Both contact cement as well as rubber cement are well known adhesive agents that find huge applications in our day to day lives. It is however regrettable that the two are often mixed up by common people as one. In fact both of the above mentioned types of cement have their own individual and distinct characteristics that mark them off from one another.
- This cement is one of its types that are prepared from polymers having a high degree of flexibility most commonly, latex that is emulsified with solvents such as hexane, heptane, acetone and toluene.
- It often has water-based or alcohol-based formula behind its manufacture that makes it a quick drying adhesive.
- The solvents transform into their vapor form leaving behind the rubber part, which yields a bond that abounds in strength and flexibility.
- On the other hand, contact cement is usually comprised of neoprene or synthetic rubber. This yields this type of cement, a very high resistance to moisture and results in instantaneous bonding with the surface on which it is used.
- The bond hence achieved, though strong cannot withstand damaging factors over a long tenure of time and hence is more susceptible to deterioration, the main reason behind which being the water- based formula on which it is manufactured.
- Rubber cement is usually preferred in applications that require easy removal of adhesive like in art pieces, where, any minor damage can also prove to be detrimental to their beauty and elegance.
- The formula used for their manufacture give them a unique property of not shrinking or swelling fibers of which paper is made up of, unlike PVA type glues. This enables their usage on paper surfaces.
- An important fact about its removal is that, it can be removed from the surface even 10 hours after application through erasers specialized for the purpose.
- The property of self -affinity when in dry condition, enables it to be used a prime component in many magic tricks.
- Contact cement on the other hand finds wide application as an adhesive in plastic, metal, glass, rubber, leather and veneer.
- High temperature and humidity are the most favored factors to get an ideal bond. Unlike rubber cement, traces of contact cement can be removed with the help of nail polish remover, which breaks the chemical bonds in it and hence aids in quick removal.
- It should also be always remembered that the fumes evolved from contact cement can be both inflammable as well as harmful for the respiratory systems. So, suitable precautions need to be taken while applying them.