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the "Dummies" Guide to Silicones and Glues


When it comes to glue there are four major groups:

Silicones — Sand or “silica” based products (think 1960’s technology)

Construction adhesives - (economical solvent based) No More Nails/Liquid Nails  

Polyurethanes — Modern external use adhesives (often called “sika” - just one of many brands - think 1990’s technology)

SMP (Silyl Modified Polymers) - 21st century glues for a wide range of applications (common brands are Simon or Fixtech)

Silicones
A big warning! Silicones are like cordial—the less active ingredients, (the more “filler” used), the weaker the glue. So cheap silicones are often very poor quality.
Sometimes a dollar saved on a silicone can lead to very costly and embarrassing
failures (e.g. mirror falls off wall, sign falls off, mould grows in the bathroom grout).
First, there are Acetic cure silicones that “go off” quickly but can discolour & do smell.

There are 2 main groups of Acetic Cure silicones sold:
Kitchen and Bathroom—here the acidic curing agent assists as a fungicide
(N.B. Neutral cure wet area silicones are much more popular)
RTV (room temperature vulcanising) - RTV silicones are used in high strength, high temperature applications—e.g. gaskets in ovens, compressors and pumps, flanges


Secondly there are Roof and Gutter Silicones:
This group of silicones has a “neutral” (i.e. non acidic, non corrosive) curing agent.
(Acidic cure silicones are not compatible with concrete which has an alkaline pH.)
Here the curing agent is designed for outdoor applications.
Beware of some overseas sourced “cheapies” - there have been costly failures.


Colours are also available.

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