When an adhesive is a contact this means it adheres to itself, taking along what ever it is attatched to. To use a contact adhesive you simply apply even coats of the adhesive to each material you wish to adhere, allow it to dry, and stick them together. Contact adhesives are ideal when it is awkward to clamp, or when you have large surface area. Some Glues can be used as contact adhesives or as straight application, see Spray Adhesives.
Tips on using a contact adhesive:
- If the material you are bonding is porous, apply two coats of adhesive, allowing it to dry inbetween.
- Even if the instructions say you may wait up to 24 hours before bonding, if your environment is dusty (which most are), this will reduce the strength of your bond. It is best to bond materials within two hours of applying the adhesive.
- The most common mistake that people make with a contact adhesive, is to attempt to bond the materials too soon. The thicker the layer of adhesive, the longer it will take to dry. So even if the instruction say it is ready for bonding in ten minutes, this is better tested by touching the adhesive. If it does not come off on your finger, then it is dry enough to bond.
- The more even your application of contact adhesive, the more even your drying time, and the stronger your bond. For an even coat, use a small paint roller. If you are using a solvent free adhesive, this will wash up in soap and water. For solvent based adhesive, it is easier and less harmfull on the environment to throw the roller out after use, than to use enough of the appropriate solvent to clean your roller. Also, a foam brush gives a fairly even coat as well.