always been based on such natural
products as horse hoofs and plant dextrans, (gums). These glues left much
to be desired and in many cases were replaced by purely chemical materials
like epoxies. These, however, require the use of two components, mixing
etc. and are in many ways messy and inconvenient.

        Eastman Chemical Company some years ago synthesized a simple
chemical called Methyl-alpha-Cyanoacrylate. This colorless liquid belongs
to a class of organic chemicals called acrylate or acrylic monomers.

                      CH O-C-C
                        3    |   2

        Workers with this material were expecting to convert it into a
polymer (like fiberglass) by reacting it with a catalyst. They were
surprised to find, however, that it was very reactive and polymerized very
readily in the presence of a little oxygen.

        |  O        |  O       |  O       |  O       |  O
        |          |         |         |         |  
       HC--C-OCH   HC--C-OCH  HC--C-OCH  HC--C-OCH  HC--C-OCH
        |      3    |      3   |      3   |      3   |      3
        CN         CN        CN        CN        CN

                           The acrylate polymer.
        This polymer proved to be an extremely effective adhesive, so
powerful that it could bind together almost any two materials (such as
tal etc.) The adhesive could be stored in tubes as
the monomer and drops could be placed anywhere to polymerize and leave a
very tough bond.

        Because the final adhesive is a polymer, the bond formed is
extremely though. Single drops of the monomer have been able to support
the weight of elephants. The glue is so powerful that care has to be taken
to avoid getting any between the fingers, as it is almost impossible to get
them apart. This material comes under many tradenames, including Eastman


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