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What Are the Different Types of Polystyrene Glue?

By Jean Marie Asta
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a few different types of polystyrene glue, an adhesive form of polystyrene. One type is used in disposable products like diapers. Another type is used for construction projects. Both types have unique properties that make them popular for their intended purposes.

One type of polystyrene glue is used in disposable products. This type is used in diapers, incontinence pads, feminine pads, or bed pads. Polystyrene adhesive is heated to melting before application, and used to join components, but can be easily disposed later. The substance has a sufficient amount of resistance to the property of creep, very high strength of bonds, and a controllable viscosity that allows for a wide range of elastic attachment, extrusion and even sprayed adhesive application as a polystyrene foam spray adhesive. Articles made with this type of polystyrene adhesive usually consist of a woven or unwoven fabric, sheet, tissue, or elastic band adhered to a certain substrate using this glue.

Another type of polystyrene glue is used for a wide range of construction purposes. The adhesive can be found in the construction of insulated walls. In addition to the walls consisting of furring strips, polystyrene boards and chicken wire that is stapled to these same polystyrene boards, polystyrene glue is applied to the board’s butt joints and sealed. The process of stapling and gluing can be time-consuming, but ensures that all the insulation adheres and stays together in the construction of the wall. Polystyrene glue and boards are thermally expansive, so they can be put together in small pieces for easier replacement.

Most often, polystyrene glue is made of a styrene monomer that is an effective solvent in combination with polystyrene. The monomer consistency in the glue can range between 80% and 99% while being modified with a retarder, most often stearate. Polystyrene glue has solvent retardant qualities, which adapt to etched joints, marred, and non-continuous surfaces. The glue is fluid and can be used by dropper, syringe, or dipping. Upon application of the glue, it has surface tension that is low and flows between 1 and 2 inches of the application location.

Polystyrene is a hard plastic that is inexpensive to make and is used for many common objects in everyday life. It is part of group of polymers called vinyl polymers, consisting of hydrocarbon chains of substantial length with carbon atoms attached to every other phenyl group. Toy cars and model airplanes can be made of polystyrene, and insulation and foam packaging consists of polystyrene in foam form. The substance can also be used in rubbers and adhesives because of its flexibility and chemical properties. Most often, this glue is used for construction purposes, in individual parts of a house like ceiling tiles, or disposable items like diapers.

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Discussion Comments

By cedar99 — On Oct 14, 2012

I found this article very interesting. Do you know the names of any of these commercial polystyrene adhesives?

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