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Most glue sticks are designed to glue paper and card together, and are not as strong as some liquid based variants. They can be used for craft and design, office use and at school. There are now permanent, washable, acid-free, non-toxic, solvent free, and dyed (e.g. to see where the glue is being applied easier) varieties. These are most commonly used today.
In 1969 the German company Henkel invented the glue stick after studying the "twist-up ease" and convenience of lipstick applicators. The product was released under the Pritt Stick brand. By 1971 the Pritt Stick was being sold in 38 countries, by 2001 in 121. The first solvent-free, multipurpose glue stick that could be used for other materials (e.g. wood, glass and some plastics) was the "PowerPritt", which was put on the market in 2003. There is also a "Pritt X", launched in 2010.
Glue sticks are made by many brands and each may have different features to it. Various brands, such as Scotch, UHU, Kores, Giotto, Snopake, and Bostik U-Stick make glue sticks. Generic brands like M&G also manufacture glue sticks, utilising the twist action.
Glue sticks can come in many sizes, the most common being 8g, 25g, 36g, and 40g.
Glue stick compositions are often proprietary, and vary by manufacturer and type. One style contains the following ingredients: 
|Water||40%||Evaporates to allow glue to dry.|
|Acrylic polymer||40%||Polymerizes to solidify dried glue.|
|Sodium stearate||10%||This soap helps emulsify the acrylic, and lubricates the glue to apply smoothly.|
|Polyethylene glycol||3%||Keeps dried glue somewhat moist and flexible.|
|Polyoxyethylene monooctylphhenyl ether||2%||Emulsifier.|
|N-Vinylpyrrolidone polymer||2%||Polymerizes as glue dries.|
|2-amino isobutanol||2%||pH buffer, to neutralize acid.|
|Sodium hydroxide||0.3%||Alkali, to keep stick pH above 10.|
The reportable composition of a Pritt Stick is as follows:
|Name||EC number||CAS number||% content||Risk Statements|
|CAPROLACTAM-||203-313-2||105-60-2||1 - 5%||Xn;R20/22 Xi;R36/37/38|
|HYDROGEN PEROXIDE SOLUTION ...%||231-765-0||7722-84-1||< 1%||O;R8 C;R34|
|SODIUM HYDROXIDE||215-185-5||1310-73-2||< 1%||C;R35|
Other brands are using e.g. polyvinylpyrrolidone as the glue substance.