Why the Right Glue for Leather Matters
Leather is a popular material for a variety of projects, from crafting to fashion. But when it comes to bonding leather pieces, it’s important to choose the right type of glue to ensure a strong, long-lasting hold. Using the wrong glue can result in a weak bond that eventually fails, ruining your project. That’s why understanding the different types of glue for leather and the factors to consider when choosing one are crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what glue to use for leather, from types of glue to best practices for gluing leather. Whether you’re gluing a leather belt back together or adding leather to a DIY project, this guide will help you make the right choice. If you’re also interested in what glue to use for other materials like shoes or beats headbands, be sure to check out our other guides on why glue pennies to shoes, how to glue a belt back together, what glue to use on shoes for glitter, what glue to use on a leather belt, and more.
Why the Right Glue for Leather Matters
Using the right glue for leather is crucial if you want a strong and long-lasting bond. Leather is a unique material that requires a different kind of adhesive compared to other materials. Leather goods such as shoes, bags, and belts are subjected to constant stress and movement, making it essential to use an appropriate glue for each project.
Glues used for leather are designed to provide high bond strength, flexibility, and resistance to water and other solvents. Using the wrong kind of adhesive can jeopardize your project, leading to premature damage and material separation. For instance, using a glue that is not suitable for leather on a shoe sole can cause the sole to detach after some use. This is a potential safety hazard and can be costly to fix. Investing in the right adhesive is necessary, so your leather project will have longevity.
Another critical factor to keep in mind is that not all leather is the same. Leather comes in different textures and thicknesses, each requiring a specific adhesive for the best results. Some leathers are more porous than others, and certain adhesives will not penetrate the surface effectively. Hence, knowing the right glue for the leather you work with is crucial to achieving a strong bond that lasts.
Additionally, using the wrong glue for leather can also affect the appearance of your project. Some adhesives leave a residue or discoloration on the leather, leading to an unsightly appearance. That is why it is essential to select adhesives that will remain colorless and do not damage the material’s texture.
Now that we have a good understanding of why using the right adhesive is critical let us explore the different types of glue for leather and factors to consider when choosing an adhesive.
|Glue Type||Bond Strength||Drying Time||Waterproofing||Flexibility||Ease of Use|
|Contact Cement||High||30-60 mins||Yes||High||Moderate|
|Epoxy||Very High||24 hours||No||Low||Moderate|
|Super Glue||High||10-45 seconds||No||Low||Easy|
Types of Glue for Leather:
When it comes to crafting or repairing leather goods, choosing the right adhesive is crucial. No two glues are created equal, and different glues offer varying levels of strength, flexibility, and waterproofing. In this section, we’ll explore some common types of glue for leather and their advantages. Whether you’re looking to repair a leather jacket or create a customized leather accessory, understanding the benefits and drawbacks of various leather glues will help you choose the right one for your project.
1. Contact Cement
Contact cement is a popular glue for leather that is commonly used in shoe repairs. This type of glue works by applying a layer of adhesive to both surfaces that are to be bonded together, allowing it to dry, and then pressing the surfaces together. The bond created by contact cement is strong and durable, making it an ideal choice for high-stress applications such as shoe sole repairs.
One of the primary benefits of contact cement is its bond strength. This type of glue creates a very strong bond that can withstand a lot of stress. It is also a very versatile adhesive, meaning that it can be used for a wide range of materials in addition to leather, such as rubber, metal, and wood. Contact cement is also resistant to heat and water, making it ideal for use in environments where the material may be exposed to those elements.
One of the downsides of contact cement is that it can be tricky to apply. It is important to apply the glue evenly to both surfaces and allow it to dry completely before joining them together. It is also not flexible once it has cured, so if flexibility is required, contact cement may not be the best choice. Additionally, it can be difficult to remove the adhesive if the bond needs to be broken.
Contact cement is commonly used in shoe repairs, such as gluing sneakers soles back on or repairing the sole of a boot. It is also used in other applications, such as repairing Birkenstocks or gluing the headband of Beats headphones back together. Contact cement can be a great option for DIY projects that require a strong, durable bond.
