What is Cyanoacrylate CA Glue and How Is It Used in Model Building?

The model-building world is fantastic, especially after hobbyists’ efforts to turn an idea into a viable solution have been made professionally and enthusiastically. The process is complex, but modern technology has enabled it to be simplified, making it easier to get the best outcomes and the most realistic aspect.

Super glue, an incredibly popular glue that you can use successfully to combine elements, is one of the materials frequently used by people who create models or similar DYI projects. Cyanoacrylate glue is a popular alternative, particularly in the industrial setting.

So, what is cyanoacrylate glue, and how does it work in model building? Continue reading to find out.

What Is a Cyanoacrylate CA Glue?

CA Glue (also known as Cyanoacrylate or Super Glue) has the potential to transform how you build models by eliminating the majority of the time spent waiting for glue to dry. You must no longer wait 30 minutes or even four hours for the glue to firm up enough to continue the construction process. Instead, CA glue enables you to bond two surfaces almost instantly.

However, there are some drawbacks to CA that you should consider. Before deciding to use CA glue, please read this entire article.

How Does It Work?

Unlike conventional water-based adhesives, cyanoacrylate glue is made of acrylic resin. The main component of CA glue is cyanoacrylate, an acrylic monomer that cures to a plastic state.

Because of its unique bonding conditions, cyanoacrylate glue differs from traditional glue. This is because cyanoacrylate glue can bond with a wet surface. This means that if cyanoacrylate glue is applied to a perfectly dry surface, it won’t adhere to or form a bond.

When any level of moisture is present, the cyanoacrylate glue molecules react with it to yield tight chains between a pair of surfaces in contact. Unlike traditional glue bonding, which occurs through evaporation of the base fluid, this reaction produces heat and occurs instantly.

Curing Procedure

a tube of super glue

Curing is an effective procedure for all glue types that must be considered when selecting the best glue for model building.

Curing is broadly defined as the process of forming tougher linkages in a chemical substance through a chemical reaction. Some materials will only undergo this process at humidity levels or specific temperatures. The curing of glues can be aided by radiation, moisture, heat, or UV light.

As previously stated, moisture facilitates cyanoacrylate glue curing, which happens almost instantly at room temperature. The bonds formed while curing are also extremely rigid, lending credence to its moniker “super (strong) glue.”

CA Glue’s Advantages

  • Rapid drying
  • Can penetrate deep into joints
  • Can be lightweight

CA Glue’s Drawbacks

  • Expensive
  • Easy to glue the fingers together
  • It deteriorates quickly
  • It is easy to overuse
  • Has strong odors

CA glue emits strong fumes that some people are allergic to. Please use CA glue only in well-ventilated areas. Maintain an open window in the room where you’re working on your model.

Potential Issues

a close up of a person’s hand brushing liquid on a piece of wood

There are potential pitfalls to weigh when determining if cyanoacrylate glue is the best option for your model, just as there are with any other product. One of the most serious issues is the possibility of a lack of bonding between a surface and the glue. This is chiefly because of a lack of moisture, which may happen on some surfaces.

Fortunately, this is a simple issue that you can resolve by smearing a thin layer of water onto the surface to initiate curing. However, because some materials, like heat-resistant plastics, repel moisture, this method might not even work on all materials. The epoxy resin must be employed to bind these materials instead.

Another issue you might encounter is the cyanoacrylate glue’s propensity to form strong bonds with unfavorable surfaces, like your skin. This is a common issue because the human skin constantly breathes and produces a layer of moisture, allowing the cyanoacrylate glue to cure.

This problem is easily solved using acetone, also known as nail polish remover. Acetone can dissolve the strong bonds found in cyanoacrylate glue chemically without harming the skin. You can also utilize it to remove glue from any surface.

The final issue with CA glues is due to their chemical composition. Cyanoacrylate glues have a short shelf life due to their strength and speed of action and should only be bought when needed.

They have a year’s shelf life from the date of manufacture and one month after the CA glue has been opened. Do not stockpile or buy in bulk for future use.

Popular Manufacturers

Most adhesive companies have cyanoacrylate glue lines, frequently marketed as Crazy Glue or Super Glue. Infinity Bond and Permabond are two popular cyanoacrylate glue brands.

Permabond has cyanoacrylate glues in three viscosity levels: low, medium, and high. The cyanoacrylate glue’s viscosity should be appropriate for your application. Low and medium viscosity glues, for example, are excellent for bonding wood and rubber, whereas high viscosity glues are ideal for porous surfaces and vertical applications.

Infinity Bond is another well-known cyanoacrylate glue brand. The company also makes a variety of other adhesive products. Its cyanoacrylate glue line is divided into categories based on application.

the tips of three glue bottles

You can, for example, buy a cyanoacrylate glue for bonding rubber and plastic, one for medical applications, one for bonding metals, one with a low odor, and one that is resistant to high temperatures.

Precision Dispensing

For applications requiring a very small but exact amount of glue in delicate or difficult-to-apply areas, the precision needle is available in various gauges, allowing you to find the correct size for any application. Since the needle is disposable, it is the ideal blend of low cost and high quality.

The precision needle is used in conjunction with the lure lock adapter, directly connected to the glue bottle. The lure lock provides a precise and clean dispensing method for domestic and industrial applications.

In Summary

Cyanoacrylate glues are the technical name for a type of glue commonly referred to as Crazy Glue or Super Glue. Their name comes from the strong bond they form with any surface when exposed to moisture.

Some common issues with cyanoacrylate glue include its tendency to easily stick to human skin and its need for moisture to cure, but both can be easily resolved. Always wash your hands as a general rule to reduce oil transfer to the wood you’re working with. Human oils destabilize any glue joint, particularly when CA glue is used.