History of adhesives

History of adhesives

Adhesives of various types have always been with modern mankind. From prehistoric times about 200,000 years ago, until the Bronze Age, adhesives made from natural resources provided a great service to our ancestors who managed to make better tools, weapons, and preserve their culture using countless uses of these excellent compounds.


Some of the most famous examples of the early use of glue in decorative items from 6,000 years ago, axes and arrowheads from 5,200 years ago, 3,500-year-old records of glue in the creation of papyrus and laminated woodwork, combined with glue found in 2,500-year-old Egyptian pharaonic tombs. With the rise of the Greek and Roman empires.


While early civilizations relied mostly on adhesives made from heat-treated rubber materials, the only adhesives commonly used in Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and World War I were adhesives made from animal hides, connective tissue, and hoofs. Those parts were cooked and turned into jelly and then dried and stored as powder.

If needed, the powder was mixed in water and cooked slowly until it reached the desired thickness. During those centuries, this glue formula was used not by people, but by furniture makers and woodworkers. With World War I, several other natural glues were invented and introduced to the common people (milk glue and nitrocellulose glues, which were flammable), but the real revolution came in the 1930s with the advent of modern chemistry and industry. It was then that finally scientists and chemists were able to discover the secrets of plastic glue, rubber and synthetic resin.


This was the dawn of industrial adhesives, which were widely used during World War II, and the military pushed more scientists and inventors to discover new useful compounds (such as neoprenes, epoxies, and acrylonitriles). After the war, the public and industry could find adhesives with any properties they liked, including waterproofing.

Various uses of glue

From the 19th century onwards, with the advent of synthetic adhesives that are polymerized in laboratories, vegetable and animal adhesives were removed from the scene or became very weak. The adhesive industry is growing extensively, and there are a limited number of modern man-made devices that do not use adhesives. Various types of adhesives and sealants are used in the connections of most devices, from a very simple box to an airplane.

Building industry

Adhesives are an integral part of buildings, from water and sewage pressure PVC pipe adhesives to silicone sealant adhesives (aquarium adhesives), tile adhesives, wall paper adhesives, stone adhesives, as well as 123 adhesives for wooden structures, MDF cabinets, wood adhesives, as well as polyurethane foams and mastics with frequent use to insulate and seal all kinds of gaps.

Polymer materials (Baspar)

Adhesives all contain bispar (polymer) or polymers are obtained during the hardening of adhesives by the chemical reaction of addition polymerization or condensation polymerization. Polymers give adhesive strength. They can be considered as strings of similar chemical units that are connected by covalent bonds. Polymers melt at high temperatures and dissolve in suitable solvents. Their fluidity in thermal adhesives and their solubility in solvent-based adhesives are essential. Network polymers do not flow when heated, they may swell in solvents, but they do not dissolve. Construction adhesives are cross-linked because this eliminates creep (deformation under constant load).

Other additives to glue and sealant

Many adhesives, in addition to polymer materials, have additives such as:

  • Stabilizers against destruction by oxygen and UV rays
  • Softening materials that increase the flexibility and reduce the glass transition temperature (Tg).
  • Mineral fillers that reduce the amount of shrinkage during hardening and change the lubrication properties before hardening and improve the final mechanical properties.
  • Lubricants that are mostly added to improve the injection process or apply adhesives under pressure.

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