Bonding polycarbonate to polycarbonate

Hi everyone,

Does anyone have experience bonding polycarbonate to itself? I have tried thick CA (superglue) and this stuff called SCIGRIP 16 which I was told was recommended by the guy at the counter at TAP Plastics. The thick CA is pretty lousy, and the SCIGRIP 16 works alright, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a better option…

Thanks!

As it would turn out, loctite sells a polycarb adhesive readily available at a local Walmart. I’ll get the exact name tomorrow when I have the tube in hand. Works great, dries in five minutes, sets in an hour and cures over night.

Is it this stuff:
http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/13/7/epxy_plstc_s/overview/Loctite-Epoxy-Plastic-Bonder.htm

I’m interested as well and didn’t know they made a product that could work.

Might want to try to get in contact with someone from 1714 MORE robotics. They make their entire robot out of the stuff.

Ian, I’ve used this stuff for projects at home as well as the Loctite one, both work exceptionally well. Both this and the Loctite require the applicator gun.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Devcon-Plastic-Welder-II-50ml-devpak-plastic-welder-ii/15632453

Use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHMykiX_YEQ

Yeah, I think it was the epoxy plastic bonder. I didn’t know that an applicator gun was necessary. Our team usually just squeezes our epoxy out onto a plate and use a spoon or fork or pop-sicle stick to mix the stuff. I think the plastic bonder actually came with an applicator stick though.

That mixer gun is genius. Having taught many people to use epoxy, I’ve had plenty of people tell me that “that stuff is garbage! doesn’t stick at all!” :rolleyes:

Does it dry fairly clear? Being a see-through structure I have been fretting over how to make the joints not look like garbage. I’ve asked Pinecone as well, will report back what he recommends being from the land of plastic.

Another option is to heat the sheet with an acetylene torch and bend it on a vice. My team used this method on our robot last year for one of our components. Although this only really works for certain applications. If you don’t need absolute precision, then this is a great way to go.

The Loctite plastic bonder doesn’t work well for polycarbonate sheets in my experience.

You want Methylene Chloride. It can be expensive, but you don’t need a lot to make the bond. You will need a syringe to put drops of material along the surfaces to bond.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5686551_glue-polycarbonate-sheet.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_6635889_glue-lexan.html

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/119/2120/=ldfxxn would need some additional chemicals added to the mix to make it easier to work with.

I’ve had experience with Weld-On #3 such as this: http://www.eplastics.com/Lexan_Polycarbonate_Glue

A lot of very good information about using polycarbonate can be found here: http://www.curbellplastics.com/technical-resources/pdf/polycarbonate-fab-guide-makrolon.pdf

They have all sorts of information about bending, heating, forming, gluing, melting, folding, spindling, mutilating, and abusing polycarb.

Methyl chloride works great, but it’s really nasty stuff. I wouldn’t reccomend using it without proper ventilation and personal protestive equipment, such as a respirator. Read up on exposure to it before considering using it.

I would also second methyl ethyl ketone/Methyl chloride.

I would strongly suggest reconsidering MEK and Methylene Chloride unless you have a really well ventilated area to work in and respirators to use.

http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9948&code=SLM2677
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927358

I have actually worked with both and found that I was especially sensitive to the vapors from each (ie - above the norm). You may want to look at a clear urethane adhesive or something similar.

Of course, I have to ask… for what purpose are you adhering these two parts together? Is there an opportunity to use a mechanical fastening instead?

It is a thin wall tabbed construction hopper that I intended to make out of plywood (which I know how to glue!) – but the team wanted to make it clear for polycarb for looks. I could add larger tabs and put in some brackets, but I would rather not (mostly for looks). If adhesion turns out to be really difficult, I will probably end up doing that.

Try using rivets and polycarb/alum angle. If it’s thin enough you can bend it with a press brake.

High bond double back tape will also work.

You could take a piece of 1/16" polycarb (we did this at one point last week), bow it around into a hopper and put two mounting screws through the overlap into your frame, making it sit in place but still look kinda cool…

IPS Weld-On #16 works pretty well on polycarb. #'s 55 and 58 work even better. They’re all ‘solvent’ cements, which likely means something like Methylene Chloride is the active ingredient. The nice part is that the heavier glue base is much easier to work with then a pure solvent.

I would not recommend using pure MEK or Methylene Chloride without a respirator and appropriate training. I use it at work but it’s tricky stuff to use right and super toxic. Purpose made adhesives will give good results with far less risk and trouble.

I was looking around for something else and found IPS Weld-On #4 recommended with a needle bottle applicator. From McMaster-Carr, it would be 7517A1 for 4 oz of adhesive ($8.79, water-thin) and 1902T41 for the needle bottle ($6.67). Recommendations online are to clamp the parts together and run a very tight bead of solvent down the seam, letting the adhesive wick into the joint.

MSDS #1 - http://www.curbellplastics.com/technical-resources/pdf/bond-acrylic-weldon-4.pdf
MSDS #2 - http://www.tapplastics.com/uploads/pdf/MSDS%20IPS%20Weld-On%204%20New.pdf

The super thin glues are great for repairs of plastic parts because, as you say, you can let it wick into joints or cracks. The problem is that the thinner the glue the harder it is to control and the less tolerant it is of less then perfect fit between parts. It’s just really easy to dribble it where you don’t want it, and the tiniest gap between your part will result in a poor bond.

I use straight MC for repair work and #16 for making new parts or where I need a degree of gap filling. As long as you’re very careful and have very clean edges, the wicking method makes for a better looking joint, for sure.

McMaster Carr has a bunch of adhesives that work great.

Just wondering, how about Aluminum to a rubber/urethane?