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Contact Cement VS Rubber Cement: Which Is Better?

Contact Cement VS Rubber Cement: Which Is Better?

One of the most successful experiments in the world is the glue which was made by Neanderthals, it was made in Britain 200,000 years ago and was made using fish.

Shortly after the invention, it becomes popular in Britain and they started to import it to other states.

Contact cement and rubber cement are two types of glues and you might find it difficult to identify the difference between them.

Both contact cement and rubber cement are types of glue that have almost the same properties the main difference is that rubber cement dries slowly compare to contact cement.

This is just one difference between contact cement and rubber contact, to more about them and their differences read till the end as I will be covering it all below.

What is Rubber Cement?

Rubber cement is a glue adhesive product created from a flexible or rubbery substance like polymers (especially Latex) combined in a solvent such as hexane, heptane, acetone, and toluene so it can keep or remain in a liquid-like solution fluid so that it can be used.

rubber cement from a bucket
Rubber cement is mixed with other solvents to maintain a liquid-like texture.

This makes it a piece of the class of parched adhesives as the solvents rapidly disappear, leaving the rubber particles behind so that they can form a tough and capable while also being a flexible and pliable bond.

Ingredients used in a Rubber Cement

These are the main ingredients commonly used in rubber cement:

Ethyl Acetate53.58545-65
Ribetak 7522 ( t-butyl phenolic resin )14.288-23
Maglite D (MgO)10-2
Kadox 911C (ZnO)0.5380-2
Lowinox 22M460.50-3
Neoprene AF13.6979-18
Main ingredients used in the formation of rubber cement

Rubber Cement: How to use it?

little droplets of water on a fabric
Rubber cement is a waterproof adhesive.

Rubber cement is not the best adhesive to be used in every situation. Before using or applying any product we must know the proper usage and its limitation.

  1. We can use rubber cement as the makeable fluid in an erasable pen.
  2. It is outlined to remove or rub off without damaging the paper or leaving any leftover adhesive behind, they are standard to be used in paste-up work where surplus cement might need to be disposed of.
  3. There is a process called wet mounting in which one surface is applied with rubber cement while the other surface is joined while the cement is still wet, you can change or adjust the joint while it is still wet, providing it to be quick but not a strong bond.
  4. However, if you do the same thing but applied the process of ‘dry mounting’ in which both surfaces are applied with rubber cement and are dry before they are joined, this will result in a strong bond but cannot be adjusted once they are joined or touch together.
  5. If an excess amount of glue runs outside and is put on any non-porous substance simply let it dry as the rubber cement will not find anything to stick on but itself, simply rubbing itself will cause it to lose its grip and will form a ball under your finger, some tools are also created for performing this procedure if you don’t want to uses your hand.
  6. One of the main advantages of using rubber cement is that is waterproof, so you will not have to worry if the rubber cement gets into contact with water and losses its stickiness.
  7. Rubber cement also provides heat resistance up to +70 -80 degrees C as well as cold resistance down to -35 degrees C.

If you want to know how to properly use rubber cement check out this video:

A video about the usage of rubber cement

What is the best-selling Rubber Cement?

These are the best selling rubber cement you can try:

  • Elmer’s No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement
  • Elmers No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement with Brush
  • Elmer’s Easy to Use Photo-Safe Repositionable No Wrinkle Rubber Cement Adhesive
  • Elmer’s CraftBond Acid-Free Rubber Cement 4 fl oz

What is Contact Cement?

Plywood on a floor
Contact cement can be used for veneers and wood for tiles.

Contact cement is a strong and powerful adhesive product created from neoprene and synthetic rubber. It is extremely hostile and resistant to moisture, bond almost immediately, and provides no griping of the bonded substance.

This adhesive is also very sensitive to decline, but it is not efficient or effective when a capable or powerful bond is needed for a long time. It responds and works best with plastic, glass, leather, veneer, and rubber, metal.

Ingredients used in Contact Cement

The main ingredients that are commonly used in contact cement are:

Chemical       CAS No./ID            % Conc.
Methyl ethyl ketone       000078-93-3               21.18
Solvent naphtha, petroleum, light aliphatic       064742-89-8               19.52
Acetone       000067-64-1               19.11
Ethyl acetate       000141-78-6               17.75
Xylene (mixed isomers)       001330-20-7                3.82
Water       007732-18-5                0.24
The main ingredients that are commonly used in contact cement

What are the advantages of using Contact Cement?

Contact cement might be a good adhesive for your everyday repair. But it might not be ideal—especially if you don’t know the reason behind why you are using it. Let’s deep dive into its benefits below.

  1. The main advantage of using contact cement is that it can form a strong and tough and permanent bond in a matter of seconds upon contact. These bonds will last even more for a long time and can be applied with a roller, a brush, or spray.
  2. The main and common problem with the adhesives is that they take a lot of time to dry. But this issue has been solved by contact cement as they dry very quickly and rapidly in a matter of hours. Also, these adhesives dry earlier before bonding. Thus there is little leftover and less time to clean up the mess.
  3. This adhesive is also very ideal for companies as this adhesive is available as both solvent- and water-based compounds, so they can choose which application suits their demand.
  4. It is very unique from other adhesives as they don’t crave a specific level of temperature or pressure for the bond to develop.
  5. Due to being so dry contact cement requires a minimal need for additional work after the surfaces are joined.

What is the best-selling Contact Cement?

These are the best-selling contact cement you must try to accomplish tasks and obtain great results:

  • Elmer’s E1012 China & Glass Cement
  • DAP 00271 Weldwood Contact Cement
  • 1 qt Dap 25332 Weldwood Contact Cement
  • Gorilla Clear Grip Waterproof Contact Adhesive

Rubber Cement vs. Contact Cement: Are they different?

Although both cement and adhesives have pretty same properties, they cannot be regarded as the same. Rubber cement and contact cement are different from each other in terms of their performance and the results they produce are also different.

The table below shows the difference between rubber cement and contact cement.

Rubber CementContact Cement
It allows flexibility when making contact with another surfaceIt doesn’t allow any sort of movement upon making contact with another  surface
Have weak and temporary bondsHave strong and permanent bonds
Dries up slowlyDries up quickly
Can be removed by rubbing on itCan be removed by applying any nail polish
It is waterproofIt is not waterproof
Have a very bad odorDoesn’t have any specific odor
Less expensiveMore expensive
Key differences between rubber cement and contact cement.


Glue is used often used in our daily life either to fix or create things. Rubber cement and contact cement are two types of glues that you might have used.

Although rubber cement and contact cement share pretty same properties, they are not the same. Rubber cement and contact cement are different from each other in terms of their performance and the results they produce are also different.

Before using any type of glue whether it be rubber cement glue or contact cement, you must be aware of its usage in order to achieve great results.

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