15.08.2014
High strength and quick set time make Gorilla Super Glue the go-to for a variety of household projects.
In 1942, American scientists at Kodak Laboratories were looking for materials to make extra-clear plastic gun sights for infantry rifles. Nine years later, Coover was working at the research labs of the Tennessee Eastman Co., trying to find a tough, heat-resistant material for making jet canopies. The lab accident became a marketable product in 1958, when Kodak began selling the first cyanoacrylate glue, Eastman #910.
Through the years, there have been plenty of cyanoacrylate adhesives, like #910, Loctite Quick Set, Super Bonder, Super Glue and Krazy Glue.
Super glue can do more than stick things together, and it’s become a valuable tool in law enforcement. Speaking of warming cyanoacrylate up, super glue spontaneously combusts when enough of it makes contact with cotton or wool.


Coover receives from the National Medal of Science in the East Room of the White House, November 17, 2010.
Harry Coover and Fred Joyner stumbled upon a few acrylate monomers (esters of acrylic acid that can bind to each other to form chains of molecules) that showed promise, but the monomers stuck to everything they touched. Coover himself got to show off the first “super glue” the next year when he went on the TV show I've Got a Secret and used the glue to lift the show’s host completely off of the ground. A polymer is what happens when a bunch of monomers get together and attach to each other in repeating units.
They form a chain or other structure that resists breaking and grabs any microscopic roughness it can find on other objects it touches.
When these fumes touch the moisture residue from fingerprints, white polymers are formed and fingerprints that might have otherwise been hard to see become plainly visible for analysis. One researcher spread one of them between the prisms of a machine to see how refractive it was.


The only trigger cyanoacrylate polymers need to form is water—specifically, the hydroxide ions in it. Since there are minute traces of water on almost any surface, it’s easy for the glue to start a polymeric reaction anywhere. He had to go to Coover with his tail between his legs and report that he had ruined a very expensive instrument. Once this reaction starts, it’s pretty difficult to stop, and the resulting molecular bonds don’t come undone easily.




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