Powdered Glue Activates When Squished

Sometimes a hack needs something more than duct tape. Cyanoacrylate glue is great, if you don’t mind sticking your fingers together. But it doesn’t stick to everything, nor does it fill gaps. Epoxy is strong, but isn’t nearly as convenient. The point is, one type of glue doesn’t fit every situation, and that’s why you have to keep a lot of options.  [Syuji Fujii] of Japan’s Osaka Institute of Technology (and his colleagues) have a new option: a glue that goes on dry and sticks when squished.

According to New Scientist,  the researchers rolled spheres of a latex liquid in a layer of calcium-carbonate nanoparticles. The resulting spheres are a few millimeters across and pour easily. When put under pressure for a few seconds, the nanoparticles are pushed inside, and the sticky liquid contacts the surface. The source paper is also available if you want to read the gory details. Or you can cut right to the video below to see it in action.

If you don’t think glue is a good hacking material, you don’t know [Kevin Dady]. You can even glue wires if you really hate soldering, although we’d rather solder.

37 thoughts on “Powdered Glue Activates When Squished

  1. I always keep, as the article starts stating here, several types of glue around. WHat do you guys have handy? Just to know if I’m missing anything.
    I have cyano for large contact surface/quick repairs. I have cyano-activator for hobbies (foam planes basically)
    I have epoxy when I need to fill gaps or make a reinforcement around, and sometimes I use pieces of plastic with the epoxy to reinforce.
    I have the usual contact glue for plastic to plastic/rubber/etc in large surfaces
    And silicone for elastic unions where there are little-moving parts.

    What else do you guys use?

    1. I use two different epoxies, one fast settling (5min) and one that takes more time (30-40min). As i work with a lot of 3D-prints i also have always some Acetone (for ABS) and some Tetrahydrofuran for PLA around to directly “weld” plastics to eachother. (THF is the same stuff they use to glue PVC sheets, for example in pool/pond applications).
      For quick fixes i do like to have a hot glue gun around.

    2. Oh, also Loctite Hysol 1C, it is a whitish ceramic filled epoxy that can handle pretty high temps (149c) and is vacuum compatible. It is the equivalent of TorrSeal at a much, much cheaper price which is used in lots of labs.

      Also a generic not about epoxies, many of them are stronger if you bake to cure them instead of letting sit at room temperature to cure. So if what you are gluing can handle the heat it might be worth it for strength and cure time.

    3. What you have pretty much covers most things. Depends what you’re working with – PVC cement, wood glue et al are sometimes nice because they are made with one thing and one thing only in mind, but for me it’s usually quicker to reach for whatever is closest (which explains why my things fall apart or end up wrapped in duct tape!) :P
      Oh, and hot glue is often listed as a must have, but I have never really used it. I guess for mocking stuff up with cardboard or covering exposed wires it could come in handy.

    4. I use a lot of “Liquid Fusion” which is a clear polyurethane glue (like Gorilla Glue) that doesn’t foam up like the brown Gorilla does. Very good success with that. I tried some of that stuff that has the powder with it, but didn’t like it. Plus it all solidified in the tube quickly (even the tubes I had not opened). I am always tempted to try the UV cure glue you see on TV but have not.

    5. J-B Weld. Tougher and harder than regular epoxy. 4x the thermal conductivity too, and tolerates high heat. Great for gluing on heatsinks, like for high power LEDs. Baking makes it even tougher.

      1. No it doesn’t.

        JB Weld fails completely over around 255C. The properties of failure is crumbling gray-white powder and loss of adhesion.

        I learned of this by JB Welding a thermistor on my 3d printer hotend. When I started to print nylon, the thermal protection shut off the printer after 10 seconds in full power with loss of temp. Come to find out, the epoxy had crumbled away leaving the therm just hanging there (within the envelope of the kapton tape sleeve.

        But for applications under 220C, It’s probably safe and fine to use.

        1. Hehe. I suppose I should have qualified “tolerates high heat” with a number. You’re right. It’s good for 150C heat sink applications (heck of a lot better than hardware store grade stuff) but not good for higher heater temperatures. The manufacturer says it’s good to 260C, and to remove it you can heat to >315C. I can vouch for it surviving oil and engine block temperatures indefinitely (though that doesn’t usually go over 85C).

    6. cyano / epoxies / spray contact as per everyone else. but a favourite adhesive in work is branded Tigerseal or Sikaflex221 its an adhesive sealant, slightly thicker than bathroom sealant so fills gaps and is a bloody good adhesive. Generally used in the motor trade to stick trim onto cars, I have used the sikaflex to seal up a petrol tank before too and it didnt seem remotely bothered. lovely stuff.

      1. Is it removable on pvc? (So as to redo a fitting if I change my mind? ) I want to dry fit some pvc and seal the part of the joint that is visible (visible on the outside).

    7. Have you ever tried Cyano and Baking Soda?? Put some Cyano on, say, a crack or whatever. Then take some baking soda in your fingers (or in a salt shaker) and sprinkle it on the wet Cyano. It will harden in just a few seconds. Then blow away the excess baking soda and add some more Cyano, Sprinkle on some more baking soda. You can build up layers as needed. It’s very strong, you can paint it, file it, etc.

  2. What about the glue used to lock nuts and screws? I don’t know the English name of it… But I have always known it worked with the same principle: micro balls with glue inside that breaks under pressure when the screw is tightened, keeping the nut in place.

    1. Do you mean thread-lock?
      There are a few different levels of strength that affect how much effort is required to undo the screw again.
      Not sure if I’ve used any that have micro-capsules (I believe most work on an anaerobic reaction).

  3. Back in photography class in college, all of our printed shots had to be mounted; the recommendation was to use these contact sheets that were built specifically for mounting paper and small plaques. Can’t recall what it was called, but IIRC it was used by sticking it on one side, positioning the piece on the target surface, then applying even and firm pressure (used a roller or a squeegee, or just the edge of a book) to activate the adhesive. Seems like a similar idea as this, though more specific-use. Super useful stuff; way easier/cleaner to work with and about as strong as spray adhesive.

  4. What can I use for low pressure, removable, pvc glue? I do rainharvesting, and sometimes, it is impossible to permanently glue things, and then modify later without cutting everything out. And I don’t want to use slip fittings.

    I have a heat gun. Ideas?

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