Produced and sold by brands including Loctite, 3M and Zap among many others, an epoxy adhesive is one of the most versatile and powerful adhesives available. Epoxy adhesives are a combination of an epoxide resin and a polyamine hardener. The result of this chemical mix is that of a thermosetting polymer which is another way of saying the material cures irreversibly, forming an incredibly strong bond. Labeled structural or engineering adhesives for their high durability, epoxies are in the same class of adhesives as cyanoacrylate or superglue, acrylic glues and polyurethane "yellow" glues.
Epoxy adhesives are known for their high resistance to heat and chemicals. Many epoxies are cured under high heat which has the effect of making them incredibly heat resistant. Another method for curing epoxy adhesives is by setting them under ultra violet light. Epoxies cured in this manner are typically used in fiber optics and dentistry among other applications. Epoxy adhesives in one form or another bond extremely well with wood, stone, certain plastics, metal and glass. Very versatile, epoxies may be engineered to provide exactly the kind of properties desirable for any given situation. Thus, epoxy adhesive may be quite flexible or rigid. They may dry transparent or fully opaque. Epoxies can be made to set quickly or cure very slowly.
Epoxy adhesives are used in a wide variety of consumer goods, from automobiles, skis, boats and bicycles to golf clubs, even aircraft. Any product that requires high-strength, irreversible bonds probably use an epoxy adhesive of some kind. Different epoxy adhesives include high, medium and low viscosity types for general use. Fast-setting, non-sagging epoxies are available that may be sanded or painted. Epoxies suitable for cryogenic applications are produced as well, designed to hold up under extreme cold conditions. For high temperature exposure, most epoxy adhesives are engineered to be heat resistant up to 350 or 400 degrees F.