Reply by AlaskaGuy

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Posted on What is your choice in Wood Glue

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4050 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 02:25 AM

Here’s a little something about Titebond glue form someone who should know.

I got this from WoodCentral forum.

I’m a former Franklin employee and worked in the technical group until March of this year. Bill, your name sounds very familiar and I’m almost positive I’ve spoken with you at some point. If you’re who I’m thinking of you requested an informational CD after IWF two years ago after talking with Dale.

Anyways, since departing Franklin I’ve founded a business that is focused on guitars (after consulting that industry for a bit over a decade.) I have no industry affiliations with respect to adhesives: So here’s the straight dope on the differences:

White glues were the first PVA based adhesives and had little else to them. As a result they had lousy water resistance, were highly prone to creep, and generally wound up with a poor reputation compared to hot and liquid hide glues that were dominant in the woodworking industries at the time (mid 40s.) In order to improve their performance across the board (tack, creep resistance, thermal resistance, water resistance, to name a few) tackifying resins were added. In case you’re wondering, this is all that “aliphatic resin” glues consist of. I often call them resin-modified PVA’s because I consider it a less confusing term. This modification would not change the color on its own, so the decision was made to add yellow dye to differentiate them from white glues and is purely a marketing strategy. I have personally used dye free Titebond II and tested low quality yellow glues from manufacturers who have done nothing more than add dye to white glue. Uninformed individuals may try to convince you that yellow was added because it provided a better match to the surrounding wood. This is simply untrue. Not to mention, if you can see a glue line it’s too thick. As part of some competitive testing I performed on Gorilla Wood Glue (not the polyurethane… The type II water resistant white glue) I found that not only was it nearly colorless and clear when dried but its performance was effectively identical to that of Titebond II. If you need something colorless for an exterior application I would not hesitate to recommend Gorilla Wood Glue. Titebond III is a different animal. It was actually the end result of a project to achieve type I water resistance from a PVA as a method to compete with urea-formaldehyde adhesives. It does accomplish it, but unless you’re building a cutting board, countertop, or skateboard, I wouldn’t recommend it. The product is prone to creep, and there’s a reason its shear strength at 150°F isn’t published: it’s not great, usually around 1000 PSI which equates to a 2/3 loss of bond strength.

In terms of strength, at room temperature a good white glue can cause 100% wood failure just like Titebond Original, Extend, Titebond II, and Titebond III. Under ASTM D-905, they are also tested for shear strength at 150°F at which point from best to worst the list will look as follows: Titebond Extend, Titebond II Extend, Titebond Original, Titebond II, Titebond III. All PVA based adhesives are thermoplastics, which simply means they will melt (most of them reach their melting point somewhere above 250°F.) This is known as thermal plasticity, and in case you’re wondering, it correlates exactly with creep resistance. It’s also the reason that as a guitar manufacturer I personally use primarily Titebond Extend and Titebond 50. They’re overkill, but if a guitar gets left in a hot car I can still feel confident that it wont come apart.

I’ve seen the term crosslinking a lot in this thread and some confusion about how it relates to creep. Picture plain PVA adhesive as wet spaghetti noodles: If you leave them to dry they will tangle around each other and shrink a bit, and you won’t be able to pull the mass apart easily. Put that mess back into water and they will separate. Crosslinking PVAs would look more like spaghetti noodles that actually fused together as they dried and if you put them into water again those fused points (just like covalent crosslinks) would not separate. However, they do not crosslink with the wood itself. Instead, they have relatively weak electrostatic interactions (known as hydrogen bonds and van der waals forces) but in HUGE numbers, which is why they still create bonds stronger than wood.

I saw Bob’s name mentioned, you’re welcome to contact him if you wish. I helped train him, and unlike myself he comes from the sales/marketing world and still has an obvious corporate affiliation. In my case: I’m an entrepreneur with no specific allegiance to any adhesives company aside from my father who works for their industrial division. My Dad is the reason that despite being a younger guy I have been learning about the adhesives industry for over 25 years. I do my best to keep an eye on message boards because even though it’s not technically my responsibility anymore, I care about getting good information out to fellow woodworkers. Not to mention, at over 5 months unemployed and just starting to get endorsements and contract work… It makes me feel like I’m still contributing something to the world.

I’m sure I’ve opened a can of worms, so feel free to reply or contact me directly. I’m always happy to help.


Here’s a link to the whole thread if interested:
Alaskans for Global Warming

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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