Super glue is a powerful adhesive that allows you to bond many different materials together. As the name suggests, super glue is an extremely strong glue that can work on various surfaces. Yet, does that include metal?
Super glue does work on metal and can be used to join two pieces of metal together. However, the adhesion may be weaker than it would be on other materials. For an effective bond, use a thin layer of super glue on a clean piece of metal.
In this article, I will look at how super glue can be used on metal and what steps you can take to improve the adhesion. I will also provide some alternative ways to join metal together, should you determine super glue is not right for your project.
How Effective Is Super Glue on Metal?
A common challenge in DIY is finding the best way to attach to items that are both made of metal. Super glue is commonly used on metal surfaces as it is an extremely strong adhesive. Super glue is effective on metal and can be used to attach metal to metal or metal to another material.
In fact, the heaviest item lifted that was bonded by super glue was a 17-ton truck.
However, the bond between metal and metal will likely be less effective than between metal and other materials, so be prepared to reapply the glue at regular intervals. It is possible to use super glue to anchor metal together, but repeated exposure may cause the bond between the two surfaces to weaken over time.
To ensure a more effective bond, the metal pieces you want to glue together should be clean and smooth.
How Long Does Super Glue Take To Dry on Metal?
Super glue may take a few minutes to dry on metal and as long as 10 minutes to fully set. The temperature of your room can also affect how long it takes for your super glue to set on metal. For instance, warmer rooms will accelerate this process slightly.
The actual time super glue takes to dry depends mainly on the type of glue rather than the material. However, the bond strength of super glue on metal is not as strong as on plastic, so you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the adhesive to solidify before you can use it.
Super glue works by reacting with moisture in the air and forming a chemical bond between two surfaces. This reaction happens very quickly (within seconds), and as soon as the glue touches your metal, it starts forming bonds between molecules in both substances to create a permanent bond. So it is vital to take precautions when using super glue because you do not want to glue your fingers together accidentally!
When using super glue to bond metal, follow these steps:
- Clean both surfaces thoroughly with soap and water. Acetone or alcohol can be used to remove traces of grease.
- Apply the super glue evenly across both pieces of metal with a brush or cotton swab. Notably, super glue works more effectively when spread thinly.
- Wait a few seconds for the glue to begin drying before pressing the metal pieces together tightly. If necessary, use clamps or a weight (like a book) on top of your objects while the glue sets.
Pro Tip: For faster curing and setting, add baking soda to the super glue before applying.
What Type of Glue Is Best for Metal?
When using glue on large, heavy pieces of metal, it is best to pick an industrial strength option, such as the CYAPRO Professional Grade CA Super Glue (available on Amazon.com). This super glue is perfect for several materials, including metal, and creates most bonds within 10 seconds. Plus, it comes with an anti-clogging cap and fitted micro-tips so you can better control how much glue you apply.
For smaller metal pieces, a professional strength super glue may not be necessary, and you can use a more familiar product, such as Gorilla Super Glue Gel. The gel formula is a bit thicker, so the glue will not drip, even when applying it to vertical surfaces, and is specially formulated for maximum strength and impact resistance. This super glue dries to create strong bonds in less than 45 seconds without the need for clamping.
Suppose you are uneasy about how quickly you will need to work to ensure the accurate placement of the materials you are bonding together. In that case, I recommend MITREAPEL Super CA Glue with Spray Adhesive Activator.
This option requires you to apply the glue to one surface, spray the adhesive activator on the other, and wait 10 seconds before pressing them together. Once you activate the glue, it takes only 12 seconds to dry and form a bond between the materials.
Use Epoxy Glue for Metal
Besides super glues, epoxy glues are well suited for metals because they have no moisture requirement. Instead, they rely on chemical reactions between two components (a resin and hardener) that produce heat as part of their bonding process. The resultant compound is solid and weatherproof. This means it can be used indoors or outdoors and will protect the joint against corrosion.
So if you need something more substantial than super glue but still want something comparatively inexpensive, epoxy glue is an excellent option to consider.
Alternative Ways to Join Metal Without Gluing
Depending on the project, there are other ways to join metals together that will be more effective than super glue. Although, these options are more challenging to accomplish, and you may require assistance from a professional.
Weld Metal Together
If the task involves large pieces of metal or will be required to withstand a lot of weight, welding may be the best option. This will melt and fuse the metal pieces together.
However, welding takes a lot of skill and is unlikely to be attempted by an amateur DIYer. It also needs a lot of preparation and clean-up afterward, so it is unlikely to be the best option for small home projects.
If you feel that welding is the best option for your metal project, you should contact someone with experience in welding before attempting it yourself.
Solder Metal Together
Soldering is a way to join two pieces of metal using a metal alloy of tin and lead called solder. The solder is heated until it melts, applied to the two metals, then cooled. When it cools, it hardens and creates a strong bond.
Soldering is relatively easy to do at home once you have mastered the technique and makes a good alternative to super glue for joining two pieces of metal together.
Rivet Metal Together
Riveting is a low-cost alternative to super glue when joining two pieces of metal. It involves using a metal fastener through a hole to join the two metal pieces. Riveting is a very durable method but is less aesthetically pleasing as the rivets are visible on the surface of the metal.
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In summary, super glue is a good option for bonding metal to other materials, including other metals. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and holds firmly. However, it does not always have the best adhesion, so you may want to consider other options, such as epoxy, especially if you use the bonded metal outdoors or need it to retain its strength over a long time.