Industrial vs Retail Ethyl Cyanoacrylate

Laurie Gibbons
Adhesive Types, Cyanoacrylate Adhesives
January 14, 2014

What is the difference between industrial cyanoacrylates and the instant adhesives I find in a retail store? Why don’t high-speed production lines tend to use “no-name” retail cyanoacrylates and save money?
The short answer is purity and variety. High purity, quality industrial cyanoacrylate is needed to produce consistent cure speed and bond strength – this is essential in a fast-moving production line to make sure production is kept running smoothly with a minimal failure rate and, of course, no customer complaints! An inferior quality cyanoacrylate with variable performance can cost a production line and a company’s reputation dearly.


Most cyanoacrylate sold in retail is basic ethyl cyanoacrylate. The primary difference between the no-name retail variety ethyl cyanoacrylates and industrial ethyl cyanoacrylates is the quality management system behind the products. For the retail brands, there are normally no (or very loose) specific cure speed or strength specifications for the product. This is OK if you are just repairing something around the house – if it takes 3 seconds or 3 minutes to cure, it is not a big deal, but this can be a problem on a fast-moving production line.


Years ago, the adhesive training manual said, “Methyl for Metal and Ethyl for Everything else.” That would be easy if there were only one type of Ethyl and if advances in Ethyl formulations didn’t bond so well to metals.
Ethyl cyanoacrylates, including specialty formulations of ethyl cyanoacrylates, form strong bonds to a wide variety of materials. The additional benefits of some of the specialty formulations are as follows:

  • Toughened Ethyl cyanoacrylates provide more impact resistance.
  • Flexible Ethyls provide better peel strength and can help maintain the flexibility of bonded substrates.
  • Modified Ethyls provide high-temperature resistance.
  • Non-blooming, Low Odor Ethyls provide a pleasing aesthetic finish – with no white residue.
  • Surface Insensitive Ethyl cyanoacrylates bond to acidic and porous surfaces.
  • High Temperature Resistant

Industrial cyanoacrylate manufacturers offer a range of products with these features, which can be tailored to specific production line applications – giving a better-finished bond performance and durability than a generic no-name cyanoacrylate.

For further information or assistance, please contact Permabond.

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