Is Super Glue Flammable? Why or Why not?
Super glue is kind of indispensable in our lives. Whether it be a torn shoe or a broken piece of jewelry, there is nothing that super glue cannot fix.
With time, super glue has truly made its way to almost everyone's home. But, with everyone using it at such length, there arises a concern about its safety.
We know that super glue is waterproof and heat resistant to a point as well. But is super glue flammable?
Super glue is used to attach a lot of materials that we use in our daily lives. Should we be concerned that the glue will catch fire easily, or is it safe to use everywhere?
Let's find out.
How Does Super Glue Work?
Super glue is constructed out of cyanoacrylate. This is a sort of acrylic resin that has the capability to solidify almost instantly.
The construction of the strand is such that it spins around making a sort of plastic mesh. When the glue is exposed to the moisture in the air, the properties start to thicken and harden at the same time. Then, the molecular chains cannot move anymore.
Super glue is activated by water. It needs a very small amount to start working. You will see that super glue starts to harden almost immediately after it is exposed to air.
The moisture in the air is enough to activate its properties. This is one of the prime reasons why super glue tends to glue together your fingers so easily.
Can Glue Catch Fire?
There are a lot of different kinds of glues in the market. Therefore, the properties with which it is constructed differs from product to product.
Also, the property of glue before it cures and after it cures is not the same. So even if the glue is flammable when wet, it might not be flammable when fully cured. It can also be vice versa.
Is Super Glue Flammable And Combustible?
Because super glue is water based, the possibility of it catching fire is quite slim. There have been instances where a product glued together using super glue has been exposed to direct flame or even high temperatures without any issues.
If you hold super glue on fire for a long time, it will eventually start burning. But it is not prone to catching fire very easily.
While super glue is not flammable, other types of glues similar to the construction, such as model glue, spray adhesives, or even rubber cement are quite flammable.
Therefore, if you have used a mixture of model glue and super glue together, there's a possibility of the product catching fire.
Glues And Their Ability to Catch Fire
As we have mentioned before, there are a lot of different types of glues in the market. A lot of these glues are marketed as super glues as well.
Before you make the purchase, you need to be sure about what kind of glue you are buying. It's the only way you will understand whether or not the adhesive is flammable.
Here is a list of a few very common types of glues that are available for purchase in the market. We've tried to narrow down their properties, and their capability of catching fire, so that you make your choice accordingly.
Epoxy glue is a staple in many industries. But, with time, it has slowly made its way into the common household as well.
This glue is constructed out of a two-part resin. When the two chemicals are mixed together, a very strong bond is created.
Epoxy glue needs about 24 hours to cure completely. It stays wet for quite a long time.
When the glue is wet, it is flammable. The chemicals used in the mixture can catch fire very easily.
But, after the glue has cured completely, there is no such risk involved.
2. Elmer’s Glue
Elmer's Glue is one of the most common types of adhesives available in the market. We see most schools carry this brand of glue.
There are a lot of different types of Elmer's Glue as well. In schools, they use the white school version of Elmer's Glue.
These can be in liquid form or a glue stick. The glue is non-toxic and safe to work with as well. As expected, white school glue is not flammable.
Another kind of Elmer's glue that we often buy is the clear one. This product is water-based. So, it will not catch on fire when it is wet. But after it has set completely, there is a possibility of the glue becoming flammable.
But, for this to happen, the material containing the glue has to be exposed to fire for a very long time.
3. Gorilla Glue
You will find that most gorilla glue packaging comes with a warning about its combustible nature.
It is advised not to smoke in front of wet gorilla glue. The product also comes with a recommendation that advises you to use the glue in an open area.
If you are not working in any well-ventilated room, the combustible fumes from the glue might build up. These fumes are flammable and can cause serious accidents.
But not to worry, gorilla glue is not flammable once it has cured completely. Its combustible components evaporate fully after it has cured. After this, the glue is not flammable anymore.
4. Loctite Glue
Loctite glue can withstand high heat. It is weather-resistant, and can therefore be used on materials that often get hot.
But, as the temperature increases, the glue will start to wear a little. With increased temperature, the molecules inside the blue will start to move more rapidly, which in turn weakens its bonding capability.
With increased heat, the glue will start to melt. Anything that you have attached using the glue will become separate. If the heat is continued even after the melting stage, the glue will eventually start to burn, give off fumes, and catch fire.
