Plastic glue for super bond

Expert help with choosing the best plastic glue

Learn the basics about plastic glue and how to use it properly. Our tips and instructions will help make your projects and repairs a success.

What makes a good plastic glue?

If you look around your home, you’ll see that plastics are everywhere. However, as durable as plastic objects are, they sometimes break and need repair. That’s where the DIYer comes to the rescue. A bit of basic knowledge about plastics and plastic glue will be a big help in choosing the correct glue to make your repair.

Some adhesives may be too brittle or otherwise incompatible with certain plastics, so choosing an adhesive is not “one size fits all”. The first step is determining what type of plastic you are trying to repair. Check the label on the plastic if one is imprinted on the object. This is commonly found as a recycling label.

Plastics marked with a 6 or “PS” are polystyrenes. These are used for many simple and disposable items like plastic forks and spoons, toys, and novelty items. Poly cement and super glue for plastic work well for this type of plastic.

Industrial items and plastics used in plumbing pipes and window frames are generally made from a heavier plastic such as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Some specialised plastics of this sort are used in medical applications and even bulletproof vests. Bonding this type of plastic will require a special hard plastic glue.

Other common plastics include polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PETE). Many containers such as rubbish bins, Tupperware and prescription bottles are made from these plastics.

Plastic glue repair: step-by-step instructions

To glue most plastic surfaces, follow the general guidelines listed here:

  1. Make sure the surfaces you want to bond are clean and free of grease or residue.
  2. If the surface is shiny or very smooth, rough it up a bit with some sandpaper.
  3. Carefully apply the glue. Many glues now come in bottles with precision applicators.
  4. Some adhesives such as epoxies come in two parts. If this is the case, mix them before applying.
  5. Hold or clamp the parts together until the glue sets. (Check the label for drying time.)

Following these simple steps will help ensure a successful job.

Here are some tips for removing excess plastic glue. It is best to remove drips and excess glue immediately, as the glue is much easier to remove before it dries. Wear gloves and use a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol, mineral spirits, or acetone. Be sure to test the solvent on the plastic to make sure it doesn’t affect the finish. Dried adhesive will need to be scraped or sanded away.

Choosing the best plastic glue

When you are faced with the task of gluing plastic together, either as a repair or to assemble something, here are some factors to consider as you select a plastic glue.

If possible, determine what type of plastic the material is. Although this is not always possible, it can be helpful. Consider whether the material being glued is rigid or flexible and if it will be subject to vibration, heat, or moisture. All these factors will play a role in choosing the best plastic glue. Choose the wrong type and your repair may not hold up.

Additionally, if the object is going to be exposed to the elements, make sure you use a waterproof glue for plastic that is suitable for outdoor use. These adhesives will stand up to the temperature changes, moisture, and UV light that would break down glues intended for indoor use.

One of the strongest and most versatile glues for plastic is Loctite Super Glue All Plastics. It bonds in seconds to a wide variety of plastics and other materials. It will even stick to polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, which are harder to adhere to.

Loctite Vinyl, Fabric and Plastic Flexible Adhesive is specially formulated for repairing flexible plastics such as vinyl seats, tarps, outdoor cushions, and other gear. It dries clear and stays flexible, so it won’t crack with bending or twisting. It’s also great for shoes, toys, seat covers and more. It is waterproof and can be used indoors and outdoors.