The ORIGINAL One Component Polyurethane
(1 K-PUR) Wood Adhesive
|BALCOTAN 100 IN THE UK
Since introducing Balcotan 100 into the UK in 1990 it has been a source
of satisfaction to us that woodworkers of all kinds have joined in our
appreciation of one of the most versatile glues available on the market.
After all, our motivation to import Balcotan 100 stemmed from many years
of shipwright work in Greece and Italy where this adhesive became so
much part of our everyday use that to be without it was unthinkable.
Now too in the UK, Balcotan 100 is recognised and appreciated for being
easy to use. All that's needed to get to work is there in the one
bottle, no additional chemistry set (and the corresponding cash)
required! Balcotan 100 is now an essential part of the glue repertoire
of woodworkers in Britain who work as sculptors, boat builders, turners,
cabinet makers, furniture restorers, conservatory manufacturers,
propeller makers, joiners, carpenters, onsite chippies etc. as well as
the huge number of amateurs who have recognised that waterproof gluing
need not be a process dominated by thermometers, de-humidifiers and the
expensive leftover mustard syndrome! Gluing with Balcotan 100 is a
simple science: squeeze only as much glue as you need from the bottle
onto the work and clamp together!
Balcotan 100 is not especially temperature sensitive. Whether in the
middle of winter or summer, the reliable and consistent way in which it
always cures gives confidence to the user. Gone is that anxiety "how
long have I got before the glue goes off?" so often the case with other
glues when the temperature changes during the day.
Balcotan 100 comes in two formats: 60101 (Rapid) and 60100 (Regular).
Both can be used in very cold temperatures and up to whatever our
summers can throw at us. The recommended working minimum is +5'C with
60101 Rapid Balcotan 100 cures in 30-60 minutes with an open joint time
of 10-15 minutes.
60100 Regular Balcotan 100 cures in 3-6 hours with up to 75 minutes open
These two formats allow the choice between time, to assemble more
complicated or larger pieces of work and speed, to finish a job on the
same day. Both Rapid and Regular have the same strength.
Maximum strength of a glued joint is achieved by well-fitting,
well-clamped surfaces brought together within the open joint time. It is
worth remembering that the surface area glued also plays a large part in
the strength of a glued joint. For instance, the length of a scarf, the
length of a tenon etc.
We are often asked: "How can Balcotan 100 be a one component glue and
yet be 100% waterproof?" The answer is simple. Balcotan 100 is not
soluble in water, either before or after curing. It uses the humidity in
the air and the moisture in the material being glued to activate the
curing process without diluting the glue or damaging the adhesive
SAFETY IN THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
As curing does not take place by evaporation or absorption, no solvents
are necessary in the adhesive. In addition it is not a fire hazard so
the work space is safer.
Polyurethanes may cause breathing difficulties when vaporised in the
air. However the vapour pressure of Balcotan 100 is so low that in use
it releases no dangerous vapours into the work place.
OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF BALCOTAN 100
Like all liquid Polyurethane adhesives, Balcotan 100 foams as it cures.
However it is uniquely formulated to control the amount of foaming
during cure, which protects the joint from undue pressure.
The controlled foaming action means that:
1. Glue only need be applied to one face. The expanding action will wet
the other surface when the two are brought together.
2. Crevices in the wood, the bottom of splines and tenons and small
spaces between glued faces are automatically filled without having to
unduly "load up" a loose joint.
This is particularly useful where say, the joints of a piece of
furniture are being re-glued after it has been stripped in a caustic
bath. Or where multi-laminate (cold-moulded) hulls are glued up, the
foaming property inhibits voids being left between the layers, and the
consequent overall adhesion ensures structural integrity. When
laminating veneers, it is recommended that their thickness should be
1.6mm minimum for staple fastened lay-up at 45mm centres.
3. Because the expanded adhesive is a foam, and not a resin like
epoxy, it is not recommended for use as a structural filler.
1. It is best to spread the glue using a spatula with 2mm serrations,
rather than a brush. This makes covering large areas especially easy.
Spread rate is 150-200gm/m2.
2. Use a barrier cream on your hands before starting to glue. Gloves
give even better protection. There are no known cases of sensitisation
caused by Balcotan 100, but individual sensitivity cannot be ruled out.
In the event of getting glue on hands then scrubbing with soap and
pumice stone will remove it.
3. Balcotan 100 is best stored cool and sealed. Regular Balcotan 100 has
a shelf life of a minimum of eight months and Rapid stores for six
4. Balcotan 100 is resistant to freezing temperatures although it may
partially crystallise when stored below 0C. If that happens, slowly warm
up the glue to 30C. Keeping the glue at about 20C makes it flow better
on very cold days.
5 The adhesive will expand at the edges of the joint until it is
sufficiently cured. It is best therefore to clean up the glue after it
6. Balcotan 100 sets to a consistency which is flexible and tough, not
brittle or crystalline. The glue line doesn't create hard veins in the
work and the set glue can be cleaned up quickly and easily, saving both
time and tools. For instance, cleaning up the inside of a strip-planked
hull becomes a quick and simple job using only hand tools.
7. Balcotan 100 is honey coloured and blends even with dark timbers. It
does not stain or react with the wood. It absorbs wood stains to a
degree and is completely compatible with glass/epoxy reinforcing and the
finishing processes in use today in all industries. (If in doubt,
8. Once cured, Balcotan 100 is resistant to weak acids, alkalis and a
large number of organic solvents.
SUITABLE MATERIALS AND EXTREME APPLICATIONS
Balcotan 100 will successfully bond all timber, woodfibre boards,
plywood, cork, expanded polystyrene panels and cement-based boards as
well as certain resin sheets where one of the materials being used
Although Balcotan 100 is not a plastics adhesive it has proved extremely
successful in bonding rigid formed plastics such as polystyrene, PVC and
polyurethane to moisture containing substrates such as timber,
wood-based boards, asbestos and cement-based boards.
Do not use timber with more than 25% moisture when gluing with Balcotan
100. If the glued piece is transferred to a drier environment the
inevitable shrinking of the wood creates stresses which could deform the
piece, cause it to crack or split at the joint. Green oak does not glue
well with Balcotan 100 as the strongly acid tannin in the unseasoned oak
may damage the adhesive.
Sunlight (ultra-violet) harms the adhesive film only where direct
contact occurs. The rays are not transmitted through the glue line.
Cured Balcotan 100 is resistant to temperatures, up to 200C.
Balcotan 100 is recommended for use in cold and damp conditions, and has
been used for gluing the laminates of sledges used by the ice patrols of
northern Greenland (working temperatures down to -60C) as well as
structural glue-laminated beams of ice skating rinks in Switzerland.
We are able to offer support and advice on the use of Balcotan 100 based
on our experience. We also have the technical back up from the
manufacturer, Forbo CTU, Switzerland. Please don't hesitate to call us
with any query.