Silicone, sealing agents and supplementary sticky stuff

Being the one with probably the least experience with north american brands of sealing agents and adhesives, I thought it might be helpful and a good idea also for others to sort out the different brands and makes of adhesives and sealants. I know there are hints and shared experiences all over the website like Liquid Nails, Gorilla Glue, Silicone Glue, “red” RTV, how to make your own gaskets and so on…

But since the brand names are mostly pieces of useless information for me (and possibly others), I would invite you to share your experiences with us (the “clueless”) so we can find out, what type of sealant or glue hides behind those brand names “chemically”.

Best regards,


PS: Additionally, I wanted to try to start a thread. Haven’t done it before…
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You posted it as a blog post, I moved it into the regular forum. Just FYI the “add topic” button links to here:

Following is a short description of each glue or sealant. However you won’t get a feel for it without trying to use it.

Gorilla Glue: polyurethane glue. Extremely strong, foams/expands slightly, cures with humidity. Residue on hands is black (and semi-permanent).

Silicone: Commonly used for bathroom sealant, waterproof when dry, rubbery. solvents give off vinegary smell. Very flexible but not strong. Adheres best under pressure.

RTV: another form of silicone, with acid free solvents (for engine use). High temp RTV is usually red. Needs air to cure. Very useful for gasifiers, but will dissolve in acidic hopper gases.

Liquid Nails: contact adhesive. Mainly intended for use with wood, drywall and other construction materials, as an alternative to using nails or screws. Air cures. Thick latex feel, but not stretchy.

Bondo mat or cloth: Fiberglass base material sold for use in bodywork repairs. Useful as layering with RTV to make DIY gaskets. Will not burn or lose strength until roughly 1000 F.

Duct tape: Universal grey tape useful for many emergency repairs. Very sticky. Tears easily along “grid” of backing layer. Not even slightly temperature resistant. Leaves white residue. Doesn’t hold water or air pressure. Looks terrible just about everywhere. But hey, it’s cheap!! Highly associated with handyman’s fix-anything ethic.

Foil tape: The actual tape used for ducting and central heaters. Plastic backed metal tape. Somewhat temp resistant, very sticky and very shiny (it’s aluminum foil). Seals well. Good for patching leaks in hot areas.

WD40: Polar opposite and constant companion to duct tape. Thin fragrant oil. Lubricant useful for most anything (except actual lubrication). Stops squeaks, displaces water, removes tar (sort of). Usually sold in aerosol cans with a straw. Every DIYer worth his salt has a can in his garage.

PBlaster: Excellent penetrating oil. Loosens stuck or rusty bolts, especially when given time to work. Useful in place of WD40 in a pinch.

Great Stuff: Expanding polyurethane foam. Swells up immensely to fill cracks and gaps. Stains hands black, no solvent will remove.

Right Stuff: completely different than Great Stuff. This is a sticky silicone replacement we are evaluating for gasket use. Commonly used for engine sealant. Seems to be more durable than silicone, and may be less reactive with hopper gases.

NASCAR terminology

Regular duct tape = 100mph tape

Really good duct tape - 200mph tape

Thanks Sam for starting this thread. Air leaks are a gasser’s worst enemy. Here is a link to a company that supposedly makes gasket sealing material for up to 2000 deg. Has anyone had experience with their products?
Don Mannes