It is important to note that there are different types of contact cement available, including solvent-based and water-based varieties. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for your particular project.
If you are interested in learning more about gluing sneaker soles, we have a detailed guide that can assist you.
Epoxy is a two-part adhesive that consists of a resin and a hardener. When the two parts are mixed together, they create a strong, long-lasting bond. Epoxy is known for its ability to bond to a wide range of materials, including leather.
Advantages: Epoxy is extremely strong and durable, making it an excellent choice for projects that require high bond strength. It is also resistant to water and most chemicals, making it an ideal glue for outdoor and heavy-duty applications.
Disadvantages: Epoxy can be messy to work with and requires careful mixing of the two parts. It also has a relatively long curing time, which can be inconvenient for projects that require a quick turnaround.
|High bond strength||Messy to work with|
|Water-resistant||Requires careful mixing|
|Chemical-resistant||Long curing time|
When working with epoxy, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This usually involves mixing the resin and hardener in the correct proportions and allowing the glue to cure for a specific amount of time before handling.
In general, epoxy is a good choice for leather projects that require a high level of durability and resistance to water and chemicals. It is often used in the repair of leather shoes and boots, as well as in other outdoor applications.
If you’re looking for information on how to glue sneaker soles or how to glue a sole back on a boot, be sure to check out our other articles for more detailed instructions. Additionally, if you’re curious about Shoe Goo glue or how to glue Birkenstocks or Beats headphones, we have articles on those topics as well.
3. Super Glue
One of the most popular types of glue for leather is Super Glue. Super Glue is a type of cyanoacrylate adhesive that works by bonding almost instantly with the leather. It is important to note that not all Super Glue is created equal, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your project.
When choosing Super Glue for leather, opt for a gel formula rather than a liquid one. Gel formulas are thicker and easier to control, making them ideal for precision applications such as repairing small tears or cracks in the leather. Additionally, a gel formula will not seep too far into the leather, which could result in discoloration or hardening of the material.
In terms of bond strength, Super Glue is extremely strong and durable, which makes it a great option for repairing heavy-duty items such as boots, belts, and luggage. However, one major drawback of Super Glue is that it dries very quickly, which can make it difficult to reposition the leather once it has been applied.
Another thing to consider when using Super Glue is whether or not the bond needs to be waterproof. Many Super Glue formulas are water-resistant, but not all are completely waterproof. If you are gluing leather items that will be exposed to water, opt for a waterproof formula or consider using a different type of glue altogether.
Flexibility is another important factor to consider when using Super Glue on leather. While Super Glue is strong, it can become brittle and crack over time if the bond is not flexible enough. For this reason, it’s essential to use a flexible Super Glue formula or apply it in a way that allows for the leather to flex and move naturally.
When applying Super Glue to leather, remember to work in a well-ventilated area and avoid getting the glue on your skin or clothing. If the glue gets on your skin, use acetone or nail polish remover to remove it. And, if you accidentally over-glue the leather, use a sharp blade to carefully remove the excess without damaging the surrounding material.
Super Glue can be a highly effective option for gluing leather, but it may not be the best choice for all projects. If you’re unsure about whether to use Super Glue or another type of glue, it’s always a good idea to do a test run on a small, inconspicuous area first. And, if you’re working on a specific project such as repairing sneakers, boots, or Birkenstocks, be sure to check out our article on how to glue the sole back on your boots or how to glue your Birkenstocks for more helpful tips and tricks.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Leather Glue:
When it comes to selecting the right glue for your leather project, there are several factors to take into consideration. The type of glue you choose will depend on the specific qualities you require, as well as the nature of the leather you are working with. Bond strength, drying time, waterproofing, flexibility, and ease of use are some of the key factors that should guide your decision-making process. Understanding these factors will help ensure that your leather bonding project is successful. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about glues for other types of items like sneakers, headphones, and more, check out our guide on what is Shoe Goo glue.
