With reducing build time and maximising strength as our mission, we have now compiled the Construction Adhesive ultimate guide for the construction industry.
Construction Adhesive – Some quick wins to put into practise today :
- Don’t use blobs – For virtually every adhesive available using blobs increases curing time. Applying adhesive as strips means curing time is decreased through the adhesive having more surface area.
- Elasticity is vital – No matter whether it is construction of a commercial complex or a residential home, most projects experience movement of some time. For example, the joining surfaces of a ceiling and wall can experience movement meaning an adhesive which dries brittle and hard will increase the likelihood of cracks. An adhesive with elasticity will allow for movement while reducing the appearance of these visual cracks.
- Versatility – Use a construction adhesive which works with virtually all materials, like Ritetack. As well as saving time from swapping between adhesives you will increase your buying power through using larger quantities of the same product.
- Consider an instant grab adhesive – As well as saving time and therefore costs, an instant grab adhesive means the the need for visible fixings is reduced. The instant grab feature means that the material is less likely to move during the curing process. A small tip with instant grab adhesives – be careful of the colour; the instant grab aspect means that you won’t find a clear instant grab construction adhesive…yes, that is correct not matter what someone will tell you! Specific elements need to be used to give the adhesive the instant grab feature and those elements have colour. An ideal instant grab adhesive is Ritetack. Ritetack has an instant hold benefit like no other adhesive!
Removing adhesives which have already cured on construction projects can be time consuming and a restraint on meeting deadlines. Saying that, here are some tips on removing cured adhesives:
- Use piano wire – Using a thin wire in behind in a sawing motion can cut through most adhesives. Once the product is released, the dried adhesive can be mechanically removed from both surfaces. This method is an efficient way of removing mirrors which have been glued to a wall.
Application of construction adhesive is another bottle neck in projects. Using the right application tool can be the answer to stress free project completion. Use the wrong tool and you can have mayhem.
- Choose your caulking gun carefully – Yes, not all are the same. There are even key differences such as the trigger ratio. One option worth looking at is the Ritepro Caulking Gun.
When it comes to adhesives there are a wide variety of terms to describe properties and performance. To make things easier for you we have prepared a Construction Adhesive Glossary:
- Elasticity / Modulus – Elasticity refers to the property of being able to resume a standard position after being stretched. This test is done on dry adhesive. Adhesive with a high modulus means that the adhesive will dry very stiff and rigid. Low modulus adhesive means that it will dry more flexible. High modulus adhesive will have a high level of resistance to being stretched vs low modulus adhesive which will have low resistance. Stretch is another term which is used when describing modulus. Being able to stretch an adhesive will mean that the adhesive has a low modulus.
- Hydrophilic – Having a strong affinity and the ability to attract water.
- Hydrophobic – Having no or a little affinity for water and the ability to repel it.
- Initial tack – Initial tack is a term relating to the initial strength of adhesive bond. It doesn’t relate to the final strength of adhesive once it has dried. An adhesive with high tack means less fixings are required to hold materials in place while the adhesive cures. This is a very important aspect in terms of saving on labour and fixing costs. An adhesive with probably the best instant grab adhesive is Ritetack – widely used by the signage industry in Australia. This product can be viewed at Ritetack.
- MS Polymer – It is a type of hybrid adhesive known as silyl-modified polyethers. They are solvent-free and isocyanate free. Mostly they offer good value due to the properties of combining the strength of polyurethane with the weather resistance of silicones.
- Shore hardness – This property relates indenting the dried adhesive. If it is higher in level of shore hardness it is less susceptible to scratching and denting.
- Tensile strength – Adhesive tensile strength relates to the adhesive once it is cured. When this adhesive specification is tested, it looks at the vertical force on the adhesive until it breaks apart. A high tensile strength means a strong adhesive.
Surface Preparation for Adhesives
The best practise for any adhesive application is to have surfaces which are clean and sound.
If necessary use a primer (always test adhesive prior to full implementation on a project).
In most cases, MS polymers (SMP) need less surface preparation than polyurethane adhesives.
Once the surfaces are clean using mechanical methods such as sanding, materials may need a final clean with a liquid. The liquid used can be defined by a)detergent or b) solvent. More information regarding cleaning liquids for construction adhesives can be seen at http://www.adhesives.org/adhesives-sealants/adhesives-sealants-overview/use-of-adhesives/surface-treatment/surface-preparation.
As with any adhesives check the surfaces that the adhesive will come in contact with before final install. Eg. If the adhesive is being applied to a painted surface, is the paint sticking well to the building structure. If the paint is flaky, there will be failure with any adhesive as the paint will come away from the structure due to the weight of the material being glued to the paint.
Construction Adhesive Dry Time
Dry time on adhesives vary considerably. It is important to distinguish between the time it takes for install of your project and the total cure time.
The time for install can be dramatically reduced using an instant grab adhesive. Instant grab adhesive allows your materials to be adhered together without using a lot of fixings and without waiting for curing. The density and chemical composition of the adhesive stops the materials from sliding.
Cure time is the time it takes to fully dry and obtain its final strength.
If you are working with the materials once you have applied the adhesive (eg. moving a portable building), before it has fully cured, it is best to also use mechanical fixings.
An instance where instant grab adhesive is very beneficial is the install of an aluminium sign panel on a wall. Since there is likely to be no need to work with that panel once it is on the wall, you can walk away while it is curing.
A lot of sealants or adhesives form a skin reasonably fast. This being said, they still take hours, or days, to cure entirely.
How Long Does Construction Adhesive last?
A good question but possibly has many answers. Is it the adhesive unopened or once it has been applied?
Let’s start with unopened construction adhesives. In a typical situation, in standard compliant conditions, adhesive will last approximately 12 months. This can vary depending on chemical composition of the glue. There is a list below and some approx shelf life times:
- Ritetack – 18 month shelf life
- Riteseal Silicone Sealant – 12 month shelf life.
- Rite Power-X Adhesive and Sealant – 12 month shelf life
- Rite Secure and Seal Adhesive and Sealant- 12 month shelf life
All of the above shelf life times are based on the adhesive being stored in an environment which is between +5C and +25C.
Adhesives and Sealants Around The Globe
An amazing thought, but without adhesives in construction half the man made world would collapse. Many types of adhesives keep furniture, houses, cars and airplanes together.
Instead of connecting surfaces with staples, screws, nails, bolts and welding, a large amount of construction projects use adhesive.
Over the centuries, adhesives such as natural rubber glue, natural starch adhesives and fish glue, have been replaced by synthetic adhesives. As a result, the number of chemicals in adhesives that you may come across has increased rapidly.
Tilers, carpet applicators, carpenters, construction workers and the wood industry daily use adhesives and sealants.
Adhesives in Construction Applications
- Panel bonding
- Structural glazing
- Floor bonding
- Wooden frames
Adhesive vs Sealant
Adhesives are mostly used to bond 2 elements together. Adhesives can be elastic or hardening.
Sealants are primarily used for sealing of joints and edges.
Advantages of Bonding with Adhesives
- Invisible connection
- Faster applying
- No material weakening
- Reduces vibrations and sound
Disadvantages of Bonding with Adhesives
- Prevent air inclusions
- Connections are more difficult to disassemble
- Dying and curing time can be problematic
- More surface treatment is required
Types of Construction Adhesives
- Solvent based
- Water based