E6000 becoming soft or melting on Havaianas – what are the alternatives?
A number of customers have been having problems with Havaianas and e6000 adhesive where the glue will become tacky after a few days as if it’s melting. The result being that crystals slide or just don’t stay firmly in position, where in the past e6000 would ensure the crystals are stuck to the strap for good. It appears that the adhesive still works well on other flip flops as well as Converse rubber but the material used for Havaianas no longer bonds successfully to e6000.
It’s difficult to tell whether it’s the flip flop material that’s changed or the e6000 adhesive or whether over preparing the surface is more harmful than no preparation at all. The only way to find out for sure is to test the e6000 glue out for myself along with some alternatives which have been discussed on various forums/blogs online.
The Adhesives tested are as follows: 1. Premium Tacky Glue, 2. Gem-Tac, 3. Glass Metal & More (Recommended on the Beacon Adhesives Selection Chart for Rubber), 4. E-6000, 5. Shoe Goo and 6. Gorilla Glue (For the Toughest Jobs On Planet Earth).
One flip flop has been prepared by rubbing down the strap and logo with sand paper and then cleaning away any grease or dust with rubbing alcohol, the other flip flop has just been cleaned with alcohol and no other preparation.
You can see from the image above the difference between a prepared and unprepared surface.
Glue is applied to the strap using the back of the jewel setter, the adhesive used in the image is Gemtac which is white in colour but dries clear.
A small section of crystals are then added to the adhesive for testing purposed on both the prepared and unprepared flip flops.
1. Premium Tacky Glue: Thin in consistency but easy to apply, there are no nasty fumes, you will need an orange stick to ease the crystal off the jewel setter or leave the glue for a minute or two to thicken and become more tacky. White in colour but dries clear.
2. Gem-Tac: Thin in consistency like Tacky Glue but thickens after a few minutes, its also white and dries clear, has no harmful fumes and will require an orange stick to loosen the crystal from the jewel setter unless you leave the glue to turn tacky first.
3. Glass Metal & More: Clear and very runny in consistency, this stuff really stinks but bonds well to the strap and the crystals also stick to it easily. You have add the crystals to the adhesive quickly as the glue forms a skin after a few minutes and if you try and add crystals after this has happened it makes a mess.
4. E-6000: Thick clear consistency with strong fumes, the crystals bond to the glue easily although it does dry fairly quickly so only add enough for a few crystals at a time
5. Shoe Goo: Thinner in texture to E6000, its clear and also has strong fumes (seem slightly stronger than E6000 but not as bad as Metal glass and more) its easy to apply to the surface and the crystals bond easily with the glue.
6. Gorilla Glue: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this adhesive as I have only heard of it mentioned a few times online and expected it to be much like superglue but flexible. To use it you have to dampen the surface then apply the adhesive and add the crystals. The adhesive is clear with no noticeably fumes, it’s very thin in consistent which meant that the crystals started to slide off the strap once they had been applied and constantly had to be pushed back into place. The biggest surprise is that after a minute or two it started to foam as can be seen in the image below and set hard like styrofoam, the bond with the surface is extremely strong but it ruined the crystals so is of no use.
Gorilla Glue a few minutes after application, bubbles and then the bubbles set hard.
One completed pair of flip flops which are then ready to be placed in a cool dry location for what turned out to be 8 days before removing them to test how strongly each adhesive bonded the crystals.
Conclusion – 8 Days Later
1. It seems that preparing the surface with fine sand paper or an emery cloth provides a better bond for the adhesive.
2. Gorilla Glue which although the strongest glue out of the 6 is of no use because it foams and then the bubbles created set hard.
3. The crystals bonded with Metal Glass & More slid off both flip flop surfaces, the adhesive felt like it hadn’t set properly even after 8 days.
4. Shoe Goo was soft on the unprepared surface but had a reasonable bond on the prepared surface, it’s made by the same manufacturer as E6000 which has bonding problems so I don’t want to give it a thumbs up yet but will report back after 30 days.
5. E6000 was soft on the un-prepared surface but again like the Shoe Goo still gave a reasonable bond on the prepared surface contrary to the experience many people have has with this adhesive. I also had problems with the last pair of flip flops that I crystallized, so again I will monitor the E6000 to find out when the glue goes tacky.
6. Neither the Tacky Glue or Gemtac provided a solid bond on the un-prepared flip flop but both provide a good strong bond on the prepared surface. A number of customers have been using the Gemtac adhesive with no reported problems for crystallizing Havaianas so I would have to go with Gemtac as the most suitable adhesive for use with Havaianas flip flops at present but I will update the post if there is any change with the bond strength.
It appears that the best solution at the moment is to use a different brand of Flip flops as it appears, its only the Havaianas that has the adhesive bonding problem. Although there hasn’t been any problems yet with the Gemtac I have read online that others have also experienced it softening, but I will update the post if the adhesive softens. If you have any suggestions or know of an adhesive that works please let us know.