Epoxy adhesives harden as a result of a chemical reaction at room temperature between the base resin, liquid epoxy resin, and a polyamine curing agent. They are used by squeezing an equal amount of base resin and curing agent from their respective tubes and mixing them carefully. They can be used to bond together a relatively wide range of materials such as wood, glass, metal, ceramics and stone but because they form a hard resin after curing, they are not suitable for soft materials such as leather, rubber and cloth. Due to their heat resistant, water resistant and weather proof properties, they are often used on outdoor structures.
There are several types of products to choose from according to their intended use and purpose. Clear type products are less noticeable when used on glass and other transparent objects. Quick setting types, such as the 2-minutes type, offer the advantage of requiring a shorter support period, but when used in large quantities over a wide area, or on multiple spots, the task must be completed quickly. (The setting time indicated in minutes on the package is the time it takes for the adhesive to start hardening, not the time for it to harden completely.)
Epoxy adhesives were created from epoxy resin, a by-product of the rapid advances in the petrochemical industry in the 20th century, and were originally used on aircraft. Today, it is used in various fields ranging from architecture and civil engineering to household use.
When purchasing epoxy adhesives, be sure to check the package for information on the suitable materials. Also, read the directions for use carefully as they may not be suitable for use on items that come into direct contact with the skin. Epoxy adhesives can be purchased at home centers and DIY shops.