application, types. How to glue with liquid nails

7 min

We’ve all heard a lot about liquid nails. This is a special type of construction glue that can simply and quickly glue literally everything: drywall, ceramic tiles, glass, metal – this composition can be called universal. It appeared not so long ago, but has already conquered the whole world and is actively used when carrying out construction and repair work of varying complexity. Depending on the operating conditions, materials and surfaces to be glued, one or another type of liquid nails is chosen. Let’s try to figure out which liquid nails are better to choose and what is important to pay attention to when buying. Let’s decide on the areas of application of liquid nails and installation technology.

# 1. Composition of liquid nails

Liquid nails were invented in the USA. There, in the 60s, Macco first decided to pack regular glue into individual cartridges for ease of use. A couple of years later, a new development appeared – Liquid Nails. In a matter of years, liquid nails conquered American users with a lot of advantages, and they only hit the domestic market in the 90s.

The basis for the new type of glue is synthetic rubber with polymer additives. A special grade of clay with increased plasticity was used as a filler. In the United States, in the state of Texas, huge deposits of this clay are concentrated, where the main industrial capacities of most local producers are located. Instead of unique clay, ordinary chalk is often used today. Thus, manufacturers are killing two birds with one stone: on the one hand, chalk acts as a filler, but at the same time it gives the glue the required white color, which, according to the classical technology, is achieved by adding titanium oxide. Adhesive with added chalk is significantly inferior in terms of quality.

Previously, toluene was added to the composition of liquid nails to improve adhesion and acetone to accelerate drying. The increased toxicity of these substances forced them to abandon their use. However, some companies still use such additives to reduce the cost of the composition. Their adhesives have an unpleasant odor and tend to be suspiciously low in price. In a room, such compositions should in no case be used.

# 2. Liquid nails: advantages and disadvantages

The unique composition and convenient form of packaging allows us to talk about the many advantages of liquid nails:

  • highest bond strength. The composition can withstand loads up to 80 kg / cm2;
  • good adhesion to almost all existing materials;
  • ease of use;
  • the composition can be used for gluing not only flat surfaces, but also with loose materials. Liquid nails simplify installation on curved surfaces;
  • such glue does not destroy the surface, does not damage its integrity, unlike ordinary nails;
  • liquid nails do not corrode;
  • the installation process takes place without noise, knocking, dust and dirt;
  • the glue sets in seconds;
  • modern formulations are non-toxic. A rare exception – dubious products of nameless companies at an unreasonably low price;
  • high fire resistance. Moisture resistance and frost resistance are characteristic only for neoprene compounds, poorly expressed in water-based adhesives;
  • most formulations have a faint, almost neutral odor;
  • economical consumption. One drop of material can withstand a load of up to 50 kg.

There are practically no drawbacks to liquid nails, if you do not take into account some restrictions on the use of different types of glue.

No. 3. Types of liquid nails by solvent type

The type of solvent used actually determines the scope of the composition. Today these types of liquid nails are produced:

  • on a synthetic basis;
  • water based.

Neoprene liquid nails are made from synthetic rubber. Such compositions can be used to glue fairly heavy structures, incl. and metal. The glue perfectly tolerates the effects of high humidity, temperature changes, frost, and provides high speed and strength of adhesion. The disadvantage of the material is a pungent odor and slight toxicity. When working with glue, it is necessary to protect hands and respiratory organs, and ventilate the room well. The unpleasant odor will persist for about two days after work. There is one more limitation – it is not recommended to glue synthetic materials with such a composition.

Water-based acrylic liquid nails are absolutely non-toxic and practically do not smell. Their strength is somewhat lower, so they are used to fasten lighter materials. It is this composition that must be used when working with porous surfaces. The disadvantages include sensitivity to temperature extremes, low frost and moisture resistance, therefore, such compositions are not suitable for large-scale work in the kitchen and in the bathroom.

No. 4. Types of liquid nails by appointment

By appointment, liquid nails can be divided into the following types:

  • universal;
  • special purpose.

It is clear that universal adhesives can be used in any conditions and for mounting on any surface. However, this versatility does not always work well when the conditions are very specific.

Special purpose formulations have clear recommendations for use. You can find the following liquid nails on sale:

  • for wet and dry rooms;
  • for indoor and outdoor use;
  • for fastening heavy structures;
  • compositions of increased strength and high solidification rate;
  • glue for mirrors, glasses and ceramics;
  • glue for expanded polystyrene panels and others.

