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Old 11-23-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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Default Cyanoacrylate glue vs Epoxy

What are the differences between these types of glues in terms of strength. Can Cyanoacrylate be a substitute for epoxy in all parts of a powered glider?
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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No. CA is not a good structurally stable adhesive. CA has it's place for sure but not in areas that are subject to a lot of torque, flexing etc.

Epoxy is better suited for areas needing high strength.

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Old 11-23-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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For most modeling, any of the carpenter glues such as Elmers, Titebond etc. are as good or better and cost much less although not as fast. Actually, properly applied, they are all stronger than the wood so all are adequate.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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For a powered glider designed for sedate flying is epoxy a necessity? If epoxy is not available are there better ways of using CA in joining stressed structure members?
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #5
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Default Epoxy Or CA?

Hello SprinterXL,
Generally speaking, wood glue like Titebond is great for wood-to-wood joints, but has a slow drying time.
CA, at least the "Fast-Drying" formula is fine for wood-to-wood also, but since it sets nearly instantly it leaves no time to align or adjust pieces. Sometimes you barely have time to place the two parts together before the CA "goes off".
Say you have a bare wing structure, leading and trailing edges + bottom spar pinned down. Now you dry-fit each rib in place. At this point you could go along with a CA bottle and put one drop of CA on each joint, they're already lined up. Presto! Wing's nearly done.
But next you're joining the wing panels at the dihedral joint. The brace(s) have to be aligned correctly, wings evenly lined up. Both panels must match front and rear, spars, edges, everything at once. One mistake with CA and you're cooked, there's no time to change or even tweak an alignment. So I'd use epoxy, it's a high-stress area and requires all the time, strength and correct bonding you can provide.
If I couldn't use epoxy, I'd use slower-drying CA with either carbonfiber strands (tow) across the joint or strips of fiberglass cloth lengthwise across the joint. Ugly, but effective.
For motor mounts, I use epoxy exclusively. Lots of torque, extreme stress on the bonding agent. Sometimes I chop up F/G cloth into small bits and use it mixed with the epoxy, a slurry that forms a nearly unbreakable fillet between the motor mount and the fuse sides or whatever the mount is attached to.
Every adhesive has it's good and bad points, the trick is to learn them and use each one so it is most effective. Most of my balsa builds are about 75% wood glue, 20% CA and 5% epoxy.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sprinterXL View Post
For a powered glider designed for sedate flying is epoxy a necessity? If epoxy is not available are there better ways of using CA in joining stressed structure members?
Yes for holding the firewall on - you likely could get by without it for everything else. If you have to join the wing together - use it there as well.

CA is not great for plywood glue joints - it is too brittle IMHO. It works VERY well in balsa to balsa joints and for use in non clear plastics. It will fog clear plastic.... Regular CA will attack foam so be aware of that. They do make a foam save variant.

It is great as bonds are nearly instant.

I commonly use CA, Epoxy, Titebond (wood glue) and gorilla glue. They all have a place.

Mike
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
I commonly use CA, Epoxy, Titebond (wood glue) and gorilla glue. They all have a place.

Mike

What is Gorilla glue best for? Does it replace CA, Epoxy, Wood glue in some application?

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Old 11-24-2008, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by beavenx5 View Post
What is Gorilla glue best for? Does it replace CA, Epoxy, Wood glue in some application?
I love it for foam to wood bonds. It expands many times - is water activated and you won't find a better sheeting glue.

It is also great for just plain white foam as well. Apply VERY sparingly (per instructions) as it expands.

It remains flexible - more than epoxy. Love it.

Mike
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:56 PM   #9
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I use Gorilla glue sometime to repair my Supercub and my PZ T-28 foam planes although my favorite glue for them is 1 minute epoxy. Not a fan of the foamsafe CA...

What do you mean by sheeting? Do you mean the balsa sheeting covering the ribs of a wing or the foam sheeting of a profile plane?

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Old 11-25-2008, 01:11 AM   #10
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Balsa sheeting on a foam wing....

Use plenty of weight on the cores! It "foam" down into the foam pores and is the best sheeting bond I have ever seen!

Mike
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:45 AM   #11
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Mike,

Have you used GG for wood stick motor mounts to foam? All I have used there is epoxy. Any substitute that won't irritate my wife's asthma when I use it in the shop would be welcome.

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Old 11-25-2008, 01:51 AM   #12
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each glue has its place. if i was to contruct a wing out of ribs and stringers i would use CA. many small joints like that will make the wing flex & twist if the glue joints isnt stiff. CA is the stiffest, so i think thats best for this purpose.
but for a firewall for example (glow engine) i would go for epoxy for strength, durability and a little flexibility.
for large surfaces (for eksample gluing balsa sheets to the foam core of a wing) i would use "white wood glue", just because its dead cheap, its strong, and its softness/flexibility means nothing in this joint, as the balsa is there to stiffen it up anyway.

so each glue has each pros and cons, and you just have to select wich one is best for the job at hand.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Mike,

Have you used GG for wood stick motor mounts to foam? All I have used there is epoxy. Any substitute that won't irritate my wife's asthma when I use it in the shop would be welcome.
O yea - works great! Remember sparingly. The Gorilla does have an odor however - if she is really sensitive that may cause issues too. NOTHING like epoxy however.

