Super-Glue: hero or villain?

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

OLS 19-20 - Super-Glue: hero or villain?

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


JHB408 Snow Room, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus


** PLEASE NOTE: This event has changed location and will now be held in JHB408 Snow Room **

Super-Glue is invisible to the naked eye, has exceptional strength and displays incredibly fast ‘reactions’ – superpowers that allow it to stick instantaneously to anything (well, almost anything) in a smooth and seamless fashion. But just like plastic, another wonder material of the late 1950s, it’s proving to be the equivalence of kryptonite for our global eco-system. Join Professor James Broughton in the Adventures of


The plastic-fantastic era brought a revolution in materials, design and manufacturing - producing an avalanche of affordable plastic items from curvy furniture to disposable carrier bags. In a similar fashion, its sticky counterpart led to a plethora of innovative products including well known household brands like 3M’s Post-it Notes® and Elmer’s® Craft Glue, as well as Loctite’s Super-Glue® itself.


Today, an excess of non-degradable plastic products is threatening to ruin our living blue planet. Due to its permanence, glue too has become a super-villain, whilst the new heroes are now green, bio-inspired and, above all, reversible. But can Super-Glue defy extinction by evolving, and what form of super-character should it take?


James has worked with adhesives for over 20 years. He’s a Board Member of the Society of Adhesion and Adhesives, and Head of the Joining Technology Research Centre at Oxford Brookes.