The use of Plexiglas is becoming more and more popular every day, as a result the question - “How to glue Plexiglas at home?” Is being asked more and more often. Plexiglass is actively used in the design of rooms, and it is also possible to make a lot of the most diverse and unusual details from it, without the need to use any special equipment.
Even at home, having acrylic, some improvised tools, an adhesive composition and an interesting idea, you can independently produce something interesting, unusual and practical. Depending on which gluing method and glue you choose, the result of your work will depend. To understand how you can glue this material on your own, first of all, we will look at how the gluing process looks.
Plexiglass bonding: the main difficulty
The question of how to glue Plexiglas at home is of interest to many - from designers and repairmen to modelers and lovers of aquarium fish. Often the problem - how to glue plexiglass - occurs unexpectedly. Plexiglass (plexiglass, acrylic) is widely used for the manufacture of a variety of household items that break, break, and therefore sometimes require repair.
In the thematic forums on the question of how and what is better to glue plexiglass, fierce battles take place. They reach their apogee when discussing adhesives for organic glass. Some participants admire the properties and the result obtained when using a certain composition. Others - express extreme dissatisfaction, having a diametrically opposite point of view.
However, there are no contradictions. Like any other plastic, organic glass may differ in composition depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, adhesives are able to demonstrate different efficiencies.
Moreover, plexiglass (polymethylmethacrylate) is sometimes confused with polycarbonate, transparent polyester and polypropylene. It is obvious that their bonding requires different compositions and methods.
But we will clearly determine that we are dealing exclusively with polymethyl methacrylate and consider options for how and how to glue plexiglass tightly at home.
For accurate and durable bonding of two parts from acrylic, you need to choose one of the options for joining them:
- “On the whisker” - connection of elements at right angles, pre-cut at 45 °,
- “Joint” - a combination of parts in which the end of one abuts against the side of the other,
- "Lap" - the connected elements are partially overlapping,
- "In the tongue" - the joining of parts occurs through the protrusion and recess,
- “With pad” - the parts are in contact with the end parts and are additionally fixed with a pad of the same material, partially connecting them along the seam from one or two sides.
To obtain a strong, reliable, durable connection, the process of bonding parts from acrylic must be preceded by cleaning from dust and dirt, degreasing surfaces with alcohol or any of the solvents. Also at the joints, you need to rid the parts from plexiglass from gloss. This is necessary to increase adhesion.
The specificity of bonding acrylic
Bonding of plastics has its own specifics. The basis of this process is not so much adhesion as in the case of wood, ceramics, and other materials, but diffusion. Simply put, compounds are formed at the molecular level. That is, at the joints, the plastic dissolves to a viscous state, and when solidified forms a homogeneous monolithic mass.
As a result, the seam on the acrylic product retains strength even when it experiences strong mechanical stress. In this case, cracks and other signs of fracture may appear nearby, but the seam remains intact. To achieve this effect, special factory-made adhesives are used. This is the most convenient option, eliminating the need to look for and invent something.
This is one of the most effective adhesives for plexiglass: it quickly dissolves the glued surfaces and in a few minutes forms a strong transparent seam when they are connected. The disadvantage is the high cost.
Relatively inexpensive glue. When gluing plexiglass to them, a durable transparent seam is formed. The disadvantage is the possibility of the appearance of small cracks, which somewhat reduces the aesthetic and strength characteristics of the products.
Fast-acting cyanoacrylate-based organic glass adhesive. It forms a reliable durable joint provided that the properties of the glued plexiglass and acrylic contained in the glue are identical.
It can be purchased ready-made or made independently. For this, 3-5 g of acrylic shavings should be placed in 100 g of dichloroethane and stirred periodically for half an hour. The consistency of the mixture should resemble jelly or sour cream.
The glue is infused for at least two days - until the acrylic is completely dissolved. Periodically, it needs to be mixed well or shaken. The curing process during gluing lasts two to three days. Keep glue in a sealed container.
By the way, the use of homemade glue based on dichloroethane is a ready-made answer to the question of how to glue a crack or chip in plexiglass. Perhaps the trace will remain, but it will not deliver visual discomfort - such as from a clear crack.
This is a proven and effective tool for bonding plexiglass, metal, wood. Grasping occurs almost instantly. This ensures a solid, reliable connection.
However, the speed of bonding can be considered as a kind of disadvantage. If parts are incorrectly positioned, it will be very difficult to separate them later. Therefore, when using the "Moment" glue, special care and accuracy are needed.
Universal adhesive, also tested over decades of use. Glues almost everything, including plexiglass with metal and wood. It catches fast enough, but not instantly, so there is time to make adjustments.
Glue "88" provides a high level of reliability and strength. However, when working with it, special care must be taken - it is combustible.
