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What Was Super Glue Originally Designed For?

Discover the Surprising Use for Super Glue You Never Knew About!

What Was Super Glue Originally Designed For?

Why Was Super Glue Invented?

The invention of super glue is a fascinating story that involves a series of accidental discoveries and a wartime need for a new gun sight material. Here's an in-depth look at why super glue was invented and how it has become one of the most popular adhesives in the world.

Accidental Discovery

In 1942, Dr. Harry Coover was working for Eastman Kodak Company on a new plastic gun sight material. He and his team were experimenting with different types of cyanoacrylates (a type of adhesive) to see if they could bind the plastic components together. However, they quickly discovered that the cyanoacrylates were too sticky and difficult to work with.Feeling frustrated with the experiment, Dr. Coover set the project aside for a few years and moved on to other projects. But in 1951, he came back to it, and that's when he discovered that the cyanoacrylates had become incredibly sticky and strong. Despite their earlier difficulties, Dr. Coover and his team realized that these adhesives could be put to good use.

Initial Use

During the Vietnam War, super glue had its first taste of success as a medical adhesive. Military medics used the adhesive to stop bleeding instantly and bind wounds together. The adhesive was convenient to use, fast-acting, and effective. Super glue became known as a lifesaving tool on the battlefield, and medics saved countless lives by using it.


In 1958, Eastman Kodak decided to pursue the commercialization of super glue, which they called "Eastman #910." The new adhesive was marketed as a fast and powerful adhesive that could bond almost any material instantly. It was quickly picked up by consumers and businesses alike, thanks to its versatility and strength.Eastman Kodak did face a few challenges, however, around the safety and ease-of-use of their product. People found it difficult to control the amount of adhesive dispensed, and the chemical formula was so strong that it could bond skin together. Eastman Kodak resolved these issues by creating a new applicator that dispensed a more controlled amount of adhesive and by labeling the product with a caution to keep it away from skin.Today, super glue is used in a variety of applications, from repairing broken ceramics to building model airplanes. It has become a household name and is sold in almost every hardware or DIY store around the world.In conclusion, super glue was invented by accident, and its initial use as a medical adhesive during the Vietnam War paved the way for its commercialization. Today, it is one of the most versatile and useful adhesives in the world, thanks to its strength, speed, and convenience.

Why Was Super Glue Invented?

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, was invented during World War II by Dr. Harry Coover. Initially, the substance was meant to serve as a clear plastic for gun sights. However, it was soon discovered that the adhesive had much greater potential.

During the war, Dr. Coover was leading a team of chemists at Eastman-Kodak who were experimenting with creating a transparent plastic material for gun sights. As part of their research, they discovered a cyanoacrylate compound that could bond to a variety of surfaces. However, the compound's sticking power made it unsuitable for their intended purpose.

It wasn't until years later, while working on a separate project, that Dr. Coover remembered the cyanoacrylate compound. He realized that its strong bonding properties could be useful in a number of applications, from sealing wounds to assembling electronic parts. In 1958, he and his team filed a patent for the adhesive, and it went on to become one of the most popular and versatile bonding agents on the market.

How Does Super Glue Work?

Super glue is a strong and fast-acting adhesive that can bond to a variety of surfaces, including metal, wood, plastic, and ceramic. Here's a closer look at how it works:

Chemical Reaction

Super glue is made up of cyanoacrylate, a strong bonding agent that reacts with the moisture in the air and on surfaces to form a hard, clear plastic-like substance. When exposed to moisture, the cyanoacrylate molecules form chains and become a solid mass. This chemical reaction happens quickly and can bond surfaces in seconds.

Instant Bonding

Super glue works by bonding the molecules of the surface it is applied to, creating a very strong and durable bond. It's known for its fast-acting qualities, with bonds typically forming within 10-30 seconds of application. The adhesive is also resistant to water and heat, making it a popular choice for household repairs and DIY projects.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and humidity can affect the strength of the bond formed by super glue. Extreme heat or cold can weaken the bond, while high humidity can potentially cause the glue to dry out and become brittle. In order to ensure a strong and long-lasting bond, it's recommended that super glue be used at room temperature and in moderate humidity.