Mike
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
O yea - works great! Remember sparingly. The Gorilla does have an odor however - if she is really sensitive that may cause issues too. NOTHING like epoxy however.

Mike
That's very awesome! I will have to try that on one of my foamies soon.

See any difference for a ply motor mount on a foamie, or should it be the same?

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
That's very awesome! I will have to try that on one of my foamies soon.

See any difference for a ply motor mount on a foamie, or should it be the same?
No but one you do need to "clamp" while drying as it foams and expands. So obviously since you cant use normal wood clamps on foam you will have to use weight or rubber bands to assure that when it expands it is held in place.

Really cool stuff - but it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it.

Clamp time is normally listed at 2 hours but others have said if you mix water (catalyst) directly in the glue it will set very quickly. I have not tried that - yet....

Mike
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:52 AM   #16
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Some of us were discussing mixing it with a little water Sunday while flying. It seemed to work well for who used it.

In addition to rubber bands and weights, you can also tape the parts in place (putting tension on the tape to act in a clamping fashion).

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:58 AM   #17
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I am going to use it exclusively for my "Foam Star 60" that I am going to start. It will be a 60 size Sig 4 Star made of blue foam.

I will light it internally with LED's but will construct it using blue fan fold and Gorilla. Will have to figure out how much water to mix!

Mike
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
I am going to use it exclusively for my "Foam Star 60" that I am going to start. It will be a 60 size Sig 4 Star made of blue foam.

I will light it internally with LED's but will construct it using blue fan fold and Gorilla. Will have to figure out how much water to mix!

Mike
And of course, you will be doing a photo build thread, here on Wattflyer, right?

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Old 11-25-2008, 04:02 AM   #19
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i AM thinking of trying GG on my next foamy.. that of Hot glue for the motor mount.. I need something less brittle..

i may get some and try it.

I'm a Seriously dillusional pilot who wants to fly as good as manta at the Robinson's Acadamy or Aeroknotikx.. RAA!!!
MAN this thing needs Manta to dial it in for me.. Manta IZ my FRIEND!! MUNKY TOO!! and Hhound
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:03 AM   #20
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And bring it to seff!!

I'm a Seriously dillusional pilot who wants to fly as good as manta at the Robinson's Acadamy or Aeroknotikx.. RAA!!!
MAN this thing needs Manta to dial it in for me.. Manta IZ my FRIEND!! MUNKY TOO!! and Hhound
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:52 PM   #21
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For combat planes, we use polyurethane glue almost exclusively. The problem with foam is that ANY glue is stronger than the foam, and it tends to break before the glue gives way....if you use a pin or something to put lots of little holes in the gluing area, the PU glue will send runners down into them and lock the peice in place. Of course then when it breaks it'll take a bigger peice of foam with it.....

Water acts as a "kicker" to PU glue-it will cure faster and expand alot more. Typically I use a spray bottle to moisten the wood part and apply the glue to the foam part, then tape all around the area with masking tape to hold the glue in. To get an idea of how much this stuff foams, put a drop on a scrap peice of something, and spray it with a mist of water. You'll find it easily foams to 3-5 times it's original size.

Gorilla glue is now avialable in a clear fast drying formula that is alot faster than the old yellow stuff. It does have a distinct odor, but it's not nearly as bad a CA or Epoxy. Cleanup is a pain, though. If you get it on you, using water only makes it worse...

Back on topic, I only use CA for quick fixes, or good solid joints(hah). Epoxy is still my choice for any stress bearing area-motor mounts, servo mounts, tailfeathers, and wing joining. any other wood-wood joint gets wood glue. For foam I use CA for field repairs or flat foamies. On GWS planes or other foam, I use Epoxy, PU glue, aliphatic resin(wood glue)or GWS glue.

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Old 11-25-2008, 06:20 PM   #22
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I use CA for everything except foam to carbon fiber spars...

If you think expoxy is stronger than CA, you should have seen me trying to pry a wood motor mount off of some fiberglass the other day... expoxy would have gave out way sooner... there is no doubt in my mind.... I cracked the fiberglass.... I and had to use a chissel and hammer....

course then again... maybe its just my Foam CA from hobbycity.... Debonder didn't work at all on it.... and mercury kicker isn't as good as Zap on it.... but the wood to fiberglass I didn't kick, I just let it dry overnight....

gorrilla glue I use to fill in the gap at the bottom of landing gear boxes... because its fairly strong and flexable....

every glue has its purpose... except hot glue... its too heavy for any plane usages....

SK

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Old 11-25-2008, 06:49 PM   #23
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Gorilla Glue is now probably my favorite adhesive. It doesn't dry as quick as 5-minute epoxy (my previous favorie), and it is tricky to plan for and contain the foamy, expanding glue. But it's lighter than epoxy, just as strong, less prone to cracking, and I don't have to mess with mixing the adhesive and the accelerant together--just pick up the bottle, squirt, and go.

And I agree with crash out above--I just use some masking or electrical tape to hold the pieces firmly in place while drying so that the expanding foam doesn't misalign anything, leave it for half an hour, and then it's set permanently.

Sumo Glue is probably my current second favorite, which shouldn't be surprising seeing as it's very similiar to GG. But it seems to foam less while being even stronger. However, it loses out to GG because of price--Sumo is about 3 times more expensive on a per-ounce basis than GG.

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