This is a special construction adhesive, many times superior in strength to many other types. It is perfect for gluing plexiglass with metal, wood, and other materials. The main advantage of “liquid nails” is quick setting, reliability and high bond strength. For the complete solidification of the composition, a day is required.
The only drawback is the high toxicity rates. Therefore, work with this adhesive requires safety measures. The presence of ventilation and the use of protective gloves are a prerequisite.
When the question arises of how to fasten plexiglass with wood, metal with other polymers, it is worth recalling the self-adhesive double-sided tape that has recently appeared on the market.
Such a connection cannot be called absolutely reliable, but for some cases its strength will be quite sufficient.
Regardless of which option is selected, you first need to prepare the surfaces of the parts well. The joints are thoroughly cleaned with fine sandpaper and degreased with alcohol, gasoline, and any solvent. Next, a thin layer of glue is applied, the parts are connected and strongly pressed together by clamps, a vice or a load.
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Acrylic gluing technology has its own technological features and differs from gluing ordinary glass, it is important to consider this. The latter can be glued using silicone glue, but special adhesives must be selected to join plexigas.
First of all, it is worth paying attention to the very “delicate” surface of the material, the point is that it is vulnerable to the effects of various solvents, chemical compounds. When using some even organic compounds, unwanted cracks can occur on the surface of Plexiglas.
Today, bonding technology is often used when using glue made on the basis of organic solvents. Bonding from manufactured glass is possible with a 2-5% solution of polymethylmethacrylate in dichloroethane. It is made on the basis of dichloroethane, in which fine acrylic chips are mixed. The resulting solution must be mixed for 20 minutes, the room temperature should be room temperature. After, the solution must be kept for about 3 days, this is necessary so that all the chips dissolve. The result is a uniform and high-quality adhesive. Its shelf life is one month. After applying the glue and completely drying it, you will get a securely connected part, it will be as monolithic. In the thickness of the adhesive solution, a small amount of bubbles may form.
How to glue plexiglass at home
In order to gently glue two elements from acrylic, you can choose one of the proposed methods:
- “Into the tongue”
- with an overlay.
Before proceeding directly to gluing, work surfaces need to be degreased. After that, the selected adhesive is applied to the joint. Until the glue has dried, the elements must be carefully connected. In order to increase the bonding strength, it is additionally necessary to apply glue in the required place. As a result, you will be able to get a really strong and reliable seam.
There is one important feature. If the acrylic parts were cut using a laser, then there will be increased mechanical stress at its edges. This can lead to the formation of small cracks during the degreasing or gluing of parts. In order to prevent this, plexiglass must be tempered with hot air.
In addition to the usual method of bonding with glue, you can use an adhesive self-adhesive film. This is a great way to glue plexiglass parts quickly and efficiently. The tape is applied directly from the roll, then you just need to press the two sheets well and they will stick together. In order to choose a suitable film, it is worth focusing on the recommendations of manufacturers, use the instructions on the tape to finish. In the market you can find such films of three varieties.
In order for you to like the result of your work and the glued element came out neat and beautiful, you need to practice on a small unnecessary piece of acrylic.
What glue to glue plexiglass at home
Let's consider several glue options for reliable bonding of parts made of organic glass:
- UV glue for plexiglass and plastics is one of the latest developments in the chemical industry.
This is a special group of one-component glue that hardens under the influence of ultraviolet light (sunlight or UV lamps).
It is a transparent liquid of low viscosity.
It is enough to degrease the glued surfaces, apply glue to them, fix, fix and expose to ultraviolet radiation.
There will be enough time for fitting and precise assembly of the joint, since the glue does not cure without UV radiation.
For gluing plexiglas, UV glue of the brands SM 301, Kafuter K-303, 3M UV-301 and others is suitable.
The only drawback of UV glue is its high price.
ACRIFIX 116 (117) is a specialized one-component adhesive.
This clear plexiglass adhesive It hardens not under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, but due to the evaporation and absorption of the solvents that make up the adhesive, by the surfaces of the parts to be joined. Acrifix 117 is a low viscosity compound, 116 is more viscous.
- Cosmofen PMMA adhesive is a transparent one-component adhesive designed for fast structural bonding of acrylic parts.
It is enough to clean and degrease the glued surfaces, apply a thin layer of glue on them and tightly connect for 45 seconds.
After 5 minutes, the parts will be firmly fixed.
Cosmofen PMMA is characterized by excellent temperature resistance and is completely unaffected by ultraviolet rays.
How to glue plexiglass:
There are two types of specialized compounds for gluing plexiglass:
- Compositions based on acrylic fillers and potent organic solvents. In composition, they are very close to the substance of plexiglass, which allows you to get a homogeneous and sufficient strong connection.
- Epoxy-based adhesives are excellent for filling and repairing cracks, the joint hardens for a long time, but the epoxy can glue tightly.
In addition, plexiglass can be dissolved, and therefore glued with strong acids:
Food vinegar (acetic acid with a concentration of 7-9%) will not succeed in gluing plexiglass, at least 70% vinegar essence will be required. Acetic acid does not dissolve the surface layer of the material, but only softens it, so the parts will have to be compressed and held for a long time.
Which glue to choose
By their working principle, all adhesives are divided into two large groups:
- dissolve the surface layers of both glued parts, ensures their interpenetration, parts, and the weld material form a single whole. Sometimes this type of gluing is called “cold welding”.
- The surface layers do not dissolve to any significant depth, between the parts is a layer of adhesive, which ensures adhesion. Such a compound is less durable because plexiglass has a very low porosity. Adhesive, even with high intrinsic adhesion, simply has nothing to hold on to.
It is best to choose a special glue for plexiglass. Such compounds can be purchased at the store or made independently.
Important! the components of adhesives are chemicals of very high activity, they are dangerous to health, easily ignited. Therefore, they must be handled with great care.
Adhesive self-adhesive films
A good alternative for repairing plexiglass products can be self-adhesive films. Their undoubted advantage is the ability to glue both two plexiglass parts, and plexiglass with other materials.
There are three main varieties of such films on the market:
- Baseless adhesive films. In fact, this is a thin layer of adhesive several tens of microns thick. It is stored between two shipping plastic films that are removed immediately before gluing. Such adhesive films can adhere smooth, perfectly flat parts with a low coefficient of thermal expansion.
- Films having a thin transparent base, a few hundredths of a millimeter thick. Also requires a smooth surface, but the requirements are slightly lower. The connection is less durable and theoretically detachable - you can try to remove the film.
- Films with a thin foam base, similar to the so-called double-sided tape. The thickness of the base is in the range from tenths to several millimeters. Plexiglas can be glued with such films, even if the surfaces are not very smooth, but the bond strength is very low. Suitable for structures without heavy loads.
The requirements for surface preparation and the maximum loads that the joint can withstand are specified in the manual attached to the specific film.
Plexiglass Adhesive Options
Speaking about popular compounds with which you can glue plexiglass, it is worth stopping at the following:
- Acrifix family formulations specifically designed for acrylic based materials,
- dichloroethane-based mixtures,
- acetic acid and its essence,
- compounds of the Colacril family,
- Cosmofen glue. It is also used to bond wood and plexiglass,
- adhesives manufactured by Era-Henkel: Moment, Moment - seconds and others.
Adhesive Acrifix 117
Один из самых популярных составов для склеивания оргстекла пользуется давней и заслуженной популярностью среди домашних мастеров.
Он обладает следующими достоинствами:
- отличная прочность соединения,
- высокая прозрачность шовного материала,
- малое время схватывания,
- низкая токсичность, особенно по сравнению с дихлорэтаном,
- high penetration makes unnecessary compression of parts unnecessary.
Unfortunately, Acrifix 117 has disadvantages that make it difficult for home masters to access it:
- packaging in liter cans,
- high price.
Experts recommend adding one-tenth of the volume of Acrifix 116 to Acrifix 117. This contributes to a better filling of microroughnesses and increased adhesion.
Budget replacement for expensive trains. Sold in chemical component stores and radio component stores. If the surfaces are perfectly smooth and even, dichloroethane can be glued without any additives. Put it with a medical syringe into the gap between the connected parts. The seam is obtained perfectly smooth, high transparency. If you prepare the surfaces well, the seam will be free of bubbles.
If the surfaces are not perfectly smooth, then there is another way to glue them. A little plexiglass shavings (sawdust) is poured into the vial with dichloroethane after dissolution, a dense composition is obtained, which can be applied with a spatula or wire.
Attention! Dichloroethane is a very active and very hazardous substance. It should be stored in tightly closed containers in a safe place from children.
In the room where they work with dichloroethane, quality ventilation is mandatory.
This is another inexpensive substitute for purchased professional formulations. Allows you to glue plexiglass firmly enough.
The disadvantages include the short service life of the seam compared to other compounds.
Serious internal mechanical stresses occur on the bends of parts, which can lead to cracking of plexiglass.
Experts recommend the use of vinegar essence to glue small products that are not subject to heavy loads.
Glue colacril 20 and colacril 30
The Colacril family serves as a functional replacement for the expensive adhesives of the Acrifix family.
Colacril 20 is highly flowable and Colacril 30 is viscous.
Experts mix them to obtain the optimum consistency for each particular compound.
The compositions allow you to glue the parts and get a beautiful and even seam, transparent and without bubbles.
The disadvantage of the Colacