installing tiles

Understanding the Types of Construction Adhesives

The construction industry has benefited from some of the best materials and technological innovations in recent years. One element that has changed is the technique of joining the materials used in construction. In the past, these were solely joined using hardware such as nails, screws, and nuts that relied on friction adhesion. Currently, most contractors are leaning towards bonding systems. These are the best choice for fastening some of the synthetically manufactured materials used for construction, such as composites and plastics.

Other bonding system products such as expanding wood glue or adhesives are used on traditional wooden materials in the UK and other countries. Several bonding systems now exist for the construction sector. One aspect that should inform your choice of a bonding system is the environment you are using it in. For exterior woodwork, for instance, you should get a system with exceptional water resistance and one that is easy to clean.

Here are your construction adhesive alternatives that could improve your construction’s strength and look.

Polyurethane Adhesive

This is an adhesive activated by moisture and will naturally swell when it dries. It dries quickly to create a strong bond between your construction materials, is waterproof, and sands easily when dry. The bond strength of polyurethane adhesives is at least 3400 psi. When using polyurethane glue, using PPE is essential since it cannot be washed from your skin once it dried except by abrasive cleaners that will have a detrimental effect on your skin. Polyurethane adhesives work on wood with a moisture content of at least 25%, stone, porous ceramics, and metals other than stainless steel.

Epoxy Adhesive

This comes in two parts: a hardener and a resin.  The parts are liquid and generate a chemical reaction when mixed that causes the hardening of the epoxy. There are different curing times for epoxy construction adhesives. In general, those that take a longer time to cure are stronger compared to quick-drying ones. Though costly, epoxy adhesives have bond strengths of 2500-3000 psi and can be cleaned using a liquid thinner, acetone, or alcohol when smeared.

Hot Melt Adhesives

hot-melt adhesive

These have been used in the industrial sector for ages, but have only recently become an option for construction. Unlike moisture-cured alternatives, hot melt adhesives will not foam and thus require no clamping. The setting time of the adhesive is approximately thirty seconds. It can be used on non-porous and porous surfaces and has the same water resistance as polyurethane adhesives. Hot melt adhesives are nonetheless not as strong as the latter.

Contact Cement

This is used for binding veneer and laminates to plywood. It comes in water and solvent-based versions that can be brushed on the surfaces to be bound. You cannot reposition the pieces you have bound once the contact cement is spread on them; therefore, you need to be careful. You will use a rubber roller to press the surfaces together to get a strong bond.

With the above materials, you are guaranteed of a strong bond between the materials you will use in your construction project. While there are several stores now dealing with these adhesives, you cannot afford to simply settle for the cheapest one. Get your adhesives from a supplier with the best quality products to guarantee their efficacy.

Scroll to Top