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I understand that cyanocrylates (super glues) have come a long way. I understand that they are used in cars and airplanes today and can create an incredibly strong bond.

That said, I have a hard time believing that a few drops of commercial off the shelf super glue can be used to hold several TONS of weight.

Loctite created this commercial advertising their superglue doing just that. Supposedly with just 8 drops of glue, they were able to hold over 2.5 tons of weight.

Gorilla did a very similar advertisement.

Is this really possible or is there some trick at work here?

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    I've seen a long-ago TV thing where they took on one of those claims--and confirmed it. I can't recall the name of the show, it was basically Mythbusters for ads--but back before Mythbusters existed. – Loren Pechtel Feb 15 '16 at 22:23
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    not an answer per say but Krazy Glues website claims that cyanocrylate glue can hold up to 2000lbs per square foot (krazyglue.com/about-us) but doesnt have a source – n00b Feb 18 '16 at 22:38
  • Check that website again! That's per square inch! – Loren Pechtel Feb 19 '16 at 6:19
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Yes, this is entirely possible.

Loctite's Technical data sheet states lists the following data points:

strength of super glue

So using grit blasted steel, they can achieve a bond strength of 1.25 - 1.75 tons per square inch of super glue.

To provide confirmation from an outside source, The MythBusters have shown that just with one drop of superglue, they could lift over 600 pounds. Its unclear from the preview video how long they allowed the material to cure, but seemingly it wasn't long. It's possible the setup could have been improved to achieve even greater results, but even given the setup they had, it would take just about 8 square inches (drops?) of glue to hold 2.5 tons.

  • As for the first part of your answer: It looks like their is a discrepancy here. The OP seems to mean a vertical force holding something hanging. That is not the same as shear (Wikipedia: In engineering, shear strength is the strength of a material or component against the type of yield or structural failure where the material or component fails in shear. A shear load is a force that tends to produce a sliding failure on a material along a plane that is parallel to the direction of the force). Well, the second part adresses the other direction ;-) – Jan Doggen Feb 25 '16 at 9:07

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