We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cyanoacrylate Glue?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Perhaps the term cyanoacrylate glue doesn't sound familiar, but you've probably encountered brand names such as Super Glue, Crazy Glue, Loctite or Insta-Bond. Cyanoacrylate glue is the general term for the quick-bonding super glues used to mend or combine anything from plastics to wood to metal. Unfortunately for some, this list also tends to include human skin.

Cyanoacrylate glue is actually an acrylic resin, not a traditional adhesive in the mold of water-based school glues. Some crafters or automotive repairmen may be familiar with other acrylic resins such as bondo, the clear liquid used to embed small objects. Usually an acrylic resin consists of two separate liquids, one for pouring into the mold and another used sparingly as a hardener. In the case of this type of glue, the hardener is water.

The main ingredient in super glue is called cyanoacrylate. If glue made form cyanoacrylate is placed on a perfectly dry surface or certain plastics, the chemical cannot form a bond with the surface. But if there is even the slightest amount of water present, including moisture from the air, the molecules of the glue have a chemical reaction and form into tight chains between the two surfaces being bonded. This reaction happens within seconds of the water and cyanoacrylate making contact. Traditional white glues rely on evaporation to form their bonds, but cyanoacrylate glue generates its own heat for faster curing.

Some users of this glue may become frustrated by the occasional lack of bonding between materials. This may be caused by a lack of moisture or the non-porous nature of the materials. Applying a thin layer of water or even breathing on the material may create enough moisture for a stronger bonding reaction. Some materials, such as the heat-resistant plastics used in some coffee mugs, cannot be successfully bonded with these glues. An epoxy resin may be required for repairs not achieved with super glue.

Because human skin is naturally moist, full of ridges and very porous, a user of cyanoacrylate glue may find himself an involuntary participant in the bonding process. It is not unusual for super glue users to bond their fingertips together or become stuck to the project. While the effects may seem permanent at the time, most super glue products can be dissolved with acetone (nail polish remover) or even hot water. There are also commercial super glue removers available from leading glue manufacturers. Any residue should wear off naturally as body oils break down the bonds.

Although accidental skin bonding may be an unfortunate event, there are several medical procedures which use this property of cyanoacrylate glue to their advantage. Instead of the commercial super glue formulas, medical glue uses a safer form of alcohol to promote healing and reduce infection. Instead of traditional stitches, some blood vessels and incised tissues are sutured back together with medical super glue. The glue is eventually broken down by the body and the patient has a lower chance of post-op infection. Midwives have also been known to use this glue to repair any torn skin following childbirth.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to HomeQuestionsAnswered, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon1001759 — On Jun 19, 2019

I'm curious about 'medical glue uses a safer form of alcohol' = perhaps I need to look for a more chemistry oriented article ? recommendation(s) ?

I seem to remember something about super glue use inside the body carrying a cancer risk? That was years ago.

By anon994072 — On Jan 11, 2016

I accidentally inhaled some glue-cyanoacrylate. I feel I have headache plus dizziness. What can I do to alleviate these symptoms?

anon82335 post 6

By anon327687 — On Mar 29, 2013

I am fixing a crack in a Corian countertop. How do I use Cyanoacrylate Glue and color it to match?

By anon82335 — On May 05, 2010

What about inhaling the vapors? I've accidentally inhaled some of the vapors of Rhino fix glue and have been having some trouble breathing for over a week but I'm unsure if my continued problems are definitely related to the glue and what I can do to improve my condition?

By anon35452 — On Jul 05, 2009

What are the complications if spilled accidentally into the Eyes and its immediate treatment

By anon34716 — On Jun 27, 2009

sir myself is praveen, studying m.pharmacy. i am doing a project work on mucoadhesive microsphers. some of the research works are done using cyanoacrylate glues for determination of adhesion strength. will you please give me good information about this cyanoacrylate glue? what is the use of this cyanoacrylate glue and why it is using this?

thanking you sir.

By jrimsa — On May 18, 2008

The article mentions using CA to bond skin which I've heard of (and done many times by accident). The article also mentions gluing incised tissues and vessels which is interesting. Is there a reference or article that may have more detail? Thx.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to HomeQuestionsAnswered, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.