I wonder if, a few years down the line, we'll see a spate of court cases concerning children with mouths epoxied shut.

An unlikely scenario, you might protest, but allow me to explain.

QuikSteel is steel-reinforced epoxy. It comes in the same sort of package you'd find regular putty-style epoxy, though it looks a bit different, being a uniform charcoal in color. You use it the same way you would any other epoxy putty - knead it to mix the resin and the hardener, and put it where you want it to go before it sets.

The product's claim to distinction is its superior ruggedness. The manufacturer claims a tensile strength of 6200 pounds per square inch and shear strength of 740 PSI. It holds together at 260 degrees Celsius (500° Fahrenheit). It will set under water and is impervious to solvents, so it's good for emergency patching of boats, gas tanks and such. Someone on the Web (not the manufacturer!) claimed it would even seal a cracked engine block.

I bought a tube of QuickSteel to replace a doodad (a sensor of some sort, I guess) which had rusted and fallen out of my car's catalytic converter. (Yes, I am the sort of person who fixes cars with epoxy.) I had previously tried some regular-strength stuff, but it failed after a couple of weeks, presumably unable to hold up under the heat generated by the converter.

It worked well, and I used some of what I had left over to repair what I'm sitting in now, a comfortable but shoddily made office chair whose plastic armrest-doubling-as-a-weight-bearing-structural-member had snapped, depositing me abruptly on the floor. It's holding together so far, after two prior attempts with "normal" epoxy had failed.

So what's this litigation business I mentioned earlier all about? Well, QuickSteel might be one of the most effective adhesives you can buy, but it shares a notable trait with a far more pedestrian variety of stickum.

While being kneaded, this super-epoxy emits a strong, very unepoxylike odor exactly like bubble gum.

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