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Anyone who used model airplane cement or Elmer’s Glue-All a couple of decades ago can appreciate how glues have increased in number, type and quality.
Consider Titebond wood-to-wood glue, a favorite among woodworkers. Known as polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glues, Titebond is yellow while rival Elmer’s is white. Geared for the outdoors where moisture and cold are a concern, waterproof Titebond III Ultimate came out about three years ago. Titebond II Premium debuted in 1991 and the original Titebond first squirted out of the bottle in the mid-50s.
Those shrinking periods between new glues probably mean Titebond IV is just around the corner, but Mark Schroeder, senior brand manager for Franklin International, isn’t talking. “I have no specifics there,” he says. Franklin International owns the Titebond line and is a “New Yankee Workshop” sponsor.
Regardless, the number of glues is growing fast. For example, another popular glue type is polyurethane, which includes Elmer’s Ultimate Glue Polyurethane, Titebond Polyurethane Glue and, perhaps the best known, Gorilla Glue. With great bonding characteristics for porous (wood) and non-porous surfaces such as plastic and metal, a downside of polyurethane glue is its tendency to foam up and get messy.
“We’ve got something that will be commercialized in October or November ready to address that issue,” says Titebond’s Schroeder. Elmer’s is responding with a new and less foamy polyurethane, “Nanoglue,” which promises to contain nano particles that strengthen the bonding ability, according to Elmer’s Vice President of Marketing Brian King. It will be carried exclusively by Home Depot, he says.
“Gorilla has done a good job (popularizing polyurethane glue), but wood-to wood (PVA) is still best for wood where appearance matters,” says King. There are also the cyanoacrylates such as Krazy Glue or Super Glue for around-the-house repair.
Marketing is not about to be outdone by the number of glues or their many technical advances, especially at Elmer’s. The company has new bottles with side spouts to reach into corners and glue kits aimed at specific applications such as bathroom, fiberglass and wallpaper repair. Elmer’s even has a kit for renters to fix items so they can get their security deposit returned. Women and young “inexperienced” homeowners will not likely escape this marketing onslaught.
King acknowledges consumers will pay more for glue packaged this way, but that they often buy more than necessary. “Consumers tend to buy more than they need. You get enough to fix exactly what you want (with the new kits),” he says.
If none of these glues meet your needs, check out giants such as Henkel Consumer Adhesives and 3M Corp. where a dozen or so more recognizable glue brands can be found.
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