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Thread: Super Glue

  1. #1 Super Glue 
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    The other day I experienced something with super glue I have never seen before and was curious if anyone knows why it happened. I was fixing one of my dreadlocks which had come apart near my scalp, and then put some ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate (super glue) in my hair. After about 2 seconds it started fizzling and making a crackling noise, made enough heat to cause discomfort to my head, and turned into a solid white mass.
    I've never seen super glue react this way so it made me very curious.
    Any ideas?


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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Well, what is in your dreadlocks except for hair? Beeswax? Dirt?


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the dude has dyed his hair blond, as acetone (main component of superglue) reacts with peroxide (main ingredient of hairbleacher).

    Reactions of acetone and hydrogen peroxide. I. Primary adduct - The Journal of Physical Chemistry (ACS Publications)
    Last edited by Zwolver; September 18th, 2012 at 04:47 AM. Reason: fixing link
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    I'm guessing the dude has dyed his hair blond, as acetone (main component of superglue)
    I don't think so. Most superglue formulations are pure cyanoacrylate. This does react strongly (dangerously) with cotton or wool.

    Dreadies, do you have hair extensions with cotton threads in? Or there may be lots of wool fibres in your hair from a hat or something ...
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    I'm guessing the dude has dyed his hair blond, as acetone (main component of superglue) reacts with peroxide (main ingredient of hairbleacher).

    Reactions of acetone and hydrogen peroxide. I. Primary adduct - The Journal of Physical Chemistry (ACS Publications)
    No it's not that.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreadies View Post
    The other day I experienced something with super glue I have never seen before and was curious if anyone knows why it happened. I was fixing one of my dreadlocks which had come apart near my scalp, and then put some ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate (super glue) in my hair. After about 2 seconds it started fizzling and making a crackling noise, made enough heat to cause discomfort to my head, and turned into a solid white mass.
    I've never seen super glue react this way so it made me very curious.
    Any ideas?
    Superglue reacts exothermically with fibers, like cotton, fabric, human hair etc. releasing a white toxic smoke. It can actually ignite the fabric and cause a fire or serious burns in case it gets in the hair. If you're wearing large amounts of gel or other products, you can set your hair on fire by using superglue. You can use it on skin tho, I've personally used it to seal some cuts without incident, that is, if you're not alergic. It's still toxic so it's really in case nothing else is available.

    The reaction is quite similar to when you add styrofoam into acetone. It disolves hair instantly but this time, the heat release causes the smoke.
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    I've never heard of this before. Very interesting.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Superglue reacts exothermically with fibers, like cotton, fabric, human hair etc.
    There aren't any warnings about that on the MSDS. Where do you get this info?
    https://supergluemsds.com/Docs/Super...20-%202010.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Superglue reacts exothermically with fibers, like cotton, fabric, human hair etc.
    There aren't any warnings about that on the MSDS. Where do you get this info?
    https://supergluemsds.com/Docs/Super... 11 - 2010.pdf
    It's written there lol:

    "Avoid contact with clothing as contact can cause burn."

    I'm a chemist by the way, and engineer, so I don't "get info", I just know.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    I'm a chemist by the way so I don't "get info", I just know.[/LEFT][/FONT]
    Wow. And I wasted all that time studying physics. I should have become a chemist so I would "just know" stuff.
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    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    That's a shitty MSDS tho, here's a better one:

    http://www.teledyne-ts.com/msds/msds...0_adhesive.pdf

    "Avoid contact with clothes, fabric, rags or tissue. Contact with these materials may cause polymerization. The
    polymerization of large amounts of adhesive will generate heat causing smoke, skin burns, and strong, irritating vapors"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    I'm a chemist by the way so I don't "get info", I just know.[/LEFT][/FONT]
    Wow. And I wasted all that time studying physics. I should have become a chemist so I would "just know" stuff.
    If I ask you what current resistance is proportional to, do you know or do you get info?

