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Illustrated Guide to Innovation

Glue


Glue is a fluid adhesive made from natural or synthetic sources and is used in a number of different situations to bind two surfaces together.

Glue
Glue

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Glue is used to bind together two surfaces. Glue has many advantages over different methods of bonding things together, such as sewing, thermal bonding, or mechanical fastening. Glues are used extensively in manufacturing and there are barely any products that don’t use any adhesives in their production. Adhesives can be used to hold the product together or to attach labels to packaging.

Glues have been used by humans for thousands of years. Early glues were derived from trees and were used to create tools such as axes. The next development was creating glue from animal products. Early Native American civilizations would boil animal hooves to create adhesives. Prolonged boiling of hooves extracts collagen, which can be used to bond surfaces together. The word "collagen" comes from the Greek kolla, meaning glue. The first commercial glue factory was opened in 1690 in Holland. There, they created glues from animal hides. Glues were used extensively in the 17th century by craftsmen who worked with wood and were used to create furniture and musical instruments.

The next major development was creating glues from synthetic substances. The first commercially produced synthetic adhesive was Karlsons Klister in 1910. Synthetically manufactured glues offered more flexibility, toughness, resistance, and faster drying time than natural glues. This led to the ability to use glues in a many new areas.

One of the most popular household glues over the 20th century is superglue (a.k.a. cyanoacrylate). Superglue was accidentally discovered in 1942 when Dr. Harry Coover was attempting to make clear plastic sights for allied soldiers during World War II. Superglue was first sold to the public in 1958 under the name Eastmen 910. Superglue is fast-drying and can be used to bond a range of materials together.

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•   (English) Glue   •   (Español) Pegamento   •   (Français) La Colle   •   (Deutsch) Kleben   •   (Italiana) Colla   •   (Nederlands) Lijm   •   (Português) Cola   •   (עברית) דֶבֶק   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) صمغ   •   (हिन्दी) गोंद   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Клей   •   (Dansk) Lim   •   (Svenska) Lim   •   (Suomi) Liima   •   (Norsk) Lim   •   (Türkçe) Tutkal   •   (Polski) Klej   •   (Româna) Lipici   •   (Ceština) Lepidlo   •   (Slovenský) Lepidlo   •   (Magyar) Ragasztó   •   (Hrvatski) Ljepilo   •   (български) Лепило   •   (Lietuvos) Klijai   •   (Slovenščina) Lepilo   •   (Latvijas) Līme   •   (eesti) Liim