Epoxy Glue Guide – Test and Instructions for Epoxy Adhesives
If you are a passionate do-it-yourselfer or work professionally with different materials, you will not be able to avoid the question of the right adhesives. The repertoire of adhesives is no longer limited to well-known pens and superglues. For every conceivable application, there seems to be a different type of adhesive – a fact that can easily cause confusion. In our 2-component adhesive test, we advise you on this and introduce you to an adhesive that scores with its many advantages: epoxy resin adhesive.
- 1 What Is Epoxy Glue?
- 2 Epoxy Resin Adhesive Test and Comparison
- 3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Using 2-Part Epoxy Glue
- 4 Instructions – How Are 2k Epoxy Resin Glues Processed?
- 5 Various Applications for Epoxy Resin Glues
- 6 How to Use Epoxy Glue – What You Should Know
- 7 How to Remove Epoxy Glue
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Epoxy Glue?
Epoxy glues are used to join materials where very high strength and durability are expected. The epoxy adhesive is used mainly for pre-treated and painted metals or composite materials.
Just like the application of casting resin, the epoxy resin adhesive consists of resin and hardener, which are brought together in an exact mixing ratio. The difference is that additives have been mixed into the resin so that the consistency becomes thicker, and the material can also be used for bonding.
Mixing is only carried out shortly before application, as the so-called pot life – the time in which the epoxy adhesive can be processed – is relatively short. As a rule, the processing time is about 10 minutes. The two-component adhesive, or 2-component epoxy adhesive, then hardens to an extremely stable thermoset, i.e., it cannot be changed by mechanical or thermal effects and is very resistant. Depending on the product, curing is completed after approx 24 to 48 hours.
The higher the ambient temperature, the more effectively the material cures. This means that the strength increases at higher temperatures.
In the meantime, epoxy adhesives are also available on the market whose components are already mixed. This makes the application easier, as mixing can often be a little difficult and laborious. However, such adhesives that are already pre-mixed have the disadvantage that they require a higher curing temperature.
Epoxy Resin Adhesive Test and Comparison
Basically, 2-component adhesives based on epoxy resin are the most common and are suitable for almost all areas of application. In the 2-component adhesive test, it becomes apparent relatively quickly that the properties are mostly congruent – at least in terms of the specifications. In practice, however, significant differences can be seen.
Recommendation: Gorilla 2-Part Epoxy Glue
The Gorilla 2 part epoxy glue offers all the properties you are looking for in such a product: it is easy to apply, can be used indoors and outdoors, and bonds almost all materials: plastic, glass, metal, wood, leather, cement, porcelain and many other surfaces. It is BPA-free, i.e., it does not release any bisphenol, which is particularly important when it comes into contact with food. All resin colors can be used.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using 2-Part Epoxy Glue
Epoxy adhesive offers the user some disadvantages, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Especially the compatibility with different materials is important.
Hint: On the subject of health, it should be said that safety measures should be observed for all products containing epoxy resin in order to avoid health hazards. Therefore always wear nitrile gloves and work in well ventilated areas.
Instructions – How Are 2k Epoxy Resin Glues Processed?
Two-component adhesives are usually available in double chamber cartridges. This means that the two components are not mixed until directly before use. Today’s technology allows a clean and easy application. This is the best way to proceed:
- If you want to use a 2k epoxy resin adhesive, you should first clean the surface to be worked on thoroughly from grease and other dirt. For this purpose you can use a lint-free cloth and a suitable cleaning agent. Acetone is often used for this.
- After cleaning, you should not touch the surface to be bonded with your bare hands, as the greasy film of the skin can also lead to insufficient adhesion.
- The surface should be slightly roughened, because only then is it guaranteed that the epoxy resin adhesive bonds well with the material. For this purpose, you can either sand or sandblast the surface.
- Then sweep the surface with a clean hand brush to remove dust or vacuum it with a suitable vacuum cleaner attachment.
- Remember to pre-treat unipolar plastics with a primer afterward to optimize the adhesion of the material.
- The two-component adhesive is usually supplied in a twin syringe. From this syringe, you break off the tip. Now screw on a mixing attachment, which should be included in the delivery. Hold the syringe with the mixing attachment pointing upwards and gently press the plunger to remove any air bubbles.
- Now the surface is treated. Apply the required amount of two-component adhesive to the surface to be bonded by applying piston pressure. The mixing attachment not only applies the adhesive but also mixes it in perfect proportion.
- The adhesive should not be used in rough quantities, but should be applied in such a thin layer that none of it escapes from the side seams.
- After applying the 2K adhesive, join the surfaces together and fix them in place, for example, with a vice, sturdy adhesive tape or a suitable clamp.
- Clean the syringe immediately after use. To do this, pull the plunger back a little and remove the mixer. This must be disposed of, as it cannot be cleaned. Using a sharp object, such as a scalpel, scrape any adhesive residue from the syringe. Then wash the tip with hot water and close it with the cap provided.
- Wait until the two-component adhesive has hardened. Various factors play a role in the duration of the curing process; for this, please see our FAQ at the end of our 2-component adhesive test.
- It is also possible to use the 2-component epoxy adhesive without a dosing syringe. This is recommended for particularly large areas. However, the handling is much more complicated, as you have to measure and mix both components perfectly. Use a large cup, possibly an old measuring cup, and mix the components thoroughly with a spatula for two to three minutes. You can also repot the mixture and stir again to ensure perfect mixing.
- Afterward, you can apply the two-component adhesive. You can use a disposable syringe or a spatula for this purpose.
Various Applications for Epoxy Resin Glues
The areas of application of the 2-component adhesive are manifold. It is precisely this fact that makes it so attractive for the user.
2K Epoxy Glue for Plastic
Especially for the application on plastics, the 2K epoxy adhesive is convenient, because plastic is a material that we always encounter everywhere and should not be disposed of carelessly. Especially with expensive plastic parts, it would be annoying to throw them away and get new ones instead of repairing them.
The adhesive is suitable for repairing broken garden furniture as well as for repairing a plastic water pipe. Even children’s toys can be fixed with it. However, you should only use this material for children from about five years of age, because smaller children like to put everything in their mouths, and the glue is definitely not suitable for that.
The big advantage of the 2K epoxy glue is the fact that it cures even under water and is extremely robust. It is also malleable, so that it can be inserted into any cavity.
2K Epoxy Glue for Metal
Permanently bonding metals together is usually associated with a great deal of effort. You have to use a soldering iron or a welding machine for this purpose – typically thankless activities that require a lot of time and material. You have to think about protective equipment, have the tools ready, and need enough space for it, especially for welding.
Less complex is the use of a 2-component epoxy resin adhesive. This is not only suitable for plastics, but also for metal. At the same time, it has such strong adhesive properties that it also bonds this material practically inseparably. Even cracks in pipes and household appliances can be bonded with it. Bolts, nuts and screws can also be bonded with it so that they cannot be separated from one another.
When used on metallic workpieces, the curing time should not be less than 24 hours. After curing, the adhesive can be ground or drilled. Another advantage is the color of the cured 2K epoxy adhesive for metal: After the curing process, it takes on a metallic color, making it very inconspicuous. It is also extremely resistant to weathering and aging processes and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Two-Component Adhesive for Concrete and Cement
Concrete and cement can also be joined together perfectly with the two-component adhesive. If there are broken pavement or terrace slabs on your property, simply use a suitable epoxy resin adhesive to join them together again. However, if you have large areas to be glued together, make sure that you have a long pot life or only ever mix as much adhesive mass as you need.
Two-Component Adhesive for Wood
Furniture, picture frames, memorabilia, or model making – with the two-component adhesive for wood everything can be joined together in principle. It usually comes as a gel and is easy to apply with the help of practical syringes. This also makes it possible to glue together very small surfaces.
No matter what color you need – the 2-component adhesive for wood can be tinted in any color. Furthermore, it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use as it is very weather resistant.
Further Applications of the Two-Component Adhesive
But the two-component adhesive is not only suitable for the applications mentioned above.
- The two-component adhesive also works well in boat building. If small leaks or cracks have formed in the hull that need filling, you can use the adhesive to repair them. This adhesive is highly resistant to weathering and osmosis and is therefore well suited for outdoor use with wood and plastics in boat building.
- Also, different composite materials, no matter if glass fiber or carbon fiber reinforced, benefit from the strength, which is achieved by the 2K epoxy adhesive.
- This type of adhesive is also used in lightweight construction.
- Medical Technology
- Assembly adhesives
- Kit elements
- Housing and device production
- Joining of ceramic and glass
How to Use Epoxy Glue – What You Should Know
When working with a 2K epoxy adhesive, you should always pay attention to your safety. What sticks once, sticks again – unfortunately, this also applies to body parts. So you should better be using suitable disposable gloves. If something has gone wrong, use acetone immediately to remove the uncured adhesive.
Eye protection is also recommended. If your eyes come into contact with the two-component adhesive, wash them out thoroughly and seek medical attention immediately.
Toxic fumes are virtually non-existent when using two-component adhesive, as it does not contain any solvents. Ventilation is, therefore, only of secondary importance; nevertheless, you should not do without natural ventilation during work. The amines contained in the epoxy adhesive, which act as hardeners, are not entirely harmless, just like the resin itself. Watch out for signs of an allergic reaction and stop working if one occurs.
Apart from safety, there are also various things to consider. When working with wood, make sure that enough resin adhesive is used, otherwise there will be insufficient adhesion. Very open-pored wood must be primed beforehand, otherwise the resin will seep in, and the surfaces will not bond.
Tip: If the adhesive is too thin, you can stir in a filler. This has no effect on the chemical composition or reaction time, but only makes the adhesive more viscous. The amount of filler used depends on the type of application. If you are unsure, please read the enclosed data sheet or contact the online customer service.
How to Remove Epoxy Glue
You can use acetone to remove epoxy glue that is still liquid. However, you must work quickly to avoid exceeding the pot life.
There are also special epoxy resin removers available, which promise to remove the two-component adhesive without leaving any residue. These are available as acid-free gel.
If noses have developed during the application or if the 2-component epoxy adhesive has leaked beyond the adhesive seam, you can scrape off any dried residues with a spatula. Take care, however, not to damage the bonded material. If there are still residues, dab on the epoxy resin remover gel described above and let it work for about one hour. Scrub the gel and epoxy adhesive afterward and repeat the procedure if necessary.
For further information on this topic, please refer to our article, Removing epoxy resin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Everything else you need to know about the two-component adhesive can be found here:
How Long Does a 2-Component Adhesive Take to Dry?
- Technically speaking, a 2K adhesive does not dry out, it hardens
- How long it takes depends on a wide variety of factors, such as the type of application, the materials used, the area worked on and the ambient temperature
- In general, it can take up to 24 hours for the epoxy resin adhesive to cure completely
- In doing so, it changes its viscosity, i.e., it first becomes viscous and then increasingly solid
- By the way, to delay the curing and thus increase the pot life, you can provide a low ambient temperature and add an inhibitor
- To speed up the hardening process and increase the final strength, you can use a hairdryer to work on glued areas
Two-Component Adhesives – How to Mix?
- Adhere exactly to the mixing ratio described in the package insert
- As a rule, the two-component adhesive is mixed 1:1, but there are also other mixing ratios
Make sure to mix the two components exactly, otherwise the epoxy adhesive will not cure sufficiently
- Pre-mixed component adhesives are also available on the market, which are filled into a syringe and bond in the exact mixing ratio by applying pressure to the piston