Adhesives or Sealants: How To Choose The Right Product?
Whether starting a new project or doing repair work, we don’t strive to fail. However, the success of the work depends on a crucial factor, that is, knowing what the requirement is and what will fulfill the requirement aptly. For instance, people often confuse the two construction chemicals- adhesives and sealants due to a lack of information on their functionality and application.
Though sometimes used interchangeably, adhesives and sealants have entirely different end results. So, it is crucial to understand these two chemicals' differences to choose the perfect product for the perfect job.
What Are Adhesives And Sealants?
The term adhesive has a broad meaning. It is used for those substances that bind or hold two or more materials together. The strength of the adhesive is determined by the cohesive and adhesive force. The cohesive force is responsible for holding two similar substances. On the contrary, the adhesive force attracts two different substances. The failure point of both cohesive and adhesive forces for adhesives determines the strength and hence, the most appropriate type of adhesive for the particular application. They are used for permanent, semi-permanent, and even temporary bonds depending on the strength in various industrial and residential applications.
On the other hand, sealants are construction chemicals that are used to limit fluids and other substances from passing through the mechanical joints and surfaces of a building. Also, it blocks dust, air and water leakage, heat, and insects. The characteristics of sealant differs. It can be rigid or flexible, strong or weak, and permanent or temporary. However, the main purpose of sealants remains to seal the openings between surfaces where mortar or concrete cannot serve the purpose.
What are the Advantages of Adhesives and Sealants:
Versatility: The adhesive force ensures the binding of different materials so you can use the chemical for multiple purposes.
Easy Application: These are generally applied manually. As a result, the process becomes relatively cost-effective.
Consistency: Generally, sealants have high viscosity and do not flow. They easily plug even vertical openings however, low-viscosity sealants have the ability to penetrate deep inside the substance and consolidate the joints.
Durability: Sealants withstand extreme temperatures, moisture, and heat.
Adhesion: The sealants have a strong adhesive force which is an essential factor for selecting the apt one.
Adhesives or Sealants?
With all the information in hand, it's apparent when to use adhesives and sealants. Nevertheless, some points of difference would further clear the clouds of confusion.
- Sealants have a wide scope of applications. In fact, sealants are often used as substitutes for adhesives but not vice versa.
- Adhesives are used for the sole purpose of holding and binding things together, whereas sealants hold material together while preventing water seepage.
- Adhesives take time to dry on exterior surfaces, while sealants can be used on any surface and withstand any weather condition once dry.
- In comparison to sealants, adhesives are less viscous and hence come in a liquid state that later becomes solid.
Though both chemicals, to some extent, serve the purpose of each other, both chemicals have different functionality and chemical compositions. Hence it is imperative to understand that neither of them can superimpose the purpose either serve. The application of both chemicals differs greatly.
The various types of adhesives, such as epoxy, hot melt, polymer, etc., offer numerous benefits and use like metal-to-metal bonding, glass application, tiles, and wallpaper adhesives. Adhesives come in various forms, such as tapes, glue, gun, foam, etc. Many different types of sealants, like silicone sealants, PU, etc., are used in several areas, such as wood, glass, PVC coating, etc.
To choose the right one, one needs to understand the requirement better, whether it's about sealing the water out of the room or covering the walls with wallpaper. Clarity on the requirement front makes the selection of the right choice easy.
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