How to prevent CA (and other) glues in the bottle from hardening - RC Groups
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Aug 24, 2008, 06:51 PM
Registered User

How to prevent CA (and other) glues in the bottle from hardening

I last used my half empty medium CA glue (decent quality) about 4 months back. When I went back to use it yesterday it had hardened into a solid mass in the bottle

How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

...update, now I find out that my 80% full bottle of Gorilla Glue (tightly capped) has also hardened. *&*(&&^*%!!@

Opening a bottle of CA or gorilla glue seems to put it on death row.
Last edited by arukum17; Aug 30, 2008 at 02:21 PM.
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Aug 24, 2008, 07:41 PM
Resident giant scale guru
my c210's Avatar
use it all at once, or close bottle tightly
Aug 24, 2008, 08:02 PM
Registered User
Put it in the freezer capped tightly. I have kept thin CA for as much as 18 months this way.
Aug 24, 2008, 10:08 PM
Registered User
Keep your unopened bottles in a freezer. They will stay fresh for an extended period. I've had bottles in my freezer for two years. Just remember to allow them to warm to room temperature before use. I doesn't take too long.
Open bottles can be kept in a refridgerator if you are not going to be using it in short order.
Also keep the stuff in a dark place if you can when not in use. A drawer is a good place. A distributor once told me light causes the glue to deteriorate. I was working in a hobby shop at the time and we had several large bottles go bad. The rep said it was due to the shelf being right under a light. Can't vouch for the validity of his claim but why take chances.

Aug 24, 2008, 10:34 PM
barmonkey's Avatar CA doesn't freeze?
Aug 24, 2008, 10:47 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Originally Posted by barmonkey CA doesn't freeze?
Everything freezes at some point but our meat freezers are not cold enough to freeze CA.

It does thicken the thin stuff to almost a medium viscosity but it thins back out once warmed to room temperature.

CA ages from the time it is made. But putting it into the freezer is like putting it into suspended animation and it seems to keep for years if sealed and in the freezer.

If you open it and use some and return it to the fridge or freezer it'll both help and hurt the aging. It'll help because the lower temperature (and dark by the sounds of it) will slow the decay. But it'll hurt because the moist room air that was drawn into it during use will cool and the moisture condense out and fall into the CA. And moisture is the agent that encourages the reaction that hardens it. But as long as you don't make it a frequent habit to put it back in the fridge it seems to help more than it hurts. Now if you put it into the fridge after every building session then I suspect the moisture buildup in the CA would force it to thicken and harden sooner than it would if left out.
Aug 24, 2008, 10:55 PM
barmonkey's Avatar
Great info...I'll have to give that a try.

Are you sure that light goes out in the Fridge? I just can't tell....
Aug 27, 2008, 04:13 PM
Registered User
I save the caps from the CA bottles.

When I'm done with using the CA, I replace the cap with an uncut one,
This, I think, helps reduce the moisture problem.
I too store them in the freezer.

I also pour 1/3 to 1/2 the CA into an old bottle and use that until it's gone and I have to grab the "unopened " batch.

I also have an old coffee can with acetone in it. I put the used tips in the acetone and let them soak. they come out like new.

Do not put a damp tip on a bottle of CA, the acetone acts as an accelarant and will cause the CA to harden in the bottle.
I know that for a fact.

Again I use one of the old dry tips for daily use.

Aug 28, 2008, 08:14 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Moisture is a catalyst that sets off CA glue. To counter this I keep my CA glue in a sealed jelly jar with a container of silica gel. The container I use is an aluminum cannister like the one here

It has a blue dot on it that turns red when it has absorbed all of the moisture it can hold. When that happens you put the cannister in your oven at 250 degrees to drive off the moisture and you are ready to go again. The cannister lasts indefinitely.

My large bottle of watery CA glue with its open teflon tube sticking out of the top has lasted that way sitting on my workbench for three years and is still nice and watery.

Aug 28, 2008, 12:30 PM
Registered User
rcav8r2's Avatar
Yep, I do what planeman does. Works GREAT. Also helps w/ Gorilla glue too.
Also if you don't keep your CA stored in a sealed container w/ silica beads, at least store it well away from the kicker.
Aug 30, 2008, 02:20 PM
Registered User
Thanks planeman, I will try it.
This hardening has gone on for too long...between hardening and clogged caps, I am wasting half of what I buy!
Aug 31, 2008, 12:23 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
Yup, CA adhesive is expensive. The expense and trouble of the silica gel in the jelly jar is well worth the cost and effort. By the way, moisture is also a catalyst for Gorilla Glue so the same storage works for both.

Aug 31, 2008, 10:29 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The hardening is also a good reason to buy the CA in smaller bottles.

There's another issue besides moisture in the air. Contamination dust sucked back up the little capilliary tube. To try to avoid this I slice my tubes off at a really pointy angle so the end looks a lot like a hypodermic needle. I still get stuff sticking to the end but it's right at the sharp point where it won't be drawn back into the tube. After a while it builds to a bit of a ball and I just grab it and pull it off. I've found that really helps avoid clogged tubes since I started slicing it as a strongly acute angle.

I've seen the silica gel deal before and there just happens to be a couple of packets at work right now. I think they need to follow me home....
Sep 13, 2008, 04:01 PM
Registered User
I have started using the "silica gel in a bottle" approach.
Is it OK to put a CA, gorilla glue and canopy glue all in the same airtight bottle? Do either of these "activate" any of the others?

What about epoxy type glues (JB weld, Devcon, fibreglassing finishing epoxies) and contact cements (Goop etc) ? I have not had a problem with them hardening, YET... but I really don't want this to happen. Would the silica gel trick be useful for these glues as well or is this overkill. And again, OK to mix the storage epoxies and CA in the same airtight bottle
Sep 13, 2008, 05:31 PM
Registered User
rcav8r2's Avatar
I've stored my CA/Gorilla glue in the same container for about 2 years now. No problems noted.

I don't think the others will benefit from the silica beads as moisture cures CA/Gorilla glues. Where the other types don't rely on moisture to "fire them off"

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