Adhesives and sealants are usually mixed up in everyday conversation. It is understandable considering how both are sticky and have similar applications. Many adhesives and sealants utilize the same base elements. There are polyurethane adhesives and polyurethane sealants. Mixing up the two during casual conversation is alright. But when it comes to real projects and actual procedures, such mix-ups can lead to expensive mistakes. You never want to use a sealant for an application that needs an adhesive.
Adhesives are used for bonding applications. A bonding application is any kind of procedure that entails joining of two separate objects or surfaces using a binder substance. This binder material is called the adhesive. The exact scientific explanation on how adhesives work is complicated so let us postpone its discussion for some other time. In order to hold to objects together, the adhesive must be very strong enough to handle the weight or whatever forces are acting upon the bonded objects.
Sealers are utilized for coating applications. In coating applications, surfaces or joins are coated with a material that prevents moisture and other materials from passing through. This material is called the sealant and as the name implies, it seals the surface or area on which it is applied on. The coating can also provide protection to the surfaces against harmful elements or decrease the sound and heat transmission. In order for a sealant to do its task, it should have the needed adhesiveness to remain in place. Unlike adhesives used for bonding, the adhesiveness of sealants are fairly weak.