In this week’s Test Tuesday we are testing polyvinyl acetate. This is more commonly known under the names; PVA glue, white glue, wood glue or school glue. For these tests I used Elmer’s brand liquid school glue.
The glue is white out of the bottle and dries clear. Although the glue dries clear it does affect the surface of the foam board papers, often changing how matte they appear. I’ve included an image to show how I applied the glue as well as a group of images showing the dried result on each board type. The effect on the white standard Readi-Board, white Adams Premium foam board, Readi-Grid and No paper samples was so subtle that I was not able to get a picture that could show the difference. There is a very slight change on these boards but I had to really LOOK to find it. I’ve circled the location of the glue on the water resistant and Readi-Erase samples.
All the standard Readi-Board samples performed the same when testing the bond between pieces. I had to apply a moderate amount of pressure to pull them apart. The paper pulled away from the foam when I was finally able to get them apart.
Most of the Adams Premium samples performed the same with the exception of the blue which I will go into detail later. The premium board had the best adhesion. I had to really try to get these samples apart. Even then the boards bent significantly before they gave way. I was impressed with how well the glue held.
The premium blue had a bond more similar to the standard Readi-Board samples. The paper facer came loose from the foam before the boards bent. I did an additional sample test, and the results were the same as the first attempt.
The Readi-Erase sample I tested face to face. By face I am referring to the glossy side that would be used for dry erase markers. The two pieces detached easily with little effort, but cleanly. The papers didn’t peel or rip and the foam didn’t bend at all.
The sample where I glued foam to foam (no paper) worked amazingly. When I tried to break the pieces apart the foam around the glue broke off in little pieces. Of all the samples I tested I would say that this had the best adhesion along with the Adams Premium samples.
You may expect our Readi-Board Water Resistant samples to hold similarly to the Readi-Erase, because of the coating that makes it water resistant. In fact the two pieces held together quite well.
When glue is applied facer to a standard white Readi-Board sample the Readi-Erase, Readi-Board Water resistant and no paper samples behaved as follows.
On the Readi-Erase sample the dry erase facer came off before the glue bond broke. This was also the case for the Readi-Board Water Resistant sample.
Once again the no paper sample bonded great. Attempting to pick free the glue just resulted in removing pieces of foam.
In an effort to get a better bond between the Readi-Erase facers I used the tip of a hobby knife to scratch the smooth dry erase surface and create hatch marks. This did significantly improve the bond between the two pieces.
Roughing the surface of the Water Resistant board yielded no noticeable difference, while roughing the surface of the no paper sample actually made the bond much worse.
Overall white glue is a great adhesive for all of our samples. If using white glue to adhere two smooth surfaces of the Readi-Erase roughing the surface is the best way to ensure a strong bond. I will personally continue to use white glue in a majority of my foam board projects.