What is the Best Glue For Styrofoam in 2020?
Every job presents unique requirements. Mix and match of materials bring even more challenges. Not all glues are designed to deal with such tasks. Use the wrong one and either, bonds fail or you’re left with a sticky mess you will have to clean up. Especially when working with products like Styrofoam and Expanded Polystyrene Foam, the wrong glue will damage the materials. So let`s figure out what is the Best glue for Styrofoam.
Taking into account Styrofoam’s composition and structure, it is one of those materials which require special care and a uniquely designed glue.
Join our review of 5 leading products, learning about the pros and cons of each, and decide which achieves the best result.
Here is a quick comparison of the Best glues for styrofoam
|Product||Designed for Styrofoam?||Spray or Liquid||Minimum Adhesion Time||Bond Strength||Special Features|
|3M 78||Various types of insulation, including EPS||Spray||1 Minute||Professional||Optimized spray pattern and coverage width|
|3M 74||Styrofoam (EPS) & Fabrics||Spray||15 Seconds||Professional||Optimized spray pattern and coverage width|
|UHU POR||Styrofoam (EPS)||Liquid Gel||10 Minutes||Professional||Remains elastic and waterproof|
|Weldbond||Multi- Purpose Glue / Safe for Styrofoam||Liquid Gel||Sets in 20 Minutes / Fully cures in 24 hours||Professional / Home||One glue to meet a variety of needs|
|Gorilla Glue||Multi-Purpose Glue / Safe for Styrofoam||Liquid Gel||1 Hour||Professional / Home||Best used to bond dissimilar surfaces|
Let’s take a closer look at each and consider some of the pros and cons:
Pros & Cons
- Let’s start with the fact that this glue is specifically formulated to bond Expanded Foam Polystyrene (EPS) to itself and other materials. It does not destroy the material in any way. Instead, it creates a lace pattern over the areas to be bonded and hardens to create a powerful bond. The lace pattern is a unique feature of the 3M products which make them particularly effective for these use.
- The width of the spray is adjustable, allowing a single pass over the area to be bonded, which several purposes. Primarily, it helps ensure an even distribution of the adhesive over the areas. It ensures a strong bond with consistent strength over the entire seam. Due to their design, bonds are more durable. The spray control also helps to reduce waste by targeting the areas to be bonded more accurately and with little or no over-spray.
- The adhesive is fast drying, making it easier to work with. There is no need for clamping the materials being bonded. Simple setting the section carefully in the necessary place is enough to ensure the job is done right.
- The 3M adhesive effectively bonds polystyrene foam to metal, wood, plywood, aluminum, plastic, concrete and so on. It is effective in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions, so both cold and hot dry weather applications can be served.
- This is a single purpose adhesive, where EPS is to be joined with some other material. So for those who have multiple adhesive requirements, joining many different types of material, other adhesives will be needed.
- It is an aerosol spray which will be difficult to use in most windy conditions. Like a spray paint, it will be subject of over-spray and can cause problems on surrounding surfaces.
- Against the stark white of polystyrene, the spray will appear yellow. In areas which may be exposed, it could be unsightly.
3M 74 Foam Fast Adhesive Spray – Best Glue for Styrofoam to Metal
Pros & Cons
- This adhesive is also specifically formulated for use with Expanded Foam Polystyrene (EPS) but adds an extra ability to bond foam material with fabrics as well. It still maintains its ability to bond Styrofoam to a wide range of other materials so it serves many application types. Its ability to bond with fabrics makes it especially useful in upholstery applications where foam is covered by decorative material coverings and then bonded to other structures, like dimensional wood, plywood, metal, and aluminum.
- It also applies a lace pattern that bonds well with both the material covering and the expanded foam filling. Especially for pieces of furniture which are used regularly for seating, the strength of the lace bonding pattern is really durable.
- The spray width is adjustable, allowing greater application control. It’s rather easy to ensure proper coverage, without the risk of damaging any materials exposed. With the controlled application, the adhesive bond is stronger and it sets quicker.
- Using upholstery tacks is unnecessary, unless at least for aesthetic purposes. The adhesive does the job without any mechanical fasteners.
- Unlike the previous adhesive, 3M 74 is a clear-drying glue. So, for those products where the bonded surfaces will be visible, it leaves no signs.
