How to Choose Adhesives: A Quick Guide

July 27, 2022

An adhesive is a term given to a binding substance that is applied onto the surface of materials so that they don’t get separated. There are different kinds of adhesives being used for diverse applications in building and construction, packaging, woodworking footwear, and automotive industries.

Because of rapidly growing demand and diverse applications, the market for glues and adhesives has been increasing steadily over the years.


Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the global adhesives market didn’t experience any major impact. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 5% between 2019 and 2030 and reach an estimated value of USD 89 Billion by the end of the forecast period.

Since there are so many varieties of adhesives available in the market, it is important to know exactly which one will do the job for you.

Types of Adhesives

If you look around the market, you will find different kinds of adhesives that can be used for all sorts of binding purposes.


However, it is important to identify the differences among them and understand their applications. Take a look at some of the primary categories of these adhesives:

Polyvinyl Adhesive (PVA)

Polyvinyl Adhesives (also referred to as PVA glue) are one of the general-purpose adhesives that are typically used to bind wooden surfaces. They are highly effective, inexpensive, safe, and quite easy to use. Although they have a milky-white color appearance, they turn transparent as soon as they dry.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)

A pressure-sensitive adhesive is a binding material that joins two surfaces together solely by surface contact. However, it requires a slight initial external pressure. You don’t need water, solvent, or heat as an activating agent with these adhesives. They can firmly bind many dissimilar surfaces with minimal pressure. They are commonly used for craft and DIY projects as they effectively bind materials such as glass, metal, plastic, and paper.

Spray Adhesive

These adhesives are suspended in solvents and they are sprayed onto surfaces through a specialist gun or aerosol. Once sprayed on the surface, the solvent within the substance evaporates completely before the glue creates a bond.

Spray adhesives are being widely used because they are less messy and easy to use compared to other forms of bonding glues that are poured or wiped on. They are also compatible with different types of materials. However, they should be used in extremely well-ventilated spaces.

Epoxy Resin Adhesive

This kind of adhesive is particularly useful when it comes to binding materials and surfaces that are otherwise considered incompatible. Using this two-part epoxy resin, you can create strong, reliable, and comprehensively weatherproof bonds. However, you should be careful while using them as they are considered toxic.

Flooring Adhesive

Many types of flooring require adhesives so that they can be properly installed. Some of these adhesives include acrylic/latex, mortars, grouts and cementitious adhesives, silicone, and polyurethane. These adhesives typically contain a wide range of plasticizers, fillers, thickeners, surfactants, and hardeners.

Acrylic Polymer Adhesives

These adhesives are a popular choice for craft projects and DIY jobs. Also referred to as grab adhesives, they are designed to replace screws and nails while fixing skirting boards and wooden moldings in place.


Cyanoacrylate adhesives are commonly known as instant glues, power glues, or superglues. They have the ability to bond various substances, including human skin and tissues, natural cotton, leather, fibers, and wool. However, this glue has a low shearing strength and is also used as a temporary adhesive in places where the piece needs to be sheared off later. That is what makes this a great bonding agent for small and precise repairs.

One may easily get confused by the wide range of options in the adhesive’s aisle at their local hardware store. However, if you read a little about these adhesives and stay a little cautious before buying, you will make the right choice. Remember that no one kind of adhesive is right for all jobs.

The key to making the right decision lies in carefully reading the manufacturer’s guidelines. Each adhesive type has its own unique properties and recommended usage guidelines. Thus, you will know which one to use and exactly how.



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