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Everything and the Kitchen Sink

I started working at HAR a few years ago to help document all of their systems and policies, but that is a whole other topic for a different day…What I didn’t realize, or really ever think about, is that there are so many different kinds (I mean, thousands) of adhesives that every business and every household uses every day.

According to the encyclopedia, “an adhesive is a material that can adhere (or stick) to other materials and help attach them together.” Well, okay. So now that my mind is thinking about it, I decided to investigate my own household on what and how much we use glue. I started in the kitchen.

Wooden trim, doors and cabinets, check. Notepad for grocery list, check. Paint primer (yes, it’s a glue), check. Scrubbing foam pad, check. Binding in cookbooks, check. That box from Amazon (yeah!), check. Cereal boxes, check. Paper lunch bags, check. Envelopes, check. Mailing labels, check. Labels on all my food, check. Not-so childproof safety lock on oven, check. Refrigerator magnets, check. The shoes I’m wearing, check. Even my kitchen sink (it’s siliconed to the countertop), check. Okay, that’s enough. I decided not to go any further—I’d never be able to get out of the kitchen.

Apparently adhesives have been in use for at least 8,000 years—the first being made from collagen which is an animal protein found in hides and bone (and interestingly, components that are still used today for some glues). Now that I’m “in the adhesive industry,” I stopped uncovering where adhesives were used and started thinking about where we could start using adhesives. Bond two metals together? No weld torch needed! Fasten wood together? No metal fasteners needed! The possibilities are endless…


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