- This adhesive is specifically designed to bond polystyrene to polystyrene and fabrics to polystyrene. It still can bond these materials to plywood, dimensional lumber, metal and aluminum, concreted, and some more. In a shop condition with projects involving joining woods, metals, plastics, and glass to each other, different adhesive products will be required.
- It is applied using an aerosol spray which can be misdirected in windy environments. For outdoors works, the same care taken with spray paint must be used with 3M spray adhesives too. It is especially important for upholstery projects where overspray can damage fabric coverings.
Pros & Cons
- This adhesive is specifically designed for jobs involving Expanded Polystyrene / Styrofoam. It is suitable for a wide range of projects where the foam will be applied to a variety of surfaces. And, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor application.
- It is a liquid gel that can be easily controlled as it’s applied. Simply squeeze out the required amount and spread it evenly over the area to be bonded. It bonds quickly without clamps and other means of securing the material being bonded.
- This product will damage rigid insulation (both blue Styrofoam and white Styrofoam materials), so avoid it in where these rigid Styrofoam products will be employed.
- It is a highly flammable product. Precautionary measures must be taken to avoid any sources of ignition while this product is curing. Once dry, it is less flammable than the materials has been used to bond together.
- It is a toxic blend of chemicals which, so should be used with protective gloves and goggles. In enclosed space, it may also be advisable to use a respirator.
Pros & Cons
- This is a broad-purpose adhesive that works equally well with Polystyrene Foam, rigid blue and white Styrofoam, wood, ceramics, glass, concrete, various types of flooring, including tiles and linoleum, and fabrics. It suggests Weldbond may be the only one needed by most professionals and every homeowner and DIY enthusiast.
- Weldbond is a liquid bottled glue, which is capped with an easy to use nipple. It makes it easy to apply just the right amount to the exact area where the glue is required. The design limits both waste and mess.
- Once set, the glue dries crystal clear so it perfectly suits the projects where the joined seams will be visible.
- It takes some time for the adhesive to set so care must be taken to carefully secure joints as the glue cures. It requires at least 1 hour to set and up to 24 hours to become solid fully.
- The applicator can make it difficult to accomplish fine projects with small and delicate parts. It may be necessary to employ special applicators and other tools which will help clamps parts together as the glue sets.
Pros & Cons
- This is a multipurpose polyurethane glue that bonds dissimilar materials securely and with good durability. It creates a rigid bond which can be cleaned and painted after setup. Its primary benefit is an ability to bond dissimilar surfaces, from wood to metal, glass to plastic and fabrics to EPS. It also works well on similar material as with wood joinery.
- It is a liquid glue which is easily applied directly to the areas to be bonded, with very little risk of overlap or waste. It is also well-stored after use, with very little risk of clogging or drying.
- Gorillas glue also works well not humid outdoor environments, subject to strong UV light. It also works well in temperature extremes so it can be used to repair a coffee cup just as easily as it can repair a crack in the insulating layer of a freezer.
- It is reasonably fast-acting, with the reaction times of 30 minutes, and setup times averaging one hour. It will require clamping joints to ensure proper alignment during the set-up time.
- Gorilla glue is absorbed deeply into the surfaces that are used to join. This makes it a poor choice for Styrofoam, which will be damaged by absorption.
- Materials with no natural moisture must be first moistened for the glue to react and adhere to the surfaces to be joined. It will make bonding non-porous surfaces more of a challenge.
- It also fails to fill gaps as securely as other adhesives. The brittle nature of Gorilla Glue adhesive, means gaps are likely to fail. These will tend to crack and disintegrate, especially when used to bond seams where the material experiences any amount of movement.
- It is a caustic material so precaution measures must be taken to protect skin and eyes. It’s also a good idea to use Gorilla glue in well ventilated areas.
FAQ’s and Buyers Guide
How to use glue for styrofoam?
Before we talk about each of these specific adhesives, let’s look a bit at the types of projects these types of adhesives work best with.
With furniture, where a combination of metal, wood, plywood, fabric, magnets and polystyrene foams are joined to create things like chairs and couches, these adhesives are especially helpful. It’s also true in construction projects where insulation installation on roofs and in wall cavities requires proper adhesion to ensure a consistent barrier against wind and rain.
These adhesives are also great for hobbyists, especially those that love working with airplanes modeling, light-weight Styrofoam drones, projects which are designed to float, and any project that requires cushioning without adding a lot of additional weight. Beyond the initial builds, these adhesives are also great for making strong and light-weight repairs.
Styrofoam adhesives are also great for crafting, given the wide range of materials they help to join and the ability to control their applications in small areas. For example, craft projects, especially scrapbooking, where concrete, beads, sequins, paper, cardboard, fabric, pieces of wood and various pieces of Styrofoam are joined into pages of interesting designs, which bring stories to life.
These adhesives are also used in several indoor and outdoor home applications, like tile repair, concrete sealing, waterproofing, insulation, acoustic management, Styrofoam ceiling tiles, and some more. These can even be used on glass as a quickset glue so making repairs to things like fish tanks is certainly possible with some of these adhesives.
Does Elmer’s Glue work on Styrofoam?
It does work well to glue large Styrofoam surfaces together but the bond may not be as strong as it would be with adhesives specifically designed for Styrofoam projects.
Does Super Glue Work on Styrofoam?
It does work well with Styrofoam as it slightly melts the surface. As those melted surfaces come into contact with each other and solidify, they do form a strong, though somewhat deformed joint.
Is Gorilla Glue safe for Styrofoam?
It can be used with Styrofoam but there are some drawbacks. Since Styrofoam lacks the moisture the glue needs to become active, moisture must be added along with the glue.
Does Gorilla Glue eat Styrofoam?
It does not “eat” Styrofoam but it is deeply absorbed and can both deform and discolor the Styrofoam material at the joint.
What works best for gluing Styrofoam to Styrofoam?
We recommend using either a spray which sets up quickly or a liquid get glue which can be more accurately applied but requires longer curing time.
For Styrofoam planes, which adhesive works best?
If the repair needs to be made quickly, spray glue is best. For small joints where sprays will be wasted, use a liquid gel.
What will do the best job with Styrofoam ceiling tiles?
We recommend using a spray glue for applications like this as it is easier to remain on the spot and faster to set.
Which adhesive works best when joining Styrofoam to fabric?
There is little doubt that a spray glue that is quickly tacky and setups up fast, is best. It is especially true when the fabric will be tightly stretched across the underlying foam.
Which glue does the best job joining concrete blocks to Styrofoam?
The fastest way to complete the job is a spray.
Which glue is best for joining Styrofoam to wood?
Both spray and liquid gels work well but for applications requiring quick adhesion, spray adhesives are preferable.
How do you glue Styrofoam to wood?
Using a spray, set your spray width to the width of the surface you will be covering. If the wood is wider than the maximum width of the spray, divide it equally and spray them with a constant steam od glue, in equal passes. Carefully stretch the material over the wood surface and working from the center out allow the fabric to contact the wood to avoid wrinkles and bubbles.
So what is the best glue for styrofoam?
Each of these products offers strong advantages but for jobs that are specifically related to Blue Styrofoam, White Styrofoam, and Expanded Polystyrene Foam we recommend using a glue which is specifically designed for these products, instead of a glue that has a wide range of uses.
We also recognize using glues that work on a wide range of products is far more useful than anything that is limited in its application. While we recognize these two conclusions may seem contradictory, the products we are recommending works in combinations with the foam and with wood, plywood, plastic, metal and aluminum surfaces. Any adhesive must be flexible and effective enough to work with these and more other materials.
So, our bottom-line choice is either of the two 3M spray adhesives, as both work with our key foam board products, in a wide range of applications and many different conditions.
We also like them for their ease of use and fast setup. It makes most products much easier to accomplish when the adhesive sets up quickly, without the need for mechanical fasteners.
And Honorable Mention goes to?
If you need a product which does a good job but you are going to work in an environment where sprays may not be a good option, UHU POR Styrofoam Adhesive is our next best choice. The format is easy to work with, and while being not as specialized as the 3M products, it is still a well-rated solution. What’s more, for DIY shops where there are many different requirements, UHU POR Styrofoam Adhesive provides a wide enough range of solutions to meet most project needs