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Understanding High Bond and Low Bond: Not all adhesives are created equal

Understanding High Bond and Low Bond: Exploring the Dynamics of Adhesion

When it comes to sticking things together, not all adhesives are created equal. Take honey, for instance. While it might seem sticky enough to hang a picture, it lacks a crucial element for true bonding. Let’s delve into the world of high-bond and low-bond adhesives to understand why honey just doesn’t cut it.

sticking a picture up with honey rather than adhesive

The Science Behind Adhesion

In the realm of adhesives, three key forces come into play: tack, cohesion, and adhesion. Tack refers to the immediate bond formed upon contact with a surface. Picture honey clinging to your finger the moment you touch it – that’s tack in action. However, for a robust and lasting bond, more than just tack is needed.

Tack vs. Bond Strength

While honey exhibits high tack, its bond strength falls short. Tackiness allows honey to adhere quickly, but it lacks the cohesive force necessary for enduring bonds. In contrast, adhesives like acrylic foam tape tape boast remarkable bond strength, capable of withstanding significant loads and environmental pressures.

Understanding Adhesion and Cohesion

Adhesion describes how well an adhesive attaches to a surface, while cohesion measures its internal strength. High adhesion ensures strong bonding to various substrates, whereas cohesion prevents the adhesive from tearing under stress. Honey may stick fairly well, but its low cohesion means it's prone to tearing and lacks stability.

Application Fields: Finding the Right Balance

The balance between tack, cohesion, and adhesion determines an adhesive's suitability for different applications.

  1. Temporary Applications: Here, a balance between tack and cohesion is crucial. Instant adhesion and easy removal without residue are prioritized, making it ideal for tasks like temporary fixing, surface protection, and masking.

  2. Permanent Applications: In this scenario, durability is paramount. Adhesives need a balance between cohesion and adhesion to ensure long-lasting bonds suitable for sealing and fastening tasks.

  3. Quick Stick Applications: For rapid adhesion without heavy loads, tack and adhesion take precedence. Cohesion plays a lesser role as the focus is on instant and firm sticking power.


In the intricate world of adhesives, the balance between tack, cohesion, and adhesion determines their effectiveness for various tasks. While honey may excel in tackiness, it falls short in terms of bond strength and cohesion, making it unsuitable for tasks requiring lasting adhesion. So next time you reach for an adhesive, consider the delicate interplay between these forces for optimal sticking power.



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