Cyanoacrylate glue (SuperGlue, KrazyGlue, etc.) is great stuff, but it always seemed like the tubes were single-use. Once you opened the tube it would almost always be dried out the next time you needed it.
Then I read that an old model airplane builder’s trick is to refrigerate your glue, and it works with cyanoacrylate glues, too. Googling around, that seems to be true (all caps in original):
THE SHELF LIFE OF OUR CYANOACRYLATE ( SUPERGLUE ) ADHESIVES AT ROOM TEMPERATURE IS TYPICALLY 1-2 YEARS, BUT WHEN STORED IN A REFRIGERATOR ( BELOW 10 DEG C ) THE SHELF LIFE IS EXTENDED UP TO 7 YEARS!, AND IF STORED IN A FREEZER ( BELOW -5 DEG C ) THE SHELF LIFE IS VIRTUALLY INDEFINITE.
I’ll have to try that sometime. Meanwhile I’ve been buying Loctite brand cyanoacrylate glue. I don’t know how they do it, but their glue stays liquid for years even after repeated uses. Another reason I like it is that it’s a bottle and brush instead of a tube, so it’s easier to apply.
Bonus! – Found while Googling: The cyanoacrylate fuming method for developing latent fingerprints. Pictures at Google Images.
Super Krazy Bonus! – Medical uses of cyanoacrylate glue. As of 1998 the usage of 2-octyl cyanoacrylate is FDA-approved, but note that SuperGlue and KrazyGlue are methyl-2-cyanoacrylate, which according to that Wikipedia article breaks down to form formaldehyde and can cause a toxic response. Still, some people keep CA glue in their emergency kits to close wounds until they can get to hospital. From WebMD:
Until recently, butyl-2-cyanoacrylate was the only commercially available cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive. Although butyl-2-cyanoacrylate is effective in closing superficial lacerations under low tension, it has several limitations. Several studies have shown wound-breaking strength in wounds repaired with butyl-2-cyanoacrylate to be equal to that in wounds repaired with sutures at 5-7 days; however, on day 1, breaking strength with the tissue adhesive is only approximately 10-15% of that in a wound sutured with 5-0 monofilament. After polymerizing, the adhesive becomes brittle and is subject to fracturing when used in skin creases or long incisions. This restricts the use of adhesives to areas of low tension, thus limiting their use for incision repair. Butyl-2-cyanoacrylate has been used widely with good cosmetic outcomes for various plastic surgical procedures (eg, upper lid blepharoplasty, facial skin closure, scalp wound closure).
The polymer 2-octyl cyanoacrylate was formulated to correct some of the deficiencies of the shorter-chain cyanoacrylate derivatives. As an 8-carbon alkyl derivative, this polymer should be less reactive than the shorter-chain derivatives. The slower degradation of the octyl derivatives may result in lower concentrations of the cyanoacrylate polymer by-products in surrounding tissues, resulting in less inflammation. Additionally, plasticizers are added to produce a more pliable and tissue-compatible product that flexes with the skin and remains inherent for longer periods of time. The 3-dimensional breaking strength of 2-octyl cyanoacrylate is 3 times that of butyl-2-cyanoacrylate and is closer to that of a 5-0 monofilament suture. This stronger, flexible bond may allow its use on longer incisions.