Cyanoacrylate Adhesives | Have I heard of this product?

You probably have, but not by the technically generic name for all acrylic resins: methyl-2-cyanocrylate, 2-octal cyanoacrylate or n-butyl cyanoacrylate. Does perhaps “crazy glue” or “super glue” sound familiar?  (does the hard hat guy stuck to the steel beam in the commercial, jog your memory?) It’s crazy and super because it bonds almost instantly in the presence of moisture. It’s strong, durable and easy to apply.

Dr. Harry Coover, wasn’t looking for cyanoacrylate adhesives in 1942. He actually wasn’t looking for an adhesive at all.  He was trying to develop a film for gun sights during the war. When he happened upon this, he thought it was too sticky. Oh the irony. It was forgotten about until 1951 when he and a colleague rediscovered it, but again, only through error. He still did not see any use for this product. It was an additional 7 years before Coover realized the value of the adhesive proprieties with cyanoacrylate. From 1958 on, cyanoacrylate adhesives have been used for everything imaginable. Believe it or not, CA has made its way into the medical industry in some of the most unbelievable ways.

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CA is a simple bonding agent, it requires no additional compound to adhere two substrates. It is classified as a chemical curing adhesive because it reacts with the moisture in the air. Typically we don’t think of this as a chemical reaction, but it is. The moisture causes the CA to harden and bond two substrates together. This reaction is nearly instant.

With its low viscosity and quick polymerization, cyanoacrylate is limited as to what it will bond extremely well, just as any other adhesive.  Its non-conductive so may not be suitable for some electrical applications where you might need a conductive adhesive. The stiffness of the bond does not perform well when two flexible substrates are bonded nor does it create a good bond between porous substrates. With CA’s almost instant bond there is not much latitude for error when bonding.

Adhesive manufacturers are always developing new and innovative technologies in adhesives. While cyanoacrylate has remained relatively unchanged since 1942, the way in which it is used continues to grow. With basic modification of formulas, manufacturers like Adhesive Systems have made it possible for this glue to be applied in amazing ways.

For more information about Adhesive System’s cyanoacrylate adhesives or any other adhesives please contact us at 877.740.1250 x20. You can also send us an email to  For general information about all of our adhesive products you can visit our website at If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, tell us about your application and we’ll help you find something that will work, or customize something specific for you