We do a deep dive into loctite 242 vs 243 model in our another article.
5. Nail Glue
Nail glue can sometimes burn your skin. Although this burn is very small, it still is a burn.
This is because nail glue gives off heat as it dries. Similar to super glue, nail glue is flammable when wet. But it will not catch fire when it has been cured completely.
You should be careful not to touch wet nail glue with your skin. Although experts are trying to create nail glues that do not catch fire, or do not burn as much, no significant improvement has been seen in its properties as of yet.
6. PVA Glue
PVA glue is sometimes used in place of super glue. We see this form of glue used in the leather industry.
Fortunately, this type of glue does not emit any harmful fumes. It does not catch fire and is not flammable either.
7. Wood Glue
Wood glue is generally not flammable. But, when using the product, you should stay in a well-ventilated area.
In recent years, research has shown that wood glue uses a lot of toxic components. So you have to be careful when breathing around that.
Can Super Glue Burn Through Materials?
If you have experience working with super glue, you might have noticed that sometimes it burns materials.
This is most often seen when the glue is applied to fabric or cotton.
Super glue is made out of a chemical that goes through an exothermic reaction when it cures. As the glue dries, it creates a lot of heat.
Even a drop of super glue can completely harden the fabric and crack it open.
This is also one of the main reasons why super glue is flammable when wet. The chemicals in the glue have not dried yet and will therefore catch fire very easily.
Is Super Glue Fire Resistant?
Super glue that is made out of cyanoacrylate is considered to be fire-resistant.
The product can withstand up to 275° F of heat. So it takes a lot of heat and fire to melt super glue.
When exposed to this level of heat, super glue will produce very toxic fumes. These fumes can cause breathing problems.
Super glue is a product that is both water-resistant and fire-resistant as well.
At What Temperature Will Super Glue Start To Melt?
Super glue will start melting from 187° c temperature or 368° F. When it will start to melt depends on the brand of glue that you are using.
Some super glues are more fire resistant than others. But, most super glues can withstand heat and are often water resistant.
After super glue starts melting, it will give off a very toxic fume, and will slowly start to burn.
What Kind Of Glue Is Not Flammable?
Water-based glues are not flammable. Plastic-based glues such as PVA glues are not flammable as well.
In general, super glue cannot be categorized as flammable glue. After all, it does not catch fire after it has dried.
The right thing to do is to read the label of glue before purchasing it. All the information about whether or not a brand's glue is flammable is often displayed on the packaging or label.
A safe rule of thumb to follow is that glues are flammable when wet. After it has dried, the possibility of glues catching fire is quite slim. But, if exposed to heat and fire for long enough, any type of glue will start to burn.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. At What Temperature Does Super Glue Start To Wear Out?
Super Glue can withstand about 275° F temperature. After this, the glue will start to melt slowly.
After reaching a temperature of 330° F super glue will start to decompose into cyanide gas.
2. Is Cyanide Gas Harmful For You?
When super glue is exposed to high levels of heat, specifically 330° F, it decomposes into cyanide gas.
This gas is very harmful to your eyes, nose, and even your mouth. The gas can cause damage to your lungs and irritate the mucous membranes.
3. Can You Use Super Glue On Hot Surfaces?
There are some glues that you can use on hot surfaces, but not all can stand high heat.
HT series cyanoacrylate glues can withstand high temperatures. You can use these on surfaces that are -65° F to 250° F without any issues.
4. Will Super Glue Burn Rubber?
Super Glue creates heat as it dries. If the rubber is very thin, there is a possibility that the glue will burn through it.
The glue can melt the surface as well. But the rubber has to be ultra-thin for this to happen. In fact, super glue is often used to attach regular rubber pieces.
5. Can You Use Super Glue On Fabric?
No, you can't. As we have mentioned before, super glue creates heat as it dries.
This heat will melt cotton and fabric very easily. Once you apply super glue on the fabric, it will dry instantly, and crack the surface.
We use super glue for a lot of different tasks daily. Therefore, we must know how safe this glue is.
Is super glue flammable? The general answer to that is no. Dried, and cured super glue is not flammable.
But, when wet, it is flammable. Until and unless the chemicals are on the way to dry completely, the product will remain flammable.
Although cured super glue does not catch fire easily, it can burn. When it's exposed to heat for long, the glue will give off toxic fumes that are very harmful to you. Try and work in a well-ventilated area when using super glue.