Cyanoacrylate glue is the technical term for glues with brand names like Crazy Glue, Super Glue or Insta-Bond. It is a catch-all term for quick bonding super glues that are used in fixing or combining plastics to other materials like wood or metal.
Cyanoacrylate glue is an acrylic resin, which is vastly different from the traditional adhesives like water based glues. An acrylic resin would usually be composed of two different and separate liquids -- one that is poured into the mold, while the other is used sparingly for the purpose of making it a hardener. In cyanoacrylate glues, the hardener that is used is water.
The main ingredient in cyanoacrylate is, of course, cyanoacrylate. This type of glue, if placed on a dry surface or on certain plastics will not form a bond with the surface. But if the slightest amount of water is introduced – and this includes moisture from the air – the molecules of the glue will undergo a chemical reaction and form a tight chain between the two surfaces that will be bonded. This chemical reaction will happen seconds after the water and cyanoacrylate come into contact. Traditional glues will depend on evaporation to form a bond. But a cyanoacrylate glue will actually generate heat to help in the curing process.
There are some users of cyanoacrylate glue that get frustrated because they can’t achieve a bond that they need. But this happens if there is a lack of moisture or if the materials are non porous. A thin layer of water introduced to the bond, or even breathing on the material may introduce enough moisture to produce a stronger bond.