Glues for Latex
©copyright 2002 by wetseal_rubber
From: Rubber The Right Way - A Condensed Primer on Making Your Own Latex Clothing
There are generally two types of latex adhesives, water based and solvent based.
Water Based Adhesives
- Consist primarily of latex, ammonia, and water.
- Milky in appearance.
- Smell like ammonia.
- Do not curl latex when applied.
- Require application to both surfaces and joining while still damp.
- Take longer to dry than solvent based adhesives.
- Are easier to work with, not as flammable, and are less toxic than solvent based adhesives.
- Produce adequate bonding for garments not subjected to alot of stress. Seam bonds become white and weaker when wet.
- Marketed as liquid latex, mold builder, and theatrical latex.
- Buy liquid latex in craft shops, theatrical supply houses, industrial rubber outlets, and some office supply shops.
- Trade names vary considerably.
Usage and Storage
- Use water based adhesives to coat non-latex items like nylon reinforcing fabric and zipper tapes so that they can be bonded to the latex sheeting itself.
- Store in a cool place out of sunlight.
Solvent Based Adhesives
- Consist of latex in a solvent solution.
- Use heptane and other solvents to keep the latex in solution.
- Are semi-transparent whitish or yellowish in appearance.
- Smell like solvent.
- Are somewhat more difficult to work with.
- Curl latex when applied.
- Dry quickly.
- Require application to both surfaces but must be allowed to dry. Join like contact cement.
- Are flammable and require ventilation.
- Produce a strong, waterproof bond.
- Marketed as rubber cement.
- Buy in office supply and art supply shops.
- Trade names vary considerably. Bostik, Elmers, Ross, Denison, and Lepage all make solvent based cements. Bestine, known for their heptane thinner, may also make a cement.
- Avoid buying in plastic containers. The solvent reacts with the plastic and doesn't bond as well.
- Solvent based adhesives require an additional 15% to 25% extra solvent for good bonding. Use rubber cement thinner, heptane, or Coleman naptha based camp fuel. The camp fuel is cheapest and easiest to find.
- Add adhesive and solvent into a sealable (lidded) glass container. Seal the glass container and shake vigorously until the additional solvent is thoroughly mixed with the adhesive.
Usage and Storage
- Solvent based adhesive produce a superior bond for skin tight latex and other high stress applications. This essay assumes the use of solvent based adhesive.
- Don't use tyre repair or wetsuit repair adhesives to join latex. They are designed to bond different types of rubber.
- After glueing each seam, remove excess dry water or solvent based adhesive from the table by rubbing and sweeping away the 'crumbs'. This keeps glue and latex 'crumbs' from sticking to seams unintentionally.
- Clean up excess glue on the garment by rubbing gently with a soft rag and solvent. Do not over-clean.