LIQUID NAILS® Construction Adhesives: Tips & Tricks

The Facts About Moisture-Curing Adhesives

Most adhesives are either latex or solvent-based. Latex adhesives cure when the water in them evaporates. Solvent-based adhesives cure when the solvent in them evaporates. But there's a third kind of adhesives, called moisture-curing adhesives, which cure by reacting with moisture in the air or the substrate.

That does NOT mean that moisture-curing adhesives should be used on wet surfaces. (For that, you need this.) What it DOES mean is that their chemistry is different — and they can fill some needs that other adhesives can't.

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When should you use moisture-curing adhesives?
Moisture-curing adhesives are recommended for:

  1. Difficult-to-bond substrates, like metals, and most plastics, except for those containing either polyethylene or polypropylene
  2. Materials that are exposed to temperatures greater than 140° F, like insulation panels or exterior roofing applications
  3. Certain thin, sensitive materials, like sheet metal fascia for stores and some plastic panels (since moisture-curing adhesives won't shrink or distort these surfaces when curing)

 

When should you NOT use moisture-curing adhesives?
Moisture-curing adhesives can be used on anything EXCEPT materials made of polyethylene, polypropylene or a blend of these two materials.

To determine if the plastic with which you are working contains either polyethylene or polypropylene, look for the letters PE (polyethylene) or PP (polypropylene) in the recycling symbol on the product.

Which LIQUID NAILS Brand adhesives are moisture-curing?

 

How can you tell if another adhesive is moisture-curing?
The label on a moisture-curing adhesive will contain the words "polyurethane," "polyether," "polymer-based technology" or "silicone." (NOTE: This does NOT include siliconized acrylic latex caulking compounds, which are not moisture-curing products.)

The label may also contain warning statements such as "May cause skin and respiratory sensitization" or "May cause allergic reaction."

Can moisture-curing adhesives work in extremely dry air?
If humidity is extremely low, you can help get the curing process started by wiping a damp cloth or paper towel over the surface of the substrate before you apply the moisture-curing adhesive.

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