Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Testing Glue Bonding
Name: Morgan
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: PA
Country: N/A
Date: 1/9/2005


Question:
How can I test the strength of different glue (Elmer's and super glue) when bonding it to things like paper plastic and metal?


Replies:
Testing is not just the physical act, it is a process.

You formulate a plan, then report everything. The reason is most all experiments result in failure. Read about the greatest inventor, Thomas Edison. For the light bulb he tried, I think, hundreds of materials. So, one needs the report, for not only you, but others to investigate, in order to find better solutions. So, write everything down. The last thing about reporting, the best idea, or design, only becomes important if you can communicate what you did, so put thought into how you will report your findings. If it is for a science fair, think about your presentation. It is best to do some thinking from the end and working toward that goal, as part of your total effort.

To truly test, one has to be fair, everything as close to the same for each experiment. Take the glues, one drop of each may not be equal, one may be stronger. So you will need information about the strength, or concentration. By recording everything, it would include the temperature. Materials often behave differently at different temperatures. Next, the testing equipment, it has to be calibrated, so you can accurately compare the trials. Last, you mentioned paper, it very well may be that the glued spot is stronger than the paper, so when you try to pull it apart, the paper will fail. When welding steel, the part at the weld is stronger than the part next to the weld. The act of welding changes the molecules etc.. So, you will have to devise a plan to test the glued piece, and not be fooled by other failures.

James Przewoznik



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory