Gluing in plastic fabrication
What a simple thing to do…. Well, not so fast. It doesn’t require being a rocket scientist to do it but you still need to know little basic knowledge.
1/ Kind of plastic: there is different chemicals and different techniques depending of your plastics so, know your plastic.
2/ Prepare the parts that need to be tied. That means:
- Remove the grease
- Remove the dust
- Prepare the 2 surfaces (joint, sand, etc..)
- Set up how these two parts are going to hold during the gluing time
3/ If you use a solvent (chemical welding), you will need a steady hand. Any drops or little handshake will let a mark on your part. Practice is needed. So, I am sorry for the people having a Parkinson disease, but they will be better to delegate. Be careful with the solvent, they are chemicals and therefore need to be handle carefully.
4/ if you mechanically weld, you need some more sophisticated material and a lot of practice. It could be heat weld, ultrasonic, etc.. This is out of the average Jo turf who wants to make something in his garage. A lot of videos are available online depending of the plastic nature, but to experiment, you are welcome to come to Desert Star Plastic and pick up some scraps in the recycling gaylords.
And about gluing without bubbles in the glue seams for the acrylic?
Apparently, you are really demanding. But yes, it is possible. For that, a lot of shops are not able or equipped to do it. With the regular acrylic glue, people will read about the pin technique (a little needle at the glue seam every 5 inches, wait 12 seconds and remove them). This could work well for thin acrylic and small parts but the rate of perfection decrease rapidity with the thickness and the length.
Some are using a 2 compounds glue and some add a 3% angle in 1 panel. A lot of fabricator have their own mix that they keep secret. For example, at Desert Star Plastic, our glue mix allows us to glue a part of 4” thick without any bubbles. You need to keep in mind that the requirement for bubble free seams always increases the cost.
And could we glue acrylic on another medium like wood and metal?
The answer is yes and yes. For the wood, the available glue like epoxy or wood glues will let a fussy or whitish or yellowish look on the part. For the metal, we have the same look but less strength.
Actually, Desert Star has developed a glue that is absolutely not visible between hardwood and acrylic. The results are amazing and the strength is great (see on youtube). If you have any idea of design to glue a nice acrylic to a beautiful piece of wood, thank you to contact us at 602 340 1236