Are you wondering how strong is hot glue? You must have used it at least once in your life, like for making arts and crafts, or for quick repair jobs around the house. However, is hot glue a good alternative to other adhesives?
Hot glue is a form of thermoplastic. This means you can melt it without the risk of the material burning. Hot glue sticks are similar to the materials used by 3D printers. When melted and cooled down, it can create a strong and long-lasting bond.
Hot Glue – Is it a Strong Adhesive?
Even though hot glue is mostly used for arts and crafts, it is a very strong adhesive. It is so strong that it is comparable to ceramic epoxy in certain applications. In fact, in situations where ceramic epoxy is inadvisable, hot glue is the perfect alternative.
How much weight can hot glue hold up? It depends on the types of materials you intend to bond, as well as the thickness and the amount of surface area. However, on average, if you apply hot glue properly, it can support weights between 10 to 25 pounds, depending on the specific kind used.
Superglue and epoxy have undoubtedly stronger bonding strength compared to hot glue. However, hot glue is a lot more flexible than epoxy and superglue, both of which do not flex at all. So, for repairing items that need to have a bit of flex, hot glue is better. In addition, you can also use it in sealing connections.
You may also be wondering what conditions are best for hot glue. In that case, keep in mind that even though different hot melt adhesives are pretty strong, it does have a couple of issues. One of these issues is that as the temperature rises, the hot glue weakens. This means you cannot use it for high-temperature conditions.
How Strong is Hot Glue on Different Materials?
To get the most use out of hot glue, you should only use it on materials that are most suitable for it. If you will be using it on non-porous surfaces, it would be better to use high-tack options that you can buy from industrial supply stores. Regular hot glue still works but it might not work quite as well and might even get loose.
To give you an idea, here are certain materials where you may use hot glue and its level of strength upon application.
So how strong is hot glue on wood and is it effective on such material? Well, the answer is it is not as strong as the glue specifically made on wooden materials (wood glue). Despite that, it still works on several wood-related projects.
It is not strong but not also weak when used on wood. The bond may not be too strong but it is already effective when you are looking for a temporary bond. It can be a flexible and durable bond when used in making wooden clamps and joints.
The strength may not be as good but with adequate force, it is easy to pull off the bonded wood pieces together. Also, take note that the strength of the hot glue, when used on wood, is also dependent on how sticky the surface tension is. This is measurable by the contact of hot glue between the pieces of wood where it needs to adhere.
If your question is related to how strong is hot glue on plastics, the answer is that it is indeed quite strong. However, you have to take your time when using it on plastic materials and prepare the surface properly.
You need to do the necessary preparations to form a strong bond between the plastic and your chosen hot glue. If the surface is not properly prepared, it would be impossible for you to get the bond you need.
You may also use a two-component epoxy, which is considered the strongest hot glue or adhesive used in plastic materials. It provides the best results in terms of strength. It attaches tenaciously and quickly to different types of plastic, so expect it to be good enough in forming a strong bond rapidly.
Now, how strong is a hot glue gun on aluminum? Because most aluminum products are quite smooth, hot glue may not be that strong for it. It may not be able to stick to it with enough strength. If you scuff the surface and create more surface area the hot glue might work. However, if you will be bonding heavy pieces of aluminum together, its strength may be inadequate.
The strength of hot glue on paper is very superior. This means that you can best use it on paper as well as other paper products, like cardboard and MDF. Because of the paper’s porosity and abundance of surface area, it is easy for hot glue to make a permanent bond.
If you use hot glue to bond thick paper stock like cardboard and you try to pry it apart, the material will be the one to fail.
Strongest Kind of Hot Glue
If you want to know what is the strongest kind of hot glue, the answer is cyanoacrylate, which is also popularly called super glue. This is very strong, thanks to its powerful facility. You can use it primarily in forming an incredible bond with tiny objects.
The strength of cyanoacrylate or super glue is also noticeable as it is suitable for use even in environments with extremely high temperatures. The great bonding strength that this type of hot glue holds is the reason why it can handle excessive weight.
Note that it requires water for it to create a strong bond. One more thing that you should know about this is that it is very water-resistant, making it ideal for use even for waterproof projects.
How Temperature Affects the Strength of Hot Glue?
For almost all adhesives, the cooling and drying process is what causes the adhesives to get stiff and create a solid bond between the surfaces. In the case of hot glue, if you apply extreme heat to a solid bond, it can decrease the stiffness of the glue and cause the surfaces to slide apart.
However, if the hot glue becomes too stiff, it can also be a problem. One example is when you intend the bonds to remain flexible. When you are bonding two flexible surfaces to each other, the stiffness of the hot glue may cause both materials to be too hard.
In addition, increased stiffness can also lead to higher brittleness. In other words, if the bonded surfaces were to flex, the glue might break apart.
How Long Does Hot Glue Last?
One fact about hot glue is that it is a kind of adhesive. In other words, it can last as long as conventional epoxy adhesives. The hot glue should be able to last for around 2 years without getting brittle, provided you store it in a dry and cool place.
It can even last for a max of 5 years if you store it in that kind of environment. There is a tendency for it to lose its stickiness and strength, though, if exposed to excessive amounts of heat and cold.
If your place has an extremely cold or hot climate, make sure to use the glue within a year of buying it.
How strong is hot glue? It may not be as strong as an epoxy adhesive but it has benefits. If you need a strong bond with a bit of flexibility, use hot glue. However, if you want actual tensile strength, it may not be what you need. Shop around for the perfect hot glue or adhesive around until you find the one that fits your purposes.