Barge vs Rubber Cement: Which Is Better?

Rubber cement gives a very flexible bond that can be peeled off with bare hands. It needs moisture to enable it dry and stick properly.

On the other hand, barge cement also gives a flexible but permanent bond that can’t be easily removed.

Rubber cement is applied to two surfaces, they would clot together with a little pressure or else they won’t bond.

Barge vs Rubber Cement

Barge cement has a dry time. Dry time here relates to how much time you must give both surfaces to evaporate so as to enhance the evaporation of the solvent from the adhesive.

Not giving your materials a dry time will prevent the surface from binding.  

What is barge cement?

Barge cement is an all multipurpose adhesive whose proficient strength is applicable to a large variety of materials ranging from leather to plastic to wood. Its solution consists of a neoprene base and is toluene-free.

Barge cement requires a dry time before bonding, this dry time is when both surfaces are left to dry for some time so that its solvents can evaporate to enable it to have a nice grip.

Peradventure they get dried because you didn’t give it more dry time, you can use a hairdryer on the surface of the material, and here is why.

Barge cement is flammable and that makes it easily activated by heat, so when you apply some heat to the surface, you can glue them together and see the magic! They will definitely give you a nice, strong, and flexible grip.

Barge cement produces a flexible but strong grip when avoided the way it is supposed to. After drying, it does not leave any color similar to the original color because it dries clear.

They are excellent when used on surfaces of porous materials like wood, rubber, stone, papers, glass, and plastic.

It is advisable that you use a lot in a well-ventilated place and ensure it is kept far away from heated arenas to avoid a fire outbreak.

To also avoid toxic chemicals from entering your body, you need to avoid prolonged breathing in of the concentrated moisture.

What is rubber cement?

Rubber cement adhesives are made from elastic polymers typically latex mixed in a solvent such as acetone, hexane, or toluene to keep them liquid enough to be used.

It is a water-based solution formula often stabilized by ammonia that keeps that makes it a part of the drying adhesives as the solvent quickly evaporates, the rubber portion remains behind forming a strong yet flexible bond.

Often, a small percentage of alcohol is added to the mix.

Rubber cement is favorite in art applications where easy and damage-free removal of adhesive is desired.

For example, rubber cement is used as the marking fluid in an erasable pen because rubber cement is designed to peel off easily without damaging the paper or leaving the paper with any trace of adhesive behind.

They are ideal for use in paste artwork where an excess cement might be removed, because of their low pH value (acidic), they result in the deterioration of photographs in no time.

The chemicals used in rubber cement formulation cause some hazards including flammability and potential for abuse as inhalers.

Hence, rubber cement should be used in open areas, and also care needs to be taken to avoid heat sources as acetone and heptane are highly flammable.

Similarities Between Barge and Rubber cement

Drying adhesives

The ability of an adhesive to form strong bonds when its solvent evaporates makes it a drying adhesive.

Water-resistant these glues are applied to a surface, they are left for about 5 minutes before gluing them.

After applying Contact Cement, the surface looks glossy, but after 5minutes it dries up and that is when its bonding is effective.

If not allowed to dry, the surfaces won’t stick together. So also rubber cement requires at least 5 minutes before bonding.

In the case of the rubber cement, they still have some shiny or less wet look before they bond.

Toxic Smell

The acetone, heptane, isoprene alcohol, and trichloroethane contained in their formulation make them emit dangerous and stinky odors.

It is recommended that you use a respiratory or a ventilated place when working with both glue.


The contact cement and rubber cement adhesives share the same similarities in the real sense. Flammable adhesives produce strong bonds when they are applied but can easily cause an explosion when in contact with an open flame.

Open space instead of heated space is recommended so as to avoid an explosion.


Both adhesives show high resistance to water. This means after they create jobs in materials, any interference with water can not weaken the bond.

Barge vs Rubber Cement: Comparison

Water-based vs Solvent-based

Barge cement is a solvent-based adhesive while rubber cement is a water-based adhesive.

Barge cement adhesives use organic solvents as their solvents they give an appearance of light yellow to transparent when applied and their main components are acrylic water-based adhesives, on the other hand, they are formulated with water as their solvents and have a milky white appearance when applied.

Rubber cement adhesives are more environmentally sound, they have improved significantly over the years but still don’t provide the durability needed in some applications, especially in the harshest environments.


