List of glues

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See adhesive for general discussion of glue.

This is a list of various types of glue. Historically, the term "glue" only referred to protein colloids prepared from animal flesh. The meaning has been extended to refer to any fluid adhesive.

There are many adhesive substances that are considered or commonly referred to as "glue".

Plant- and animal-based adhesives[edit]

Type Subtypes Source(s) Manufacture Chemistry Volatiles Safety Properties Shelf life Working time Setting Strength Solvents Uses Date
Roasted hydrocarbons Tar, pitch, and asphalt/ bitumen Made from plants (especially wood) or fossil hydrocarbons natural or artificial destructive distillation Hydrocarbon goo of no specific chemical formula Emits Volatile organic compounds, especially when heated health effects understudied (see Asphalt#Health and safety) dark, viscous, more flexible when heated Indefinite, may stiffen Indefinite Reversibly becomes more flexible and fluid when heated water-repellant, Sealant, hafting prehistoric
Mixed-protein glues[1] Casein glue Milk, limestone and brine Milk curd is mixed with alkalis non-toxic (preservatives excepted) Once wet, 6–7 hours. ~4 hours for softwood, 8 for hardwood; must be under pressure for >0.5-2 hrs tensile strength exceeds most woods, 2,200-3,00 pounds per square inch water-resistant, depending on alkalis used Woodworking, paper glue, fireproof laminates Medieval or earlier
Soybean glue As for casein glue, but using soy protein Soy protein is mixed with alkalis
Albumin glues (blood glues and egg albumin adhesive, EAA) blood (serum albumin) or eggs prehistoric
Gelatin glues hide glue, including rabbit-skin glue;

bone glue, and fish glue including isinglass

Animal connective tissue

and bones

hides are acid-treated, neutralized, and repeatedly soaked; the soaking-water is dried into chips hydrolyzed collagen Until it cools Thermoplastic. Somewhat brittle when set Water-soluble Cabinetmaking, bookbinding, lutherie, glue-size
Keratin glues Hoof glue and horn glue hooves of ungulates, animal horns Hooves or horns are fragmented, boiled into goo, and acidified partially- hydrolyzed keratin Until it cools Thermoplastic. Hardens as it cools, but does not become brittle Gluing and stiffening textiles, cabinetmaking, glass sealant
Fibrin glue human fibrinogen and human thrombin when two parts are mixed, they form fibrin 10–60 seconds converts to fibrin Medicine
Waxes Beeswax made by insects
Starch glues potato starch, rice glue, wheatpaste starches (plant energy-storage chemicals) Starch may be purified before being mixed with water; leaving gluten in makes a more permanent bond
Dextrin glues British gum, Coccoina usually derived from potato starch mid-19th century
Polysaccharide glues mucilage, agar, algin
Tree gums/resins Balsam (fir) resins, such as Canada balsam, Dammar gum, Gum Arabic (also called acacia gum), Mastic
Latex rubber cement

(cow gum)

latex, a coagulating plant fluid, also made synthetically latex is dissolved in an organic solvent organic solvent evaporates as it sets solvent may be hazardous; latex is an allergen
Methyl cellulose cellulose, a plant structural material, and methyl chloride heating cellulose with an alkali and reacting it with methyl chloride

Solvent-type glues[edit]

Solvent adhesives temporarily dissolve the substance they are gluing, and bond by solvent-welding material together with the re-solidified material.

Type Subtypes Source(s) Manufacture Chemistry Volatiles Safety Properties Shelf life Working time Setting Strength Solvents Uses Date
Ketones Acetone dissolves ABS plastic it is volatile
Polystyrene cement/Butanone/methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) dissolves polystyrene it is volatile Vapour is heavier-than-air and explosive. Toxic, neuropsychological effects. Rapidly absorbed through undamaged skin and lungs. Produces toxic ozone.[2]
Dichloromethane Dissolves: it is volatile, boiling at 39.6°C (103.3°F; 312.8K) Will also glue acrylic to wood.[3] Clear, waterproof, exterior grades exist.[4] 24 hours to set fully.[5]

Synthetic glues[edit]

Synthetic monomer glues[edit]

A tube of Super Glue cyanoacrylate
Type Subtypes Source(s) Manufacture Chemistry Volatiles Safety Properties Shelf life Working time Setting Strength Solvents Uses Date
Acrylonitrile synthetic monomer
Cyanoacrylate ("Superglue", "Krazy Glue") synthetic monomer
Methyl acrylate ("acrylic") synthetic monomer

Synthetic polymer glues[edit]

Thermoplastic polymers[edit]

Thermoplastic glues including hot-melt adhesives cure reversibly as they cool, like the gelatin and keratin glues listed above. They frequently don't emit volatiles unless overheated.

Type Subtypes Source(s) Manufacture Chemistry Volatiles Safety Properties Shelf life Setting Strength Solvents Uses Date
Ethylene-vinyl acetate synthetic polyethylene mixed with about 11% vinyl acetate
Polyolefins (polyethylene, polypropylene, etc.) synthetic thermosetting
Polyamides synthetic
Polyesters synthetic
Polyurethanes synthetic
Polycaprolactone synthetic biodegradable very low melting temperature, 40–60 °C (104–140 °F) and heat conductivity means it can be moulded by hand. Can be used to mould itself.
  • Styrene acrylic copolymer – e.g. "No More Nails"

Thermosetting polymers[edit]

Thermosetting glues or thermosets cure irreversibly by polymerization. The polymerization can be triggered by heat or other radiation, or high pressure or a catalyst/hardener may be added.

Type Subtypes Source(s) Manufacture Chemistry Volatiles Safety Properties Shelf life Working time Setting Strength Solvents Uses Date
Phenol formaldehyde resins (PF), also called phenolic resins Resorcinol glue, Para tertiary butylphenol formaldehyde resin synthetic resorcinol or similar is mixed with phenol to make a resin; cured by adding formaldehyde offgasses phenol and formeldehyde phenol and formeldehyde are toxic, PTBPF causes contact allergies Temperature-, UV-, and microbe-resistant. No gap-filling; joint must fit tightly. Brown in colour, sands off.[6] A few years, unmixed. Temperature-dependent. Will not cure at temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F).[6] Needs to be clamped Structural Water-soluble until set, waterproof after.[6] laminating plywood, especially for exterior use; woodworking
Urea-formaldehyde glue synthetic urea and formaldehyde offgasses urea and formeldehyde formeldehyde is toxic, urea is an irritant thermosetting
Polysulfides synthetic Will melt acrylic, polycarbonate, ABS and PVC plastic. Can be used to glue nylon, epoxy, and polyoxymethylene.[7]

By use[edit]


  1. ^ Bye, Carolyn N. (1990). "Casein and Mixed Protein Adhesives". Handbook of Adhesives. pp. 135–152. doi:10.1007/978-1-4613-0671-9_7.
  2. ^ Simon B.N. Thompson (Winter 2010). "Implications for cognitive rehabilitation and brain injury from exposure to Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK): a review" (PDF). Journal of Cognitive Rehabilitation. 28(Winter): 4–14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-01-21.
  3. ^ "Tensol 70 Glue | EVO-STIK Two Part Adhesive | Silmid".
  4. ^ "Chemical Bonding | Perspex Fabrication | UV & Solvent bonding, Tensol 70". IPFL.
  5. ^ "Gluing Acrylic | Acrylic". Retrieved 6 March 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Boat, Classic (2011-03-11). "Adhesives for Wooden Boats: Structural Glues". Classic Boat Magazine. Retrieved 2022-11-11.
  7. ^ "Marine Caulking & Adhesives". West Marine. Retrieved 2022-11-11.