So many glues, so many man-made polymers. Plastic? In glue? Oh don’t get me started! Yes lots of it, and not just the packaging. Find out more about plastic HERE
Wikkipedia tells us that
Adhesives may be found naturally or produced synthetically.
Neanderthals produced tar from the dry distillation of birch bark for use in binding stone tools to wooden handles. The Greeks and Romans made great contributions to the development of adhesives. In Europe, glue was not widely used until the period 1500–1700 CE. From then until the 1900s increases in adhesive use and discovery were relatively gradual.
Only since the last century has the development of synthetic adhesives accelerated rapidly, and innovation in the field continues to the present.
You can read more but basically most modern glues are synthetic polymers. Some are actually plastic that you melt and use to stick stuff.
Synthetic adhesives are based on elastomers, thermoplastics, emulsions, and thermosets. Examples of thermosetting adhesives are: epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate and acrylic polymers. Wikkipedia
A quick run down on synthetic glues can be found HERE. But here are the highlights, as copied from their website.
Synthetic resin glue (one part epoxy) like multipurpose glues, are made of petrochemicals, are toxic to aquatic systems and give off solvent fumes that are irritants to humans.
Two-part epoxy glue, and some chemicals in the resin can cause developmental problems in animals and humans. Epoxy resins are largely petroleum (oil) derived.
Latex-based glue, like rubber cement. Use either synthetic or natural latex. Natural latex is biodegradable but some people have allergies to it. And synthetic latex is made by the petrochemical industry using oil derivatives.
Super glue, or cyanoacrylate glues can bind to organic material; it is made from formaldehyde and other petrochemical materials.
Heat-seal adhesives use heat to activate and are commonly used in packaging on assembly lines. They are thermoplastics and made by the petrochemical industry.
And then there is the packaging.
So much so bad. But what of the natural alternatives?
Meanwhile I have been Kevin Mc Cloud getting sticky in the woods. Kevin McCloud is a British designer, writer and television presenter. he’s the one that does Grand Designs…. and now he is putting up a uber shed in a bosky glade.I always thought he was a bit slick, but life in woods is having its toll.He is becoming more moleskin trousers by the minute!
He is handmaking his hut from natural ingredients And he actually used a glue made from urine soaked rabbit skins. Here’s a bit more about last week’s episode – that of the rabbit glue. Sadly there isn’t a fact sheet for this particular product, but if you want to make your own – here’s a recipe from t’internet.
Not tried it myself having no rabbits to hand but you can buy it ready-made from DIY Tools.
And here’s the write-up:
“Liberon Rabbit Skin Glue is traditional glue which is mainly used in gesso and size preparations for gilding purposes.
– Natural animal skin glue.
– Traditional pearl used for making Gesso and for gilding.
How to use
Dissolve in warm water mixing 1 part glue to 4 parts water. Heat this solution in a double pot until all the glue has melted. If the glue is too thick add some more water to the solution. Do not allow to boil.
The glue may be reheated two or three times. Old or dirty glue must be discarded and a fresh solution made.”
Of course it comes in plastic packet, and may well contain some plastic polymers, but it is an interesting concept worth investigating.
Why This Post Is ….
A little bit rubbish. You are reading a work in progress. Here’s how the blog is written and why we post half cocked.