Gorilla Glue

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Original Gorilla Glue; credit www.gorillatough.com


[Lutz File & Tool Co., Cincinnati, OH] A registered trademark for an strong waterproof wood glue. The Original Gorilla Glue formula was first introduced in 1994. It is a water-activated, thermosetting polyether-type polyurethane resin formula. The manufacturer states that Gorilla Glue® is 100% pure and does not contain fillers, plasticizers, or dangerous solvents. On activation, the glue expands approximately 3x its original volume. However, it is not recommended for use in gap-filling. The cured color of the glue is tan. Original Gorilla Glue is indicated for use on a variety of materials including wood, stone, metal, ceramic, foam, glass, concrete, etc. Gorilla glue is useful on many types of plastic but should not be used on Polypropylene or Polyethylene, or on rubbers with high oil or plasticizer contents. The resulting adhesive bond is waterproof, strong, and temperature resistant.


Gorilla Glue.PNG

Since the development of the original glue, the company has expanded to offer Gorilla tape, Gorilla Super Glue, Gorilla Wood glue, Gorilla Construction adhesives and more. Some products are listed below:

Product Composition Characteristics
Original Gorilla Glue Polyurethane Waterproof, dries tan, sandable, paintable, expands curing curing
Clear Gorilla Glue Hybrid Water resistant, dries clear, sandable, paintable, does not expand on curing
White Gorilla Glue polyurethane Waterproof, dries white, sandable, paintable, expands during curing
Gorilla Super Glue ethyl cyanoacrylate Do not use outdoors, dries clear, sandable, not paintable, fast setting
Gorilla Epoxy epoxy Water resistant, dries clear, sandable, paintable

Synonyms and Related Terms

Gorilla Brand Premium Glue


  • Exhibit construction

Personal Risks

  • Original Gorilla Glue and White Gorilla Glue - Can cause skin irritation, may cause allergic skin reaction, cause eye irritation, are harmful if inhaled, may cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled, may cause respiratory irritation, may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.
  • Clear Gorilla Glue - Combustible liquid, may cause an allergic skin reaction, causes serious eye irritation.

Collection Risks

  • Clear Gorilla Glue - Oddy tests performed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (09/06/2019) indicated Clear Gorilla Glue is unsuitable for use with collections, yielding significant blue tarnish on lead coupons.
  • White Gorilla Glue - Oddy tests performed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (11/21/2017) indicated White Gorilla Glue is suitable for temporary use with collections.
  • Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive - Oddy tests performed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (08/09/2017) indicated Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive is suitable for temporary use with collections.

Environmental Risks

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Working time = 20 minutes. Sets in 1-4 hours.
  • Completely cure in 24 hours. Cure temperature range 40-130 F.
  • Shelf life > 3 years unopened; about 1 year after opening

Working Properties

  • Original Gorilla Glue - Moisture activated; therefore, a small amount of moisture should be applied to one join surface. The glue should be applied to the other, dry surface before clamping the join together. When joining dense hardwoods, it is useful to dampen both surfaces before gluing. Slick or burnished surfaces should be scored before application to provide grip. Because Gorilla Glue expands in volume on activation, only a thin layer is required to achieve a successful join. An amount of ½ oz. is recommended per square foot of join surface. Excess uncured squeeze-out (wet glue) may be removed from a surface with a dry cloth or a standard paint thinner. Dried gorilla glue may be removed mechanically. Working time: 20 minutes. Sets in 1-4 hours. Completely cures in 24 hours. Gorilla glue should be allowed to cure between 40-130 F. Gorilla glue may be stained following its curing. It is useful to sand the surface of the glue before staining. It may also be painted with oil-based and spray paints. Acrylic and latex paints may be used if the surface is sanded first. Gorilla glue should be stored in a cool, dry location. Its storage shelf life is approximately 3 years unopened; It is recommended to keep approximately 1 year after opening.
  • Clear Gorilla Glue - Similar to the Original formula. This formula is also moisture activated and should be applied as the Original formula. It will not expand on activation. Working, setting, and curing times are comparable to the original formula. The cured glue may be stained or painted as the original formula. Clear Gorilla Glue should be applied and allowed to cure between 32-100 F, best at room temperature. Clear Gorilla Glue should be stored in a cool, dry location. If possible, store it with access to light (a lack of light and heat may cause the product to yellow).
  • White Gorilla Glue - Behaves nearly identically to the Original Gorilla Glue but cures twice as fast.

Forms and Sizes

3g, 2 oz., 4 oz., 8 oz., 18 oz., 36 oz.

Resources and Citations

  • Jennifer Mikes, contributed information, MWG group, 2020.