In conclusion, super glue was invented by Dr. Harry Coover during World War II as a clear plastic for gun sights. Its strong bonding properties were soon discovered and it went on to become a popular and versatile adhesive used for a variety of applications. The adhesive works by reacting with moisture in the air and on surfaces, forming a hard, clear plastic-like substance within seconds. While it's known for its fast-acting abilities, it's important to use super glue at room temperature in moderate humidity to ensure a strong and durable bond.

Super glue was invented by Dr. Harry Coover. You can read more about the history of keys and locks on our website.

Why Was Super Glue Invented?

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, was invented by Dr. Harry Coover in 1942. However, it wasn't until the 1950s that it was marketed as a commercial product. Dr. Coover was working for Eastman Kodak at the time and was trying to develop a clear plastic to use for gun sights during World War II. While experimenting with different chemicals, he stumbled upon what would become the formula for super glue.

What is Super Glue Made Of?

Super glue is made of a chemical known as cyanoacrylate. This chemical is an acrylic resin that begins to polymerize as soon as it comes into contact with moisture. The polymerization process creates a strong and durable bond between the two surfaces that are being joined together.

Uses of Super Glue

Household Repairs

One of the most common uses of super glue is for household repairs. It can be used for a wide range of repairs, such as fixing broken porcelain, glassware, and woodwork. Super glue works by filling in the gaps between the two surfaces being joined together, creating a strong bond that can withstand wear and tear.

Arts and Crafts

Super glue is also ideal for arts and crafts projects. It can bond quickly and create a strong and durable bond between different materials, such as paper, fabric, and plastic. It is also great for creating 3D structures and sculptures as it can hold its shape and provide stability.

Medical Applications

Super glue is used in the medical field as a substitute for sutures and staples in certain types of surgeries, as it creates a strong, clean bond that promotes healing. It is particularly useful for small cuts or wounds that need to be closed quickly, such as those on the face or scalp. Super glue is also used in veterinary medicine, particularly for small animals with injuries that cannot support traditional stitches.

In conclusion, super glue was invented by accident while trying to develop a clear plastic for gun sights during World War II. However, its quick bonding and strong adhesive properties made it useful in a variety of industries from household repairs to the medical field. Today, it remains a popular and versatile adhesive for both professional and personal use.

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Safety Tips for Using Super Glue

While super glue can be a very useful tool, it's important to follow safety precautions when using it. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that you use super glue safely and avoid any negative consequences.

Avoid Skin Contact

One of the most important safety tips for using super glue is to avoid skin contact. Super glue can bond quickly to skin and cause serious irritation or burning. If you do happen to get super glue on your skin, don't panic – simply wash the affected area with warm, soapy water and use oil or acetone to gently remove the glue.

The best way to avoid skin contact is to wear gloves or use a tool to apply the glue, like a toothpick or cotton swab. It's also important to keep super glue away from your eyes and mouth, as it can cause serious damage if ingested.


Another important safety tip for using super glue is to ensure proper ventilation. Super glue produces fumes that can be harmful if inhaled, so it's important to work in a well-ventilated area or use a mask to avoid inhaling the fumes.

When using super glue, make sure to open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. If you're working in a small or enclosed space, consider using a fan or wearing a respirator mask to prevent inhalation of the fumes.

Proper Storage

In order to get the most out of your super glue and ensure that it lasts as long as possible, it's important to store it properly. Super glue should be kept in a cool, dry place to prevent it from drying out or becoming brittle.

It's also important to keep super glue out of reach of children and pets. The strong adhesive can be dangerous if ingested, so make sure to store it in a safe and secure location.

By following these three simple safety tips, you can use super glue safely and effectively. Whether you're using it for DIY projects, repairs, or other tasks, proper safety precautions should always be taken to avoid any negative consequences.

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