Jump to content

CA adhesive- spontaneous combustion?

Recommended Posts

I was assembling carronades today, attaching eyebolts to the carriages, using CA.  The eyebolts are blackened brass, the carriages are wood (Redheart with a touch of TruOil finish). I dabbed the joint with a small piece of paper towel to wick away the excess adhesive. 


I was wearing a pair of Optisight magnifying visors, and when I applied a very small amount of CA, I noticed smoke coming off the assembly. And when I touched the eyebolt with my finger to assure it was secure, it was hot!  I have touched parts secured with CA that felt hot before, and thought it was my imagination, but seeing the smoke confirmed it. 


I have read that CA in contact with cotton or wool will spontaneously combust, but was not aware contact with wood (or was it the blacking agent, or the TruOil, or the brass, or the paper towel?) would cause such an exothermic reaction. 


Is my experience unique?

donrobinson, mtaylor, Canute and 1 other like this

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

That is a little scary. Watched some You Tube video and the Q-tip started smoking when CA was added, a lot of CA.


There was also a video of a Chemist using a Temperature  probe that showed not all CA does this as some have an inhibitor in the formula .

Edited by Jim Rogers

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I may..............over the year's of using CA product's in ship model construction I have seen what appears to be "smoke"when the product is applied to certain types of wood materials. The "smoke" is more of a fume in nature rather than smoke. The CA fume will adhere to skin and other materials quite readily such as glass and plastic I.E. our skin is moist as well as is moisture in wood fiber. One thing for sure, if CA is used in large quantity and your eyes are subject to the fuming over a period of time there will be permanent eye damage. There are several types of applicator devices that can be used to apply the CA to the intended work which keeps the user from being directly over the work during use. These tools usually are similar to a hypodermic needle or a wire with and eyelet on the business end.....a drop of CA will transfer to the "point" from the container or eye and then can be transferred to the work..........if an accelerator is applied to the work prior to the CA using the same method, the "fume" will be pretty instantaneous if there is one and more direct to that spot. Some of the "super glues" which are sold in grocery store's in the very small tubes seem to be semi fluid but not as fluid as the thin CA and some of those do not seem to fume.........they take a bit longer to set up as well. None the less, CA can really raise havoc if not used with caution................been there and done that for sure!

Canute, mtaylor, thibaultron and 1 other like this

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

From Wikipedia:

Reaction with cotton, wool, and other fibrous materials

Applying cyanoacrylate to some natural materials such as cotton (jeans), leather or wool (cotton swabs, cotton balls, and certain yarns or fabrics) results in a powerful, rapid exothermic reaction. This reaction also occurs with fiberglass and carbon fiber. The heat released may cause serious burns,[26] ignite the cotton product, or release irritating white smoke. Material Safety Data Sheets for cyanoacrylate instruct users not to wear cotton (jeans) or wool clothing, especially cotton gloves, when applying or handling cyanoacrylates.[27]


I also use it w/ baking soda quite a bit and I have to be really careful--I've burnt my hands before...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research