Which liquid nails are better to choose, you need to decide depending on what and where you are going to attach. On the packaging, manufacturers indicate in what conditions this or that composition can be used, and for what it is mainly suitable.

No. 5. Liquid nails: application

Liquid nails are a versatile material that is suitable for working with such materials:

Sometimes liquid nails are used even when sealing cracks in walls, corner joints, countertops, ventilation holes, although it is better, of course, to use special sealants for this purpose. It is not recommended to use liquid nails when working with wet wood, or for gluing aquariums.

No. 6. What else to consider when choosing liquid nails?

When buying, carefully study the packaging and everything that is written on it. Pay special attention to these things:

  • glue setting time. This parameter in different formulations may slightly, but differ. If we are talking about the installation of some elements on the walls or on the ceiling, then it is better to take quick-setting adhesives in order to simplify the installation process for yourself;

  • structure. It is better to take glue, which does not contain chalk, it can slightly worsen the quality of the connection. If we are talking about responsible fastening or gluing heavy parts, then it is definitely better not to take a composition with chalk;

  • acetone in the composition is also not desirable;

  • for a bathroom and other rooms with high humidity, you should definitely take a moisture-resistant composition.

No. 7. Liquid nail manufacturers

The quality of the liquid glue, its composition and compliance with what is written on the packaging directly depends on the name of the manufacturer. Fastening materials and structures is a responsible business, so there is no need to save money. It is better to entrust the choice with the products of such manufacturers as:

  • HENKEL is a German company whose products are in high demand all over the world precisely because of their high quality. Produces liquid nails of the Moment Montage and Makroflex trademarks. There are universal compounds and adhesives for skirting boards, expanded polystyrene panels, super-strong adhesives for metal, wood and chipboard. Adhesive “Moment Montage Super Strong Plus” withstands loads up to 100 kg / cm2;

  • KIM TEC is another German manufacturer that produces universal liquid nails, moisture-resistant compounds, as well as adhesives for decorative elements, mirrors, adhesives with extra strong hold;

  • MACCO is an American company that pioneered the industry. Its products are of high quality, and the range is constantly expanding;

  • FRANKLIN is an American company that produces liquid nails under the Titebond trademark. The compositions are distinguished by increased strength and a sufficient range;

  • SELENA GROUP is a Polish company that produces Titan liquid nails, which are distinguished by a good price-quality ratio.

No. 8. Liquid nail gun

Working with liquid nails is very simple – even a beginner in the repair business will master it. It will be necessary to stock up on only a suitable compound and a special gun, where the cartridge with glue will be inserted. Despite the formidable name, this pistol looks more like a syringe, though quite bulky. A tube of glue is installed in the prepared niche so that on one side it rests against the tip, and on the other – against the pressure surface. The design is very simple, and installing the glue cartridge is also easy.

Pistols are frame and sheet. Frame are more reliable, as they allow you to fix the cartridge more tightly.

Depending on the design features, the pistols can be with or without reverse travel. The latter are used mostly by professionals when the volume of work is large and constant. For private construction, a reverse design is more suitable.

No. 9. How to glue with liquid nails?

The whole process is quite simple, no special skills are required:

  • surfaces that will stick together must be thoroughly cleaned and degreased;
  • it is necessary to apply glue pointwise or with a snake if the part is heavy. For application, use a special gun;
  • after application, the material is quickly applied to the surface and tightly pressed. It takes about 1-2 minutes to hold the part in the required position, then you can gently remove your hands. At this stage, if necessary, the vertical and horizontal level is controlled;
  • the drying time of the glue is 12-24 hours, it all depends on the type of composition, temperature, humidity and ventilation in the room. The final polymerization takes place after about a week.

When working with organic solvent-based liquid nails, it is worth using gloves, or even better, a mask to protect the respiratory tract.

No. 10. How to remove liquid nails?

When installation is carried out carefully and slowly, the chance of glue getting on the front side of the surface is low. If this happens anyway, try to wipe off the glue as soon as possible. While the composition is still not dry, it will be possible to remove it with a damp sponge or mineral-based solvent. When the glue is completely dry, special cleaners will help, or a rough mechanical method using a scraper, but you must act very carefully so as not to damage the surface. Another way out is heating to a temperature of 55-60 degrees, for example, with a construction hairdryer – the nails will turn into a liquid state and it will be much easier to remove them.

The most important thing is to be careful when buying and not trust tempting offers from little-known manufacturers. At best, the glue will be fragile, at worst, it will be harmful to health.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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