Rubber vs. Acrylic Adhesives: Pros and Cons

When your adhesive decision comes down to rubber adhesives or acrylic adhesives, it is best to know the pros and cons of both adhesive types. Deciding which adhesive to use is an important step in any project. Adhesives will create a bond between 2 materials and hold them together. Adhesives types are differentiated by combining specific chemicals, elements and additives that give the product a distinctive bond. The strength of the adhesive relies on how well it bonds to the materials surrounding it and how strong the adhesive is internally. It is not necessarily true that one adhesive type is better than any other type because all adhesives are better in certain situations. You will need to take into account the materials being used, the climate, the surroundings and the purpose for the adhesive. 

Rubber Adhesives 

Rubber adhesives will give you a higher adhesion when compared to acrylic adhesives. Rubber adhesives will bond with many different material types and are usable in most adhesion situations. Rubber has a very fast adhesion time where the bond forms much faster than with acrylic adhesives. Using a rubber adhesive will give you superior initial tack between your materials, but may not offer the most durable adhesion over time. Rubber is susceptible to UV exposure and elevated temperatures that will break down the adhesive over time. Rubber adhesives have the lowest temperature resistance of any adhesive, providing the best adhesion indoors where there is only a light fluctuation in temperature changes. Rubber adhesives have a superior bond to plastics over acrylic adhesives and cost less than acrylics. 

Acrylic Adhesives 

Acrylic adhesives are preferred on items such as wood, metal, outdoor materials, glass and waterproof items. Acrylic adhesives are more versatile than rubber adhesives and provide more features than rubber adhesives such as being waterproof and unyielding against the elements. Acrylic adhesives are able to stand up to UV exposure where rubber adhesives are not. As well, acrylic can withstand higher and lower temperatures and perform better than rubber adhesives when exposed to chemicals. The consistency over time of acrylics is one of its strong points. The durability and longevity will be greater with an acrylic adhesive than with rubber. Acrylic adhesives do not bond immediately as with rubber. The acrylic will take around 24 hours to set, improving the bond as it sets. Therefore, acrylics will not give you the aggressive adhesion as soon as rubber would, but the bond of acrylic is more sustainable over time. 

Deciding between a rubber and acrylic adhesive should not be a difficult choice. You just need to take into account the materials you plan to use and where the project will be located. If you are using a plastic material or if the project will remain indoors a rubber adhesive will provide better cost efficiency and bond much faster than an acrylic. When creating a project that will be outside, exposed to UV or exposed to temperature changes, an acrylic adhesive will provide the best durability and longevity.