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Water Based vs. Oil Based Adhesive

Knez Building Materials Co. carries both water based and oil based adhesives for woodwork and lamination. Both water based and oil based adhesives bond, seal, and stick, but the Knez experts are here to explain what makes theses adhesives different.

  • Water Based Adhesives

Water based adhesives release lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air compared to oil based adhesives. There is little or no risk of chemical or fire explosions, so insurance costs may be reduced when water based adhesives are used for large builds.

Water based adhesives tolerate wide temperature ranges, but their bonding properties may break down over time. Water based adhesives should be applied in stable temperature and climate conditions because most are not freeze-stable.

Precautions should be noted when using water based adhesive in industrial applications. All pumps, fluid channels, and tips should be stainless steel. A high volume low pressure (HVLP) spray gun is also recommended to reduce misting.

  • Oil Based Adhesives

Oil based adhesives contain organic solvents. These organic solvents are flammable and emit toxins into the air. Large-scale oil based adhesive applications are regulated due to environmental and safety concerns. Increased costs associated with additional safety measures and the use of explosion-proof equipment can be expected for large builds and long-term projects.

Unlike water based adhesives, oil based adhesives can dry more quickly. There is no water to evaporate. Oil based adhesives do not freeze during application in colder climates. Rather, they harden but can be reheated and reused again. Oil based adhesives also resist moisture.

  • Choosing the right adhesive

Choosing the right adhesive has more to do with the properties of the job than the properties of the adhesive. Consider these things when choosing which adhesive to use:

  • Application process and method (e.g. climate conditions, surface prep time, etc.)
  • Strength and stress requirements (e.g. structural, temporary, joint design, etc.)
  • Environmental resistances (e.g. moisture, sunlight, temperature, etc.)
  • Application size and dimension needed
  • Color and cost
  • Manufacturer’s guidelines

Go to Knez Building Materials Co. for more information about building materials and drywall recycling services.

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