What are the Best Methods for Curing Adhesive?

Keith Koons
Keith Koons

There are several different methods that are used for curing adhesive and each type of epoxy or resin needs to be handled differently. Some forms of liquid adhesive require absolutely no intervention during the curing process, while others set faster in a moist environment. Polymer and plastic adhesives normally require heat and pressure to cure properly. It is also important to note that the number one rule when dealing with adhesive bonding is to carefully follow the enclosed instructions.

Most contact adhesives available on the market will set naturally if kept under constant pressure for an extended period of time. In some cases, pressure should not be immediately applied and the user should check the instructions before implementing this method. The total adhesive bonding process will vary between brands, but it normally takes anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for each to set properly.

Other forms of adhesives require the presence of moisture in order to set properly. This type of curing adhesive goes through a chemical transformation once moisture is introduced to the compound, and the time required to set can vary greatly from one to another. In many cases, these compound adhesives will not set at all unless the environmental conditions are perfect.

A polymer adhesive is used to bond different types of plastics and other synthetic materials together. Most applications will require heat in order to activate the curing adhesive, but the relative temperature and duration vary between materials. In some cases, these are also called hot adhesives and they can be applied with a glue gun or other instrument that regulates the temperature.

Some forms of curing adhesive require two different compounds to be mixed together in order to start the bonding process. When combined, these agents will often begin to bond immediately and the user may have a very short period of time to apply the compound. In some cases, moisture will accelerate the process as well.

If for any reason the curing adhesive does not bond as advertised, it should be discarded or returned to the store of purchase. In many situations, the epoxies have a very limited shelf life and it is often difficult to read the date since the type is in very fine print. Curing adhesive that is exposed to excess heat or moisture could also set naturally within the package, so this is not an item that should be bought in advance.

One of the most important aspects of using any curing adhesive is for the user to thoroughly read the instructions. Many similar brands use completely different methods of application, and any variance used could result in the compound not bonding at all. Most manufacturers have basic instructions on the adhesive packaging with extended details on their website.

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