1. Bond Strength
The bond strength of leather glue is one of the most essential factors to consider before selecting the right glue for your project. Leather materials tend to be heavy and exposed to regular wear and tear. Thus, choosing a leather glue with strong bonding capabilities is vital to prevent the leather from tearing apart. Here are some leather glue types with high bond strength:
- Contact Cement: It offers an incredibly strong bond on leather, making it one of the most popular glues for leather projects. Once applied, contact cement forms a waterproof, heat-resistant, and flexible bond. It’s commonly used for fixing shoe soles, where strong, long-lasting adhesion is essential. You can read more about how to glue sneaker soles in our previous article.
- Epoxy: It’s one of the strongest adhesives available, providing exceptional bond strength on leather. Epoxy is a two-part adhesive that forms a rigid bond when cured, making it perfect for leather projects requiring strong adhesion.
- Super Glue: Also known as cyanoacrylate glue, is well-suited for small leather projects, offering extremely high bond strength. However, it forms a brittle bond, so it’s less appropriate for large or heavy-duty leather projects.
Considering the bond strength of the leather glue to use is necessary for your project to achieve optimum results. Choosing the right glue for your leather project implicates its longevity and durability. Also knowing which glue to use will save you time, money, and effort. With the above leather glue types, what is shoe glue the question is now answered.
2. Drying Time
When choosing a leather glue, it’s important to consider the drying time. Some glues dry quickly, while others take longer to set. Here are some factors to consider:
- Quick-drying glues: These types of glues are suitable for projects that require a fast turnaround time. If you need to complete a project quickly and efficiently, you may want to consider a quick-drying glue. Keep in mind, these glues may not offer as strong of a bond as slower-drying options, and you may need to work quickly to ensure the glue sets properly.
- Slow-drying glues: These types of glues take longer to set, but they often offer a stronger bond. If you have some patience and time to spare, a slow-drying glue may be the better option for your project. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to plan accordingly to allow for enough drying time.
- Variable-speed glues: Some glues offer the best of both worlds. These variable-speed glues have a slightly longer drying time than quick-drying glues, but they still dry relatively quickly. They offer a strong bond and are ideal for medium-sized projects.
It’s important to note that the drying time may vary depending on the temperature and humidity in your work area. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and allow for adequate drying time before handling your leather project. And don’t forget, if you’re looking for tips on gluing a Beats headband, we’ve got you covered.
When choosing the right glue for leather, waterproofing is an important factor to consider. Leather items such as shoes, bags, and jackets are often exposed to moisture or rain, making it essential to choose a glue that can withstand water.
Here are some of the best waterproof glues for leather:
- Polyurethane Glue: This type of glue creates a strong, waterproof bond that is perfect for leather. This glue is also weather-resistant and can withstand temperature changes. It is ideal for use on outdoor leather items like boots and jackets that are frequently exposed to moisture.
- Silicone Adhesive: Silicone adhesive is another waterproof option that can be used on leather. It is flexible and durable, making it perfect for leather items that require movement, such as belts. Additionally, silicone adhesive is also heat-resistant, making it ideal for use on leather items that are frequently exposed to high temperatures.
- Epoxy: Epoxy is a strong adhesive that can create a waterproof bond on leather. It is ideal for use on leather items that need to withstand heavy use, such as horse saddles or motorcycle jackets. Epoxy is also heat-resistant and can tolerate exposure to UV radiation.
- PVA Glue: PVA glue, also known as white glue, can be used on leather to create a waterproof bond. It is ideal for use on smaller leather items such as wallets and phone cases. PVA glue is also easy to find and affordable.
When applying waterproof glue to leather, it is important to ensure that the area to be glued is clean and dry. This will help the glue bond more effectively to the leather. Additionally, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right amount of glue. Applying too much glue can make the bond brittle and prone to breaking.
Waterproofing is an important factor to consider when choosing the right glue for leather. There are several types of waterproof glue available, each with its own unique benefits and uses. By selecting the right waterproof glue for your leather item and following best practices for application, you can ensure a strong, durable, and waterproof bond.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a glue for leather is its flexibility. Leather is a material that bends and stretches, so the glue used to bond it together needs to be able to move with it.
Below we have created a table to compare the flexibility of different types of glues for leather:
|Contact Cement||Very flexible|
|Super Glue||Least flexible|
As you can see, contact cement is the most flexible glue for leather, which makes it a popular choice for shoes, bags, and other leather accessories that need to bend and flex. However, epoxy and super glue can also be used for certain leather projects, such as belts or wallets, where flexibility is not as important.
It’s important to keep in mind that the flexibility of the glue can also depend on the thickness and type of leather being used. Thinner and more pliable leathers may require a more flexible glue to ensure the bond stays intact.
Ultimately, choosing a glue with enough flexibility for your leather project will help ensure the longevity and durability of your creation.
5. Ease of Use
When considering which glue to use for leather, ease of use is an important factor to consider. Some glues require special equipment or have complex application instructions, while others are more straightforward and user-friendly. Here are some key elements to consider when looking for an easy-to-use glue for leather:
- Application Method: Look for a glue that can be applied directly from the container with a simple applicator such as a brush or roller. This will eliminate the need for additional tools and reduce the time and effort required to apply the glue.
- Consistency: A glue with a consistent texture and thickness will be easier to apply than one that is too thin or too thick. Check the consistency of different glues before purchasing to ensure that you choose one that spreads easily and evenly.
- Drying Time: Choose a glue with a reasonable drying time, neither too slow nor too fast. A glue that dries too quickly may require you to work too fast, while a very slow-drying glue can make the project take too long and might even make the work area messy.
- Color: Opt for a glue that dries to a clear or neutral color that won’t alter the final look of the leather. This will make it easier to apply and can also help avoid any unwanted marks or stains on the leather.
By focusing on these factors, you can choose a glue for leather that is easy to work with while still providing the strength, flexibility, and other qualities needed for your specific project. It’s important to remember that even the easiest-to-use glue may still require some preparation and practice to get the best results.
How to Glue Leather:
Now that you’ve selected the perfect glue for your leather project, it’s time to learn how to apply it correctly. Properly gluing leather requires attention to detail, patience, and a steady hand. To ensure the best results, follow these step-by-step instructions for applying glue to your leather projects. Don’t rush the process, take your time, and bring your vision to life by following these tips and tricks.
1. Preparing the Leather and Work Area
Before applying any glue, it’s essential to properly prepare the leather and work area to ensure a strong and lasting bond. This can be done by following these steps:
|1||Clean the Leather: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface of the leather that needs to be glued. This will remove any dirt, dust, or oils that can interfere with the bonding process.|
|2||Trim the Edges: If the leather edges are rough or uneven, use a pair of scissors or a leather cutting tool to trim them. This will ensure that the edges meet correctly and create a strong bond.|
|3||Rough Up the Surface: Use fine-grit sandpaper or a leather roughing tool to rough up the surface of the leather. This creates a surface that the glue can grip onto, improving the strength of the bond.|
|4||Protect the Work Area: Place a protective covering, such as a drop cloth or cardboard, on the work surface. This will prevent any glue or adhesive from getting on your work surface and making a mess.|
By taking the time to properly prepare both the leather and work area, you can ensure an optimal environment for gluing leather. This will help the glue to adhere better, providing a sturdy and long-lasting bond.
2. Applying the Glue
Applying the glue to your leather project is an important step in ensuring a strong and lasting bond. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:
|1. Apply a thin layer of glue||Using too much glue can result in a messy and weak bond. Apply a thin layer of glue evenly onto the leather surface. This will ensure that the glue is not visible and that the bond is strong.|
|2. Use a glue brush or roller||Avoid using your fingers to apply the glue as this could result in uneven application and messy glue. Instead, use a glue brush or roller to apply the glue. This will help you achieve a more even and consistent coverage on the leather surface.|
|3. Take extra care around the edges||The edges of your leather project are especially important to get right, as they tend to receive the most wear and tear. Apply a thin layer of glue around the edges and press them firmly together to ensure a strong bond.|
|4. Work quickly||Leather glue can dry quickly in some cases, so work as quickly and efficiently as possible when applying the glue. This will help you avoid a messy and unprofessional looking finish.|
Remember to always follow the glue manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Whether you are using contact cement, epoxy or super glue, applying the glue properly is key to ensuring your leather project turns out the way you want it to.
3. Clamping the Leather
Clamping the leather is an essential step in gluing leather together. It ensures that the glue cures properly, creating a strong and long-lasting bond. After the glue has been applied to the two surfaces of leather that you want to glue together, press them together firmly and place clamps on the edges or apply pressure using a heavy object. Here are some tips for effective clamping:
|Use Enough Pressure||Apply enough pressure to secure the pieces of leather together. Ensure that the pressure is evenly distributed throughout the leather.|
|Place a Barrier||It is recommended to place a barrier on the clamps to prevent any marks or damage to the leather.|
|Leave it to Dry||Leave the clamped leather to dry according to the guidelines on the glue. It is best to leave it to dry for at least 24 hours to ensure a strong bond.|
|Remove Clamps Carefully||When removing the clamps, take care to do so slowly and carefully. Pulling the clamps off too quickly may cause the leather to shift.|
Remember, clamping the leather properly is crucial to making sure your leather project stays together for the long term.
Best Practices for Gluing Leather:
Ensuring that you use the right glue for your leather project is only half the battle. In order to achieve a strong and durable bond, it’s important to follow best practices when gluing leather. By implementing these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your leather project looks professional and withstands the test of time. From testing the glue first to avoiding over-gluing, these best practices are essential for any leather project. Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
1. Test the Glue First
Before you start gluing leather, it’s important to test the glue you plan to use on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather first. This will allow you to see how the glue reacts with the material and ensure that it won’t cause any damage or discoloration to the leather.
Here’s a simple process for testing glue on leather:
|1||Choose a small, discreet area of the leather to test on.|
|2||Apply a small amount of the glue to the area.|
|3||Wait for the glue to dry completely.|
|4||Check the area for any discoloration, staining, or other damage.|
If the test is successful and you’re happy with the results, you can proceed with gluing the rest of the leather. However, if any issues are discovered, it’s important to stop and reassess your choice of glue or application method.
By testing the glue first, you’ll minimize the risk of damaging the leather and ensure that your project turns out as intended. This step may take a little extra time, but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind it provides.
2. Avoid Over-Gluing
It’s crucial to avoid over-gluing when working with leather. This is because excess glue can create unsightly bumps and lumps that may ruin the final appearance of your project. Here are some tips to help you avoid over-gluing:
- Apply glue sparingly: A little glue goes a long way when it comes to leather. Apply it in thin, even layers using a brush or roller.
- Don’t rush: It’s important to take your time when applying glue to leather. Rushing can lead to uneven coverage or applying too much glue.
- Clean up excess glue: If you do accidentally apply too much glue, clean it up quickly with a damp cloth or sponge before it dries.
- Use clamps: Clamping the leather can help ensure that the glue bonds properly, preventing you from feeling the need to apply more glue.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Different types of glue may have unique instructions or require different amounts per square inch. To avoid over-gluing, always check the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the glue to your leather project.
By following these simple tips, you can avoid over-gluing and create a professional and polished final product. Remember, less is often more when it comes to glue and leather, so take your time and apply glue sparingly to achieve the best results.
3. Use a Brush or Roller
When it comes to gluing leather, it’s important to ensure that the glue is applied evenly to avoid any lumps or bumps. This is where using a brush or roller can come in handy. Not only do they help spread the glue evenly, but they also make it easier to apply the glue in hard to reach areas.
Here are a few tips when using a brush or roller:
- Choose a brush or roller that is appropriate for the size of your project. A small brush or roller may be best for smaller projects, while a larger brush or roller may be more suitable for larger projects.
- Ensure that the brush or roller is clean before use to avoid any contamination of the glue.
- Apply an even coat of glue to the leather using the brush or roller. Start at the center of the leather and work your way outwards to prevent any bubbles or wrinkles from forming.
- If using a roller, apply gentle pressure when rolling over the leather to avoid any damage to the leather surface or texture.
- Clean the brush or roller immediately after use using warm water and soap. This will help prevent the glue from drying and ruining the brush or roller.
Using a brush or roller may take a bit of extra time and effort, but it can make a big difference in the final result of your leather project. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to apply the glue evenly and without any mess.
4. Work in a Well-Ventilated Area
When working with leather glue, it’s important to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful fumes. Many types of leather glue contain chemicals that can be hazardous to your health if inhaled for extended periods. These fumes can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even long-term respiratory issues.
To avoid these risks, it’s critical to set up your workspace in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage with an open door, or outside in an area with good airflow. You can also use a fan to circulate fresh air into your workspace and help dissipate any fumes.
In addition to providing fresh air, it’s also important to wear protective gear like gloves and a mask when working with leather glue. This can help prevent skin irritation and inhalation of the glue’s fumes.
To further minimize the risk of inhaling fumes, try to use the glue in small quantities and apply it as quickly as possible. Once the glue is applied, move the project to a safe area with good ventilation to allow the glue to dry.
|Ways to ensure good ventilation:|
|Set up workspace in a well-ventilated area|
|Use a fan to circulate fresh air|
|Wear protective gear like gloves and a mask|
|Use the glue in small quantities and apply it as quickly as possible|
By taking these precautions and working in a well-ventilated area, you can avoid the negative effects of inhaling leather glue fumes and safely complete your leather projects.
As we come to the end of this comprehensive guide to choosing and using the right glue for leather, you may still be wondering which glue is best for your specific project needs. With so many factors to consider, from bond strength to drying time to ease of use, it can be a perplexing decision. But fear not, armed with the information presented in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to make the right choice for your particular leather project. So let’s take a closer look at some of the key takeaways and best practices for gluing leather.
The Best Glue for Leather Depends on Your Project
When it comes to choosing the best glue for your leather project, it ultimately depends on what you’re making and the materials you’re working with. Here are some project-specific considerations to help you decide which glue to use:
- For leather shoes and belts: Contact cement is a popular choice for leather shoes and belts because of its strong bond and durability. However, if you need to make small repairs on the go, super glue can be a quick fix.
- For leather furniture: Epoxy is often used for repairing cracks and splits in leather furniture because it can fill gaps and create a seamless finish. It also has a longer drying time, allowing for more precise application and placement.
- For leather crafts: Super glue can be a versatile option for smaller leather crafts such as wallets and jewelry because of its quick-drying and strong bonding properties. However, if you need to glue larger pieces of leather together, contact cement would be a better choice.
- For outdoor leather gear: Waterproofing is a key factor to consider when using glue on outdoor leather gear such as camping or hiking equipment. Look for a glue that is specifically designed to be water-resistant, such as contact cement with neoprene, to ensure the bond will hold up in wet conditions.
Remember to always read the label and instructions before selecting a glue for your leather project. Additionally, testing the glue on a small, inconspicuous area of your leather before applying it to the entire surface can help ensure a successful bond. By taking into account the factors mentioned above, you can make an informed decision on which glue is best suited for your specific leather project.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you use regular glue on leather?
No, regular glue is not suitable for use on leather. It will not adhere well and may damage the leather.
2. What is the strongest glue for leather?
Contact cement is the strongest glue for leather because it creates a nearly unbreakable bond and is flexible enough to move with the leather.
3. Can you use super glue on leather?
Yes, super glue can be used on leather, but it is not recommended for larger bonding projects as it is not very flexible and may break apart over time.
4. How long does it take for leather glue to dry?
The drying time for leather glue depends on the type and brand of glue, but generally, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
5. Can you machine wash leather that has been glued?
No, it is not recommended to machine wash leather that has been glued as it can damage the bond and cause the leather to warp or shrink.
6. Is leather glue waterproof?
Some types of leather glue are waterproof, but this depends on the specific type and brand of glue. It is important to check the label for waterproofing before use, especially for outdoor projects.
7. Can you remove leather glue?
Yes, leather glue can be removed using acetone or nail polish remover, but it is important to test a small area first to make sure it does not damage the leather.
8. How much glue should I use on leather?
You should use enough glue to create a strong bond, but not so much that it oozes out of the edges of the leather. It is important to follow the instructions on the glue label for application.
9. Can leather glue be used on other materials?
Some types of leather glue may be suitable for use on other materials, but it is important to check the label and test a small area first to ensure it creates a strong bond.
10. Can leather glue be used in place of stitching?
No, leather glue should not be used in place of stitching for areas of high stress or tension, as the glue bond may break apart or weaken over time.