Styrofoam is a versatile material that can be used for multiple applications such as manufacturing food packaging and home insulation panels, craft projects, or making decorations and props.
Almost all of these applications will require sticking two pieces of styrofoam together or to other surfaces which can easily be done using glue.
So, can you glue styrofoam? You can glue styrofoam as long as you’re using the right kind of glue. Standard craft glues like PVA glue will work effectively on styrofoam, however, specialized styrofoam will provide a stronger bond. It’s better to avoid using hot glue on styrofoam as it will melt through the surface.
Keep reading to learn more about styrofoam, the kinds of glue you can use on it, and how to properly glue to other surfaces.
What Is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is a soft material that is made up of small polystyrene foam balls. This foam is basically a kind of plastic that contains 90 percent air.
It is very light in weight and moisture resistant which is why it’s mainly used for making food packaging boxes and home insulation panels. It also comes in different shapes including sheets, blocks, cones, or spheres so it can be used in various craft projects or for making theater decorations or props.
Although styrofoam is very useful, it can be damaging to the environment. That is because burned Styrofoam will cause it to release pollutants into the air in the form of carbon monoxide. So it is very important to keep styrofoam away from any heat sources.
Can You Use Glue on Styrofoam?
You can use glue on styrofoam. When working on a project involving styrofoam, you often need to stick two pieces of styrofoam together or to other surfaces. So, your best option to do that is by using glue.
However, you need to make sure you’re using the right kind of glue. Some glues might be made for use only on Styrofoam, while others may be suitable for gluing Styrofoam to other surfaces.
What Kind of Glue Can You Use on Styrofoam?
When it comes to gluing styrofoam, standard craft glue will work effectively for simple projects.
The best craft glue to use is PVA glue which is also known as white glue or school glue. This glue is made from a combination of polyvinyl acetate, water, ethanol, acetone, as well as other chemical substances.
You can use PVA glue to stick styrofoam surfaces together or to other kinds of surfaces including wood, ceramic, metal, rubber, and various kinds of paper. However, it can’t be used to stick styrofoam to glass and plastic materials such as polypropylene or polyethylene.
There is also a kind of glue that is developed specifically to be used with Styrofoam. This kind of glue is often referred to as “Styroglue”, and while it is affordable, it’s not easy to find in most supply stores.
You can use Styroglue if you’re working on a bigger project as it will provide a much stronger bond when sticking styrofoam surfaces together or to other surfaces
It’s highly recommended not to use glues that are specifically designed to work on certain materials other than Styrofoam such as wood glue. That is because these kinds of glues contain certain chemicals that are too strong for styrofoam and might damage the surface.
It’s also recommended not to use hot glue because it will melt through the styrofoam surface and cause it to release harmful fumes.
For specific recommendations, check out this guide to the best glues for Styrofoam here where I discuss the absolute best products I’ve tested (and when to use each of them for the best possible results).
How to Glue Styrofoam?
Once you have the right kind of glue, working with Styrofoam will be very easy. All you’ll need to do is to prepare the surface, apply the glue, stick it to the other surface, and wait for it to dry.
Here are the steps you need to follow to properly glue styrofoam without causing any damage to the surface:
- Make sure the Styrofoam surface and the surface you’re sticking it to are completely clean and dry before applying the glue. Contaminants such as dirt or grease can interfere with the adhesive action of the glue, resulting in a weaker bond.
- Apply the glue to the Styrofoam surface. For better results, it’s recommended to apply the glue in a thin, even layer that covers the entire surface. It’s also recommended to use a paintbrush for more control over where and how much of the glue is applied.
- Press the Styrofoam surface onto the other surface. You need to be very careful when pressing the styrofoam because it is a very soft material and can break easily. You also need to make sure that all of the glue comes in contact with the other surface.
- Depending on the type of glue and the amount you used, you’ll have at least a minute to make adjustments or reposition the styrofoam surface before the glue starts to set.
- Leave the glue to dry and make sure not to disturb your project during the drying process otherwise you might need to re-apply glue and start over.
- You can use a sturdy object to prop your project to make sure it stays in the proper position while it dries.
- The time it takes for the glue to dry and cure completely will depend on the size of your project, the type of glue you used, and the amount of glue you used.
Can You Remove Glue from Styrofoam?
You can remove glue from styrofoam depending on the type of glue used. Some glues can be easily removed from styrofoam, while others might cause damage to the surface. If you’re not sure whether the type of glue you used can be safely removed, it’s best to test it on a small area before applying it to the entire surface.
How to Remove Dried Glue from Styrofoam?
To remove dried glue from a styrofoam surface, all you need is a good adhesive remover to dissolve and evaporate most of the glue residue. It’s recommended to only use solvent-based adhesive removers as they contain certain chemicals that are safe for styrofoam and won’t cause any damage.
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