Cyanoacrylate Glue Products

Published on
September 6, 2021
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Our friends at BSI sent along a box of current and new releases across their line of CA products. Some of these may be familiar to you, others, like their new Plastic-Cure brush on product, were new to me.

Let’s take a look at the family of BSI products:

BSI-105 Plastic-Cure Adhesive: this new ½ ounce product comes in a bottle with a brush cap. Applied like many solvent based adhesives, it is applied to one of the mating surfaces and cures up in 10-20 seconds. It reacts to the Accelerator product as well, if an instant cure is desired. It won’t fill large gaps but is ideal for joints where the two surfaces make intimate contact (think fuselage seams, upper to lower wing joints, etc.)

BSI-116 IC-GEL Coral Frag Adhesive: Supplied in a 0.7 oz tube, this is a very high viscosity gel product that cures in 30 seconds. It can be applied in any orientation (interestingly, one original application is to bond pieces of coral together to make aquarium décor).

BSI-112 Maxi-Cure Adhesive: sold in the familiar 1 oz squeeze bottle, this is the thickest of the non-gel CA products from BSI. It’s designed to cure in 15-25 seconds (all times quoted are a function of air temperature and perhaps most importantly, humidity, since CA products are activated by moisture). Use of the Accelerator product will in most cases cause an instantaneous cure).

BSI-161 Un-Cure: I keep a bottle of this product nearby whenever working with CA materials, particularly the thin ones. We’ve all had that experience of gluing ourselves to our project or to other body parts. Nothing more needs to be said….or will be said. Note that the accompanying literature suggests that Un-Cure is not meant to be used on plastics, so be careful if applying to plastic parts by limiting where you apply it.

Photo 2 BSI-107 Insta-Cure Gap Filling Glue, Medium Viscosity: With a 5-15 second cure time, this is a great adhesive for filling seams and gaps. As with any CA based adhesive, the trick here is to sand and blend the area you’re filling soon after the adhesive cures up. If you wait a day or two, the glue becomes much harder than the surrounding plastic or resin. I generally wait 15 minutes after using this material before wet sanding and blending the seam.

BSI-119 Insta-Flex Thin Adhesive: A Low-Odor, 2-5 second curing low viscosity adhesive designed for applications where some degree of flexibility is required. CA adhesives tend to be very brittle after cure, this product allows for some limited motion after cure.

BSI-126 Super-Gold Odorless Gap Filling Glue: This product comes in a ½ ounce applicator bottle and features a completely odorless cure. Some people become sensitized to CA fumes during cure (although the outgas product is non-toxic). Super-Gold offers a solution to anyone affected in that way. The product literature also claims that Super-Gold can be used on clear parts without risk of fogging them.

BS-121 Super-Gold Odorless Thin Glue: Same odorless formulation as BS-126, but in a very low viscosity formulation for joining surfaces that fit tightly.

BSI-151 Insta-Set Accelerator: this stuff lives up to its name, and a quick spray of the pump applicator will immediately kick the CA into cure. This is when fumes and heat are generated as the product undergoes an instantaneous chemical reaction, so use caution. I have two bottles of this product on my workbench. When I’m attaching small photoetch parts, I use a clear vinyl eyedropper with a very small tip to carefully apply Accelerator only to the area I’m working on. I use the spray bottle on larger area bonds including fuselage seams.

BSI-101 Insta-Cure Super Thin Glue: For tightly fitting surfaces. Runs like water; cures in 1-3 seconds. Great product, requiring great care in controlling where it goes.

BSI-111 Maxi-Cure Extra Thick adhesive: with a 10-25 second cure time, this product is the “go-to” gap filler material for many modelers, replacing conventional fillers. When kicked off with Accelerator, this material can be shaped and sanded within just a few minutes depending on how thick it’s been applied. A good tip here is to build the product up in thin layers, sanding as you go, until the gap or seam is filled.

BSI-141 Foam-Cure: A flexible, clear product, ideal for RC modelers building foam aircraft.

A few general comments: As many of you may know, CA adhesives were initially created as a battlefield wound suturing alternative. They bond really well to skin using the natural moisture found in human skin as the accelerant. Be careful using these materials, particularly the low viscosity formulations.

If you use the applicator tip on the bottle, take a moment after dispensing the product to wipe the tip clean and squeeze the narrow sides of the container to suck any excess adhesive sitting in the tip back down into the bottle. This minimizes the likelihood of a clogged tip and ensures that the cap seats back down onto the bottle correctly, limiting air and moisture ingress into the remaining product.

CA glues will last longer if stored in a refrigerated environment. I store unopened bottles and tubes on a shelf of our freezer.

I strongly recommend the use of an applicator when using CA adhesives. There are a number of brands out there in addition to a number of tutorials on how to make your own using a sewing needle. A butane lighter will burn off any cured remnants of adhesive from your applicator after use.

I’d like to thank Charlee Smith of BSI and IPMS/USA to review these fine products.


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