The ultimate in Superglue, Araldite is manufactured by Vantico, a company based in Luxembourg and specializing in serious engineering adhesives.

The company blurb states that Araldite "bonds almost anything to almost anything". They don't mention how strong the stuff is. I'd like to give you an anecdote demonstrating just that, but before i do, here's the standard disclaimer. I don't work for Vantico, i don't sell Araldite, this stuff is purely pro bono, okay? Now, can we move on? Araldite is their popular product, and as spiregrain helpfully reminds me, you can buy at pretty much any hardware shop.

I come from just outside Chippenham in Wiltshire (England), where Araldite is well-known in the farming community as the penultimate bonding materiƩl (second only to baler twine). Just up the road a little is RAF Lyneham, Europe's largest military transport base, and home to the Royal Air Force's entire flight of Hercules C130 transport aeroplanes. Farmers and flight mechanics get on surprisingly well together, as you may know.

Once per six months worth of use, these aircraft receive a regular service checking, among other things, loosening fuselage panels. The panels are held on with cobalt rivets. To replace and refit a panel requires drilling out the rivets with diamond drills, an extremely time-consuming and boring job. Mechanics being no fonder of hard work than anyone else, the guys at Lyneham discovered an easier solution.

Unbeknownst to their superiors, these days they merely cut off the protruding rivets with an oxyacetylene torch and then Araldite them back on to the aircraft.

But, i hear you cry, how do they get the panels off when they loosen? The answer is simple. Over at least seven years of this practise, not a single Araldited panel loosened. Not one.

This stuff is mean.

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