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"Can water loosen a super glue bond?" Topic


15 Posts

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Baranovich Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 10:13 p.m. PST

I was in an ambitious mood a few hours ago and started building a halfling army that I have had stored for some time.

I also had three ogre models that I'm going to use as like Empire/mercenary ogres for the halfling army.

One of them was a resin cast multi-part model from Cadwallon miniatures. In my zeal to put the army together, I forgot to wash the resin ogre parts in water and dish detergent first.

It glued together fine, but then I got worried that primer and paint might adhere to it if left unwashed. So I just gave it a light scrubbing of warm, soapy water and a quick rinse.

My question is pretty direct: would washing it after it was assembled loosen the super glue bonds? I checked it after it dried, all the parts seem to be as firmly adhered together as from before it was washed.

Should I pry it apart and glue it again?

Puster Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 10:28 p.m. PST

Water should have no effect. It depends on the soap, but that again should normally have no effect on typical superglue (Cyanacrylate), except slight physical (pressure, temperature differences).

BTW: When the two sides do not fit perfectly (which they sometimes, but rarely, do) I usually fill in any gaps with slightly watered wood glue. I found out that this adds considerably to the adhesion.

VVV reply16 Jun 2017 11:01 p.m. PST

I think thats standard, when you have stuck your fingers together, you use water to get rid of the superglue.
Freezing is another way to destroy the bond – but you cannot do that to you.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 2:18 a.m. PST

saliva is also a solvent for superglue, or so my dentist told me, after a did a temporary repair on a filling with it.

basileus6617 Jun 2017 3:11 a.m. PST

No, it shouldn't.

According to wiki:

"Cyanoacrylate glue's ability to resist water has made it popular with marine aquarium hobbyists for fragging corals. The cut branches of hard corals such as Acropora can be glued to a piece of live rock (harvested reef coral) or Milliput (epoxy putty) to allow the new frag to grow out. It is safe to use directly in the tank, unlike silicone, which must be cured to be safe. However, as a class of adhesives, traditional cyanoacrylates are classified as having "weak" resistance to both moisture and heat[6] although the inclusion of phthalic anhydride reportedly counteracts both of these characteristics.[7]"

Solvents and debonders (again, according to wiki):

"Acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover, is a widely available solvent capable of softening cured cyanoacrylate.[27] Other solvents include nitromethane, dimethyl sulfoxide, and methylene chloride.[28] gamma-Butyrolactone may also be used to remove cured cyanoacrylate"

Therefore, tap water shouldn't cause you any trouble as long as the room temperature and humidity are not those of a swamp in a typical high summer day.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 3:45 a.m. PST

Water does two things to a superglue bond.
The first us to catalyze the setting of the bond in the first place. Sparingly of course.

The second is to loosen the actual bond when it is set. Immersing in warm water is actually a very good way to break the bond. Water seeps in between the two substrates and glue. Something has to give. The warmer the water, and the longer it sits, the more likely the bond separates.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 5:03 a.m. PST

In my experience a light breeze can loosen a Super Glue bond.

Baranovich Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 5:12 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the great info guys, much appreciated!

Well that's kind of what I suspected. Super glue bonds are breakable even when a firm bond is achieved. Anybody who has dropped a multi-part metal model can attest to this.

I am able to pop metal minis off of plastic bases without too much trouble.

The strength of a super glue bond in wargaming I suppose is that the bond isn't going to have any kind of sufficient force applied to it to break the bond – most of the time. And then the occasional drop or mishap which can achieve breakage.

From what I'm reading about what you posted about the properties of the glue, just doing an exterior scrubbing and quick rinsing probably won't affect the bond. I never submerged it at all so there wasn't time for the water to work on the bonds the way it would if you intentionally wanted to loosen them.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

One other thing. The bond has a terrible sheer strength, regardless of ambient conditions. So while it has an ok bond for trying to pull things apart, a 90degree blow can knock it right apart.

I am less and less impressed with superglue performance the more I use it.
When it first came out it was much better, using methyl-cyanoacrylate.
My guess is that Legal was aghast at "incidents" that forced the manufacturers to use the weaker ethyl- and add fillers.
It ain't what it used to be.

whitejamest17 Jun 2017 8:40 a.m. PST

Bear in mind that performance of the glue will vary a lot from brand to brand. I use a weak brand to attach models to a painting stick, which will hold them while I work on them, and then after I pop them off that I use a much stronger brand (Loctite runny super glue is my favorite) to attach them to their final setting.

GypsyComet17 Jun 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

In the other direction, you may also use differential shrinkage and the expansion of ice to break bonds by soaking a superglued model in warm water then tossing it in the freezer.

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

If water is heated and pressurized enough, it can break almost any bond

TonicNH18 Jun 2017 1:04 a.m. PST

for what its worth I've found that soaking metal minis in nail varnish remover helps soften super glue bonds….not sure what the effect would be on resin though…might be worth trying it out on a test piece?

Ivan DBA20 Jun 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

I've heard that putting the superglued figure in a freezer for awhile will make the bond more fragile. Never tried it.

Pyrate Captain10 Oct 2017 4:51 a.m. PST

Try soaking in Superclean.

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