Cyanoacrylate Adhesives

by Ahmet Emek on January 14, 2023

Things to Know About Cyanoacrylate

Cyanoacrylate, such as Adhesive Guru, is a type of adhesive that is an acrylic monomer that turns into plastic once it has cured. There are many different family types for cyanoacrylate, including industrial, household, and medical, but they are all fast-acting and strong.  When a person uses this adhesive, they are starting with a liquid that then turns into a long chain that is solid and sturdy.

It is necessary to apply a thin layer of this adhesive, as that is the only way that the reaction of the liquid and the air will quickly produce a strong bond.  Thicker coats will not dry as fast, creating movement and a bond that is less than desirable.

One of the most common forms of cyanoacrylate is ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate or ECA, and many people refer to it as Super Glue or Krazy Glue.  Other types are methyl 2-cyanoacrylate, n-butyl cyanoacrylate, and 2-octyl cyanoacrylate, with the latter used mostly in the medical and veterinary fields.

6 Steps Everyone Must Take When Using Cyanoacrylate

It is essential that those who use any type of cyanoacrylates take caution before, during, and after the application process.  Anyone who does not follow these steps carefully may find themselves with a problem that is difficult to reverse.

Always Read the Instructions First
Before doing anything with a cyanoacrylate, it is essential for everyone to read the instructions for application, as well as what happens during the curing process and any potential cleanup.  These instructions will allow a person to apply this type of adhesive properly the first time without any accidents.

Always Work in an Area that Has Excellent Ventilation
Whenever adhesive is used, it is necessary only to use it in a well-ventilated area.  The reason for this is that the fumes can cause asthma to flare and other breathing issues can occur as well.  It is recommended to open a window, door, or even do the application process outside in the fresh air.

Always Open the Container Carefully
Some people are always in such a rush to get the container open after reading the instructions, that they forget that this adhesive can easily squirt out and get all over the place.  If that happens, the person using it can have a major problem on their hands, especially if it gets on their skin.

Always Wear Gloves
Speaking of hands, everyone should wear gloves when working with cyanoacrylate.  It is also recommended that people wear long sleeves and pants, so if any glue squirts out of the container, they do not need to worry about it getting on their skin and fusing body parts.

Always Close the Lid Tight After Using
Once a person uses cyanoacrylate, they may be so busy making sure that the adhesive is holding together what they used it on, that they forget to close the lid completely.  While this may not seem like a significant problem, it could be if the cyanoacrylate spills.  Plus, the adhesive could harden over a short period, making it useless the next time a person wants to use it.

Always Use Patience
Cyanoacrylate is not a product that anyone wants to rush through using, as one wrong move can cause more problems than a person would like to think about.  Therefore, it is crucial to use patience while applying it.  People should also be patient if they do get some of this adhesive on them, as it will take time to remove it properly without causing more damage.

How to Treat Problems that Occur with Cyanoacrylate

Cyanoacrylate is a poisonous substance, so it should never be swallowed, and caution should be used to ensure that it never gets onto skin.  If the adhesive does get onto any body parts, it is necessary to remove it as soon as possible.

Skin That Gets Stuck Together
If cyanoacrylate makes fingers stick together, or other skin on the body stick together, a person should wash that area with warm water immediately.  If two fingers are stuck together, a person can use a gentle back and forth motion to try to get them to separate, or they can apply a little vegetable or canola oil to see if that will help get things moving.  No one should ever try to peel off the adhesive, as that can cause a bigger problem with more than just the adhesive coming off.  Cyanoacrylate is designed to come off as soon as sweat is created underneath it, so when a person starts sweating, the glue will fall right off.

Adhesive That Gets onto Eyelids
No one should mess around if they manage to get cyanoacrylate onto their eyelids, as this is a real emergency.  While waiting for emergency personnel, flushing the eyes with cool water is an option if they are partially open.  If the eyes are already sealed shut, then there is nothing that can be done until a person is seen by a medical professional.  Most of the time, the eyelids will separate within one to four days.  The bigger problem occurs if the adhesive found its way to the eyeball, as it can damage the cornea and cause vision problems.

Adhesive That Gets Swallowed
It is tough to swallow cyanoacrylate, but it can happen if a person doesn’t open the container carefully and the adhesive squirts out at an unexpected moment.  This is an emergency, and while a call to poison control can be helpful, a person should probably go straight to the hospital for treatment.  The faster a person receives treatment, the faster their recovery will be.

Anyone who goes to the hospital should take the cyanoacrylate that they were using with them, as it can assist the medical professionals with knowing how to administer treatment.

Cyanoacrylate is just like many other adhesives, which is why everyone needs to use caution when they are around them.  When they are correctly used, they work wonderfully, but when mistakes are made, the results are less than ideal.


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