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Re: Superglue +'s and -'s

Message text written by "Jonathan R. Wagner"
> I have been told, by a preparator whose oppinion I respect, and who
has worked at the Carnegie, that SUPERglue is to mistrusted at all costs,
whereas CRAZYglue is ok. I can say from personal experience that superglue
is very difficult to use (it didn't seem to want to dry *ever* and was
fairly messy). I just crazyglued a bone chip ten minutes ago. I am fond of
the stuff myself.<

        AFAIK, all "superglue" (where the term, while once a particular
brand-name, has become the favored term for all imitations...similar to the
situation with kleenex, xerox, and band-aid) products contain, as the
primary ingredient, cyanoacrylate.  Possibly (probably even probably)
individual brands have unique variants, either with additional ingredients,
proportions of ingredients, or type of cyanoacrylate (I suspect it's a
family of chemicals, not just a single one).  Anyway, the confusion here
probably arises in that I know of no prep lab that uses, on a regular
basis, commercial brands "Superglue" or "Crazy Glue."  Most prep labs I've
seen that use it at all either use Satellite City products or Paleobond
products (I've used both).  Both are nicer in that they come in
easier-to-use bottles, a variety of viscosities, and larger sizes than the
usual hardware-store tubes.  Special, very fine applicator tips are also
available that work on the dispensers of both brands, although not directly
from either dealer, AFAIK.  At present, I am using Paleobond cyanoacrylates
but a Satellite City accelerator.

        (In an interesting side note, there was an episode of "Star Trek: 
The Next Generation" in which Data explains to Capt. Picard that the warp
drive is inoperative because it has a "build-up of cyanoacrylate."  As if
Starfleet would ever let an engineer get away with supergluing a warp
coil...  ;-D  )

        In the realm of fossil preparation, one will find a wide variety of
opinions about the benefits and drawbacks of any product...I've heard them
from a preference of using _no_ consolidants at _all_, _ever_, to always
using cyanoacrylates as consolidants, as well as adhesives.  Most, like me
(I hope), are more moderate and will use what is best in a given situation,
and try to have a broad experience with a variety of products. Some
products really are unsuitable for fossil prep:  some past adhesives, like
Glyptal and Ambroid have a nitrogen-organic base and will degrade within a
few year's time (average), producing mild organic acids that will eat away
at bone.  Elmer's glue (suggested by another list member) has a very weak
bond and, because it is water soluble, isn't used as a long-term adhesive
because moisture in the air will cause it to degrade over a short period of
time.  (Cyanoacrylates have, in tests, been shown also to degrade with
exposure to moisture, but it takes a lot more time and a _lot_ more
moisture in the air to do it.)  As always, a well-climate-controlled
collections area is ideal, where moisture level and temperature can be
controlled.  ...anyway, I could go on and on about this, but suffice it to
say that in my own personal experience, the _proper_ use of cyanoacrylates
makes them a valuble product for fossil prep.

           ____/_\,)                    ..  _   
--____-===(  _\/                         \\/ \-----_---__
           /\  '                        ^__/>/\____\--------
__________/__\_ ____________________________.//__.//_________

                     Jerry D. Harris
                 Fossil Preparation Lab
          New Mexico Museum of Natural History
                   1801 Mountain Rd NW
               Albuquerque  NM  87104-1375
                 Phone:  (505) 899-2809
                  Fax: ; (505) 841-2866