We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Some Different Types of Adhesives?

By Lynne William
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Adhesives are natural or synthetic compounds, usually in liquid or paste form, used to bond two objects together. Depending on how they form a bond, adhesives can be categorized as pressure-sensitive, reactive, drying, contact, light-curing, or thermoplastic. Their strength and the way they react with other substances can vary widely, so it's always wise to use the correct glue for the job.

Pressure-sensitive adhesives come in both permanent and removable forms. Examples of the permanent variety are the foil tape used in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, equipment safety and warning labels on machinery and appliances, and to secure interior trim work in vehicles. They may be removable when first applied, with the adhesion strength building over the course of hours or even days.

Removable adhesives create a temporary bond and typically cannot support a substantial amount of weight. Common examples of temporary pressure-sensitive adhesives are masking tape, sticky notes, and pricing labels. They are also used in the manufacture of transdermal drug patches such as those for smoking cessation, birth control, and the prevention of motion sickness. This type of glue is also a component of ordinary self-sticking bandages like Band-Aids®.

Reactive adhesives are applied in liquid form as a very thin layer. They are best used to attach items that must be completely flush and don't require the adhesive to fill a gap between them. The reactive type of adhesive is well suited for gluing together wood, many plastics, metal, and glass. This type of glue usually has a fast rate of strength build-up along with a very quick set time.

Drying adhesives are a combination of polymers and solvents. The adhesive hardens as the solvent evaporates. Ordinary white glue is one of the most widely recognized adhesives of this type, along with rubber cement. Creating a relatively weak bond, drying glues are mostly suited for household, school, and craft use.

Contact adhesives are unusual in that they must be applied to both surfaces to be attached, and then allowed a period of time to dry before the objects can be pressed together. Neoprene and natural rubber are two common examples. Applications include attaching soles to shoes and affixing Formica® to counter tops.

Light-curing adhesives set rapidly, some as quickly as in a single second. These extremely strong glues are capable of bonding dissimilar materials, such as plastics to glass, and they are able to maintain integrity under extremes of temperature. Light-curing adhesives are used almost exclusively in industrial settings such as manufacturing, aerospace applications, electronics, medical equipment, and telecommunications.

Thermoplastic adhesives are also called hot-melt glues. As the name implies, these glues are applied hot then harden as they cool. Able to adhere a wide variety of different materials, thermoplastic glues are used primarily for homemade crafts using a hot-glue gun for dispersal.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon42844 — On Aug 24, 2009

thanks.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.