Working Knowledge; June 1999; Scientific American Magazine; by Bloomfield; 1 Page(s)
Nearly all glues are plastic polymers-giant molecules that cling to themselves and the surfaces they touch, like sauceless spaghetti noodles left overnight in a bowl. But while the plastic molecules in most household glues are dissolved in a liquid that evaporates as the glue dries, the molecules in Krazy Glue-and other instant glues-do not form until you squirt the liquid out of the tube. Krazy Glue is remarkable because it is almost pure ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate, a simple molecule that polymerizes rapidly when exposed to moisture. Each glue molecule contains an unusually fragile double bond between carbon atoms, one that is easily attacked by the hydroxyl ions found in most airborne moisture.