What are the Different Types of Epoxy Adhesive?

Larry Ray Palmer

Epoxy adhesive is available in a variety of formulations to accomplish different tasks. All epoxy adhesives share a common thread in the fact that they need a hardener to be applied to the epoxy resin to cause it to set up and become useful as an adhesive. Epoxy adhesive is available in a fast-set epoxy variety as well as normal drying epoxy and slow-drying epoxy formulations. In some cases, a liquid epoxy is preferable, and other applications make the thicker gel epoxy formulations a better choice.

Two-part epoxy includes two separate tubes that are mixed to create a chemical reaction.
Two-part epoxy includes two separate tubes that are mixed to create a chemical reaction.

This type of adhesive is composed of one or more resin components and a hardener. The epoxy resin might be a liquid or a gel formulation, and each of these epoxy types has uses for which it is more applicable. Epoxy-based materials are often able to adhere to a variety of surfaces with a durable bond that will resist damage from moisture and heat. Epoxy adhesive is a preferred adhesive option for many applications because of its strong bonding ability and versatility.

PVC pipe cement is a special type of epoxy that bonds the plastic pieces together.
PVC pipe cement is a special type of epoxy that bonds the plastic pieces together.

Epoxy adhesive is used in a variety of hobby applications and can commonly be a hobbyist's adhesive of choice. The particular requirements of a project often dictate which variety of epoxy adhesive is the best choice. Depending upon the application, hobbyists might choose a fast-set liquid epoxy to make repairs to remote control plane structures or a slow-drying epoxy to allow for more precise placement of parts in the construction of models or to repair furniture in a home workshop.

Epoxy adhesive is sometimes used to make boat repairs.
Epoxy adhesive is sometimes used to make boat repairs.

As an engineering adhesive, epoxy-based materials are commonly used to bond one surface to another, thus limiting movement between the joints and dampening sound. Epoxy adhesive is also used as structural adhesive to glue fixtures in place in locations where driving a nail might cause issues. An example of this epoxy application might include setting tack strip for carpeting on a concrete floor with an sub-floor heating system. Epoxy adhesives makes it possible to adhere the fixture to a surface in a permanent or semi-permanent manner without the risks associated with driving nails into the surface.

Epoxy adhesive has also proven to be useful for emergency repairs. Many epoxy adhesives are not affected by the presence of moisture, thus allowing their use in environments where other adhesives would be rendered useless. Epoxy adhesives of this kind can be used to make emergency repairs to swimming pools, boats or equipment in a marine environment.

Epoxy resin may be valuable for repairing leather objects.
Epoxy resin may be valuable for repairing leather objects.

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Discussion Comments


Epoxy resin is awesome for making miniature items for a dollhouse. If you add dyes formulated to work with the resin, then you can make some convincing tiny pitchers of tea or other liquid.

My daughter has a big dollhouse, and I decided to make some fake liquid to go in her tiny glasses. I couldn’t allow her to use the epoxy, because the fumes can be dangerous, so I did it by myself as a surprise.

I added brown dye to the resin mixture to make tea and soda. I poured it into glasses and pitchers. The bubbles that occurred when I stirred the resin and hardener together created a convincing soda.


I used epoxy putty to reattach a piece of concrete that had broken off of my carport. I had heard that this particular epoxy would turn gray when it dried, so that would match the concrete.

I applied the putty and stuck the broken piece back into place. It took just five minutes to set. I had to wait another forty minutes until I could sand it down, though.

I used sandpaper to work the putty down until it was even with the surface. It looked like it belonged there. I didn’t need to paint it or anything.


@kylee07drg - That smell is very memorable! I have to leave the room when my husband uses epoxy adhesive, even if he is using it to fix something that I have broken!

Last month, I broke the hot water handle in the shower. It has four prongs, and I guess I turned the handle too hard, because a few of them went flying off under the pressure.

Since epoxy is not altered by moisture, he decided that an epoxy resin adhesive would be the best bonding agent to use on this handle. He painted it onto the broken surfaces and pressed them back together.

A few hours later, I had my shower handle back. That was several weeks ago, and it is still holding together fine.


I remember my dad using a liquid epoxy adhesive on his model airplanes and helicopters. Building those was his favorite hobby, because he wanted to own a real one, but this was the next best thing.

I sometimes stayed out in his shop with him while he bonded parts together. I remember that the epoxy adhesive smelled incredibly strong, and it almost reminded me of the scent of nail polish remover. It seemed like something that should not be inhaled for very long.

He used it while building the models and also while repairing them. He often had crashes that would damage a wing or the tail, and epoxy would bind the broken parts right back together.

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