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Old 09-07-2014   #1
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
expired glue

Urethane based glues like stabond and clifton ur-1087 have expiration dates clearly labeled on them. I have even had rangers question my glue because of it. The cheaper one part contact adhesives, like shore, generally don't have an expiration date.

Here is the thing: I have used expired urethane glues on multiple occasions and had great results. On each of these instances the glue looked like new. The glue was clear and thin and the accelerator was not crystallized. However, the one part glues seem to turn into snotty, lumpy goo within a year or two and I have definitely seen patches fail because of it.

So, here is my question. Does anyone know if there is some kind of chemistry going on in the urethane based glues that makes glue that otherwise looks good a problem. If so, what is the problem, will the bond fail at some point after the patch is applied?

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Old 09-07-2014   #2
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
From what I can tell the exp. date is to cover the mfg. ass, and to make you feel like you need to buy new glue every year.

Kinda like canned food, if the glue is stored at room temp unopened i believe it will last and perform fine much beyond the expiration date. I also think that if the glue is exposed to air multiple times it will expire much sooner than the expiration date.

The rule I use is much like you mentioned. If it is clear and runny, its probably fine. If it is cloudy and stiff, its probably time to replace.

If we have a chemist on here that can confirm otherwise I'd love to hear.

I'll glue up some samples with it when I get back and do some testing side by side with new glue.

FWIW. I use up the glue in the shop to fast to ever have it expire, but the glue in my repair kit is almost a year expired, i just checked it, it looks fine. I dont plan on replacing it for my upcoming trip and am confident that if I have to bust it out (god forbid!!!!) it will work great.

I grew up with the neoprene glues like shore. The guy that taught me to do my first patch when I was a kid had some OLD shore. We just dumped some toluene in it and mixed it around. That patch is still on the boat almost 20 years later.

zach baird
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Old 09-07-2014   #3
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
You can buy rubber stamps that you can change the date on.........
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Old 09-07-2014   #4
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
Thanks Zach. It is as I expected.

One of these days I will smarten up and start telling my friends and coworkers to ship there boats off to you so I don't have to patch their crap anymore. In the mean time it is great to have friendly professional advice.
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Old 09-07-2014   #5
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 361
I have no experience with 2-part glues (not really available up here in Canuckistan because nobody rafts up here, really)... but my 1-part glues do seem to be getting crappy after about 1 year.

I'd be interested to here if 2-parts do have a longer shelf life (from a repair kit perspective).
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Old 09-07-2014   #6
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I just used some 3 year old 2 part glue and it worked great. I bought it in 2011, used about a 1/3 of the can, and stuffed it away. Then my buddy wanted his IK seam fixed, so I injected some MEK into the failed seam, and then injected some mixed glue. I let that sit overnight, and aired the tube up to shape. Then I put a 3" patch over that. Only used one coat. The boat has been inflated fully since Monday, looking good.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 09-08-2014   #7
Custom Whitewater Equipme
Central Point, Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 88
I have had mixed results with using old sta-bond on Hypalon, despite the glue still looking good. PVC material glues much easier so it may be much more tolerant. The other thing that makes glue go bad faster is freezing so I keep my glue kit in a storage cabinet that uses a light bulb attached to a thermostat as a heat source.
May the water be under your boat and the wind at your back.
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Old 09-08-2014   #8
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
I was told staybond gets liquidy when old and the accelerator dries out. I usually get about three years before I find a use for the old glue

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