Dry time in adhesives refers to the time you have to wait after applying glue on a surface, this is to let it dry so that the bonding can be effective.

After waiting for a while, you place your finger on the surface of your finger doesn’t get wet by the glue then it has reached its dry time and at this point, you can clamp them together.

Dry time is exhibited by rubber cement, it won’t bond two surfaces together if not allowed to dry for some time.

Rubber cement on the other hand does not need a dry time. Both surfaces are to be clamped together after application as this is the most effective way it exhibits its strength.


Toluene is a chemical that is added to adhesives, it is colorless and has a sweet fragrance at room temperature and can be toxic and harmful to the body system by deliberate or forced inhalation of its evaporating fumes.

By forced inhalation, most people who work with rubber cement are exposed to toluene which makes them prone to developing asthma induced by exposure to the toluene content in rubber cement.

For this reason, there is a preventive measure on the body of the product where it is recommended that rubber cement should be used in an open area so as to reduce the effect of its toxic fumes.

This doesn’t give you guaranteed protection because the little portion you inhale while working, eventually affects your health.

This makes Barge cement have an edge over rubber cement because it has zero percentage of toluene in its content. It is also health-friendly and will not promote substance abuse.


Barge cement can be used to bond any type of material, especially hard materials, because of the aggressive bonding it gives.

It may be not suitable for papercraft because it gives a strong bond that will not allow repositioning of the paper and easy removal of the glue if mistakes are made.

Rubber cement is effective on a number of materials but is more suitable for papercraft.

This is because it is more like a temporal bond that can be removed if mistakes are made and allow for repositioning of the paper.

Time factor

Barge cement takes more time because it requires some time to dry up before it can work while rubber cement does not require a dry time. The surfaces that are applied are clamped immediately after application.


Barge cement is formulated with quite a number of chemicals which builds its strength and makes it difficult to be removed after binding a material.

It will therefore require a solvent like acetone to activate it and enhance its removal

Rubber cement is formulated in such a way that it is very flexible and not hard to remove from surfaces.

You can make use of your fingers or a knife to peel off the glue from the surface you want it removed from.

When should you use Barge cement?

On flexible objects

Barge cement was formulated to give a high resistance resilience while maintaining high tensile strength.

Barge cement is used in virtually all industries where the production of moving parts is not joined by mechanical bonding.

There can also Be applicable two-way elasticities playability and plasticity and needed

Shoe repair

Barge cement is excellent for fixing both the insole and outsoles of your favorite shoe. It is easy to spread and requires a brush for its application.

While fixing your shoe, you are to coat the affected area with an adequate portion of the barge cement and allow it to dry for some time before clamping it.

In your Preferred environment

Most adhesives contain toluene which Is a toxic substance to the health and can be inhaled while working. This is why their usage is restricted to a well-ventilated environment to prevent you from inhaling its toxic fumes.

Due to the removal of toluene from its content, the barge can be considered an environmentally friendly adhesive.

You can use barge contact cement in any type of environment, ranging from closed to open to humid environments without risking your health.

When should you use rubber cement?

Paper Craft

Most available glues are formulated for multiple purposes, this makes them more or less active on different types of materials.

Rubber cement is very effective on heavy paper for fast adhesion, minimal complications practical choice.

It is a pressure-sensitive adhesive and it’s effective where a permanent bond is not required.

It allows for the easy change in position of the paper being glued and can make it easy to be removed as a result of its flexible feature.

Jobs requiring temporal bonding

Rubber Cement adhesives are not formulated to withstand the extreme strain and this makes it easy to detach after being used on the material even without any chemical solvents

Which is better?

it is definitely going to be barge cement and here’s why:

The barge cement adhesive is a Solvent-based glue, this makes it useful for a wide range of jobs. More specifically, they provide a fast application speed.

Rubber cement as water-based cement dries up much slower and they are oftentimes limited in what they will bond.

On the other hand, barge cement being a solvent-based adhesive is generally used to bond materials that other adhesives cannot hold together.

They are formulated to be used in high demanding jobs which require a permanent bond and is best for industries where speed of application is needed.

They have a very durable feature and asides from being water-resistant, they are also chemical resistant.

Unlike the rubber cement which is likely to be affected by temperature, the barge cement can withstand a wide range of temperatures.

What’s your choice?


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