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Why is glue sticky?

Why is glue sticky?
Mr. Davies from Swansea (Age: 25-34)


One Response

  1. Hi Mr. Davies :).
    Glue is ‘sticky’ because the fluid surface/material, contact – bonds. The adhesive then dries or ‘cures’ thereby becoming a solid link between the two objects being joined. Looking more closely, the liquid phase enables the glue to ‘invade’ the minute pores, pits and fissures which the smoothest of solid surfaces possess and which will become filled as the gasses there-in are absorbed during the transition or curing of the glue. If two materials share this linkage, then in much the same way as a single link in a chain acts between partners, the solidified glue imparts strength to the structure created. Obviously there are many different kinds of adhesive and their chemical natures dictate the reactions which take place and their intrinsic suitability for individual materials. Animal glues, starches, gums, cellulose, natural rubbers, cements, resins etc. all have their applications and characteristics.
    Over 4000 years ago, during the Egyptian period, applications of glue technology were first recorded, using natural ingredients from animal hides and ground bones boiled for extraction and concentration. These formulae became quite fundamental to all glues for centuries to come. More recently, ‘chemically engineered’ alternatives have enabled stronger bonds between different materials e.g. bodily tissues in operations, to be made. Plasticisers such as glycerine or the cheaper alternative sorbitol, glycols and ‘tackifiers’ improve elasticity and resilience making the glue less brittle when set.
    Glue technology becomes increasingly complex but I hope that the above summary provides sufficient information to answer your question.
    Good Luck.

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