    It's like you said U = RI and I came like a tool and said hey, where do you "get your info" mate? Like you blew it from your penis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    It's like you said U = RI and I came like a tool and said hey, where do you "get your info" mate? Like you blew it from your penis.
    I would be able to provide a reference for where that information came from. I certainly wouldn't say, "Trust me, I just know this stuff. Like a penis."
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    It's like you said U = RI and I came like a tool and said hey, where do you "get your info" mate? Like you blew it from your penis.
    I would be able to provide a reference for where that information came from. I certainly wouldn't say, "Trust me, I just know this stuff. Like a penis."
    I gave you the real MSDS, plus, it was written in the bad MSDS too lol you just can't read. And no, you would not give a reference, you would call him an idiot. Nice try tho mate!
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    Nothing in the MSDS says you can set your hair or anything else on fire. Nor does it say the smoke is toxic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Superglue reacts exothermically with fibers, like cotton, fabric, human hair etc. releasing a white toxic smoke. It can actually ignite the fabric and cause a fire or serious burns in case it gets in the hair. If you're wearing large amounts of gel or other products, you can set your hair on fire by using superglue. You can use it on skin tho, I've personally used it to seal some cuts without incident, that is, if you're not alergic. It's still toxic so it's really in case nothing else is available.
    I had a friend that got a knife wound under the arm. It was about an inch long and 1/2 inch deep. He's not a go to a doctor type guy. Told me he super glued it together and never gave it another thought. I looked for the scar about 4 months afterword and had a great deal of trouble seeing it. It healed much better than it would have with stitches.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Nothing in the MSDS says you can set your hair or anything else on fire. Nor does it say the smoke is toxic.
    Ok, what is an MSDS? Look it up. Is it telling you how to synthetize cyanoacrylates? How to build an indusrial plant? Does it give you the annual sales figures per country and company? So what is it? Find out. Can you talk to me via pm next time...the OP doesn't have to go through this crap.

    I'll give you an example. You buy a methanol anti-freeze and you read the MSDS on methanol to be safe. So you want to dump your old methanol into your battery acid waste. But before you do that you read the MSDS and in the MSDS it says:

    Incompatibility with various substances:
    Reactive with oxidizing agents, metals, acids.


    So you go like, incompatible...what is that? Like when a computer game is incompatible on windows 7 haha! Reactive...sheeeeet! Fuck that! And you mix it. You get a little bubbling but nothing to worry about. And then your wife comes an hour later and finds you lying there in the garage. She runs to you and moments later she dies too. By adding methanol to sulfuric acid, you have made a chemical weapon that can take out an entire auditorium with a single vial. So you're going to say, now, that wasn't in the MSDS! And I'll say, yes it was! You were just not qualified to read it! That's why MSDSs are not for laymen, but for professionals, right?

    If you are not a professional, you cannot even quote an MSDS as reference because you are not qualified to discuss its contents, and if your forum is worth anything, it should be against regulations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arKane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Superglue reacts exothermically with fibers, like cotton, fabric, human hair etc. releasing a white toxic smoke. It can actually ignite the fabric and cause a fire or serious burns in case it gets in the hair. If you're wearing large amounts of gel or other products, you can set your hair on fire by using superglue. You can use it on skin tho, I've personally used it to seal some cuts without incident, that is, if you're not alergic. It's still toxic so it's really in case nothing else is available.
    I had a friend that got a knife wound under the arm. It was about an inch long and 1/2 inch deep. He's not a go to a doctor type guy. Told me he super glued it together and never gave it another thought. I looked for the scar about 4 months afterword and had a great deal of trouble seeing it. It healed much better than it would have with stitches.
    Ya it works great and the toxicity is limited to the time the product is liquid because when it polymerizes it's no longer toxic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Nothing in the MSDS says you can set your hair or anything else on fire. Nor does it say the smoke is toxic.
    Ok, what is an MSDS? Look it up.
    It is a document which alerts workers to potential hazards when working with chemicals. If it did not disclose significant hazards, and someone were hurt, I think the manufacturer would be sued.
    Can you talk to me via pm next time...the OP doesn't have to go through this crap.
    No. The reason I brought it up publicly is because I don't like to see erroneous information spread on the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It is a document which alerts workers to potential hazards when working with chemicals. If it did not disclose significant hazards, and someone were hurt, I think the manufacturer would be sued.
    You just don't read it right. This for example:

    "Avoid contact with clothes, fabric, rags or tissue. Contact with these materials may cause polymerization. The
    polymerization of large amounts of adhesive will generate heat causing smoke, skin burns, and strong, irritating vapors"

    I'll go through each key element:

    "Avoid contact with clothes, fabric, rags or tissue": means, your clothes may burst into flames, become explosive with unforseen detonation or create a contact poison or chemical weapon readely absorbing through the skin and killing you slowly and painfully over a period of 6 agonizing months, or instantly. In an oxygen rich environment like a patient receiving oxygen in a hospital, can result in the death of the patient, doctors and operators, with hospital evacuation and intervention of the bomb squad or chemical hazard team.

    "generate heat causing smoke": may create a toxic smoke fire, killing people located in a confined space like an airplane, a crashed car or a stuck elevator through asphyxia and cause hallucinations or blurred vision, preventing victims from finding a proper route of escape.

    "skin burns": chemical burns with possible infection and necrosis that may lead to amputation of affected body parts if left untreated or to death through kidney failure for larger burns.


    MSDSes cannot include so much info because of their format so you always expect the absolute worst.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I brought it up publicly
    You mean you commited impertinence by providing a bad interpretation of speciality documentation you do not understand?
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    You know there's a biblicar figure called Thomas? Lol

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    Okay, I'll have to remember not to dump 4 bottles of super glue on my head, otherwise I might catch my hair on fire.
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    What's wrong with superglue catching fire? I don't get the attitude that people has with that idea. -Is it because they can't be true or something??
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    Quote Originally Posted by msafwan View Post
    What's wrong with superglue catching fire? I don't get the attitude that people has with that idea. -Is it because they can't be true or something??
    A question was asked. Accurate information should be provided. That is all.

    To say you will set your hair on fire by putting a dab of glue on your dreadlocks is in the realm of an urban legend, and a science forum is no place to start an urban legend.
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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    I feel like an idiot for not seeing the following part.
    ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate
    Though i wasn't wrong, my answer was just misplaced .

    Catching your hair on fire by superglue would be nice to see on mythbusters. I think i'll submit that .
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A question was asked. Accurate information should be provided. That is all.
    Meaning from you by any chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    To say you will set your hair on fire by putting a dab of glue on your dreadlocks is in the realm of an urban legend, and a science forum is no place to start an urban legend.
    No it is not. Upon reading the MSDS, in my chemist opinion I think you're wrong, your opinion is impertinent and could lead to harm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    A question was asked. Accurate information should be provided. That is all.
    Meaning from you by any chance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    To say you will set your hair on fire by putting a dab of glue on your dreadlocks is in the realm of an urban legend, and a science forum is no place to start an urban legend.
    No it is not. Upon reading the MSDS, in my chemist opinion I think you're wrong, your opinion is impertinent and could lead to harm.
    He means it SOUNDS like an urban legend, i.e. bogus, hence the request for Accurate information. Turns out it isn't.

    Harold is also an engineer with considerable experience, by the way. He knows well that claims should be backed up when asked to do so, even when an engineer or chemist makes them, especially on a forum like this. It's not a slap in the face to get asked for references, its just the proper way of doing things.
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    I've done it before in the lab, I can show you with one drop in a video when I get time.
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    I believe you and so does he (I presume). I am talking about his quoted responses from before the video and extra MSDS information, including the one about urban legends. He was saying that it sounds like an urban legend, so it needs more support than a mere story. I am sure he knows exactly what an MSDS is and has referenced it many times in the past. This has just been a misunderstanding.

    You can still do it for entertainment purposes if you like.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Actually, no I don't believe it can be done with one drop of glue. If you read the directions on a tube of super glue, all it says is :
    Safety PrecautionsUse in a well ventilated area. Wear gloves and wash hands after use.
    If McDonalds can be sued for selling a hot cup of coffee, I have to think there would be more than that if there was any real possibility of setting your hair on fire.

    All I've seen so far is a video with 4 bottles of glue on a cotton ball, not with just a drop of glue on hair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Actually, no I don't believe it can be done with one drop of glue. If you read the directions on a tube of super glue, all it says is :
    Safety PrecautionsUse in a well ventilated area. Wear gloves and wash hands after use.
    If McDonalds can be sued for selling a hot cup of coffee, I have to think there would be more than that if there was any real possibility of setting your hair on fire.

    All I've seen so far is a video with 4 bottles of glue on a cotton ball, not with just a drop of glue on hair.
    I think I know where the misunderstanding comes from. What you believe I meant by hair is plain hair, but I surely didn't mean that when I said:

    "If you're wearing large amounts of gel or other products, you can set your hair on fire by using superglue."

    The if statement implies that the hair is not naked hair, or plain hair. Are you willing to bet your admin tag that if a woman uses a peroxide based hair bleacher to bleach and taint her hair blonde, 1 drop of glue would not ignite the region affected? It could happen, she picks up the wrong bottle, the superglue bottle looks much like the peroxide, both stored in HDPE (2).

    So can it ignite or can it not ignite?
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    I doubt it. Has it ever been done? Are you saying she puts both the peroxide and the glue in her hair at the same time?
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