Glues Shelf Life expiration date

Hey howya goin all, has your PVA glue ever smelt a little funny, have you glued a piece of wood down only to knock it off and think that should've hold better, have you glued something together with CA glue and think that should have gone off by now, well your glue is like food it goes bad after time. Pva and CA glue has about a 12 month shelf life, the shelf live of glues doesn't start from the time you buy your glue but when the manufacture puts it into the bottle it could of been sitting and the shops shelf for 1,2,3 or more months before you bought the glue. So don't forget to buy a new bottle every now and then.


All PVA glues separate just like paint if you get a stick and put it in a bottle you will feel a lump of glue at the bottom so don't forget to stir it every now and then.  


Oh one other thing putting CA glue in a container and then in the fridge to get it to last longer DOES NOT WORK its a old wife's tail.


All HAIL the MIGHTY GLUE with out it we are nothing but wood whittlers HAHAHA.  :bird-vi:




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On this subject  I bought some Gorilla Super Glue Gel just before xmas and it is hopeless. I contacted the company to ask why it wouldn't stick sapely wood and they ignored me.  Could this be a shelf life problem? Has anyone had similar experiences?



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Super glues should be stored in closed/sealed containers with silica gel in the container to keep the moisture levels down. Like Eddie says, the superglue stored in the 'fridge is a wive's tale. Keep in mind, the accelerators some folk use are liquids....


PVA glues should be used quickly and don't buy large (gallon size) quantities unless it's for a group of users. In this hobby the yellow glues seem, to me, to be the faster setting glues. And they hold very well.


Nigel, some woods need to be wiped down with solvents to ensure the surfaces are clean. I don't know if sapelle requires that.

mtaylor, donrobinson, Eddie and 1 other like this

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I used titebond II to glue decorative strips of sapelle to the front and sides of a display case table. The table was also made of sapelle. I did not wipe the surfaces with solvents.

A minwax stain was then applied with a poly spray coat or two on top.  It has held up without any separation for three years now.

Pythagoras (Tom)

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I use Lepage Pro Carpenter's Glue.  I just looked up the technical data for it and read that it has a shelf life of 18 months from date of manufacture. I believe I have had the glue for at least 3 years and probably longer.  It is a 400mm bottle and I have only used about half of it.  It seems to still work fine but I'm wondering if I shouldn't replace it anyway.

Eddie, mtaylor, Canute and 2 others like this

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Each glue, and chemical, has a shelf life date.


I think the rapid action of ca glue is because it reacts with the oxygen in the air.

I can ask this at the factory where I work (we make glue and other chemicals).
But this may take a while


I keep my ca glue airtight with tape and do not keep it in the refrigerator. Stays well for at least one year.


Maybe I'll have more info later

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I have always kept my unopened CA in the freezer - just because I am the only one who goes into the freezer in my shop - others go in for drinks and I don't want the CA being moved around.  I was told years ago by Bob Smith to keep unopened CA in the refrigerator and have done so with some stuff being 2-3 years old before being used.

Note they say shelf life can be up to 4 years.  If I need to open a new bottle and it has been in the freezer (it will not freeze up) I put it in my pants pocket for 20 minutes and it's ready to go.


Below is a bit of text right from the Bob Smith Industries web site.  If you purchase C/A from a hobby shop and the C/A is labeled with the stores name it is Bob Smith Ind. CA.  I think Model Expo and Micro Mark are selling this line now.  In my opinion it is the best CA and Epoxy on the market.


Exposure to heat and moisture are the two main factors in decreasing the shelf life of CA. If kept at normal room temperature (74°F) and humidity levels, BSI’s regular CAs will have a shelf life of over two years. Unopened bottles can be stored in a freezer, but this offers little or no advantage over storage in a refrigerator. CA bottles can be stored in a sealed container inside the refrigerator to isolate them from moisture. Adding a desiccant (silica gel) to the container can extend the life of the CA to over four years. Opened bottles that are frequently used should not be put into into the fridge since condensation can occur inside the bottle. Accelerator should never be stored with CA.

mtaylor, donrobinson, Eddie and 2 others like this

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And yes,

Each glue has a self-life (expiration date).

That means :

The manufacturer guarantees the correct operation of his product (or should do this .... ) until this expiration date.

This applies only to unopened packaging

As soon as the package is opened, the product's "aging" begins to accelerate.

And the promised shelf-life date will probably not be achieved.


Once the CA glue is opened and applied to the pieces to be glued. The CA glue does not react with the oxygen in the air ( as I first thought). But with the humidity in the air.

It takes a few seconds to attach

A few minutes to attach good

And it takes 24 hours to cure completely.


The best storage method for CA glue once opened:

Thoroughly clean the cap of the tube

Tighten the cap of the tube extra with tape.

So, airtight and no cold storage for CA glue

My opened CA glue lasts about 1 year



If opened and stored in the refrigerator :

Cyanoacrylates are moisture-sensitive, and moving from a cool to a hot location will create condensation; after removing from the refrigerator, it is best to let the adhesive reach room temperature before opening.

Each time you take CA glue out off the refrigerator. There is condensation which reacts with the glue.

CA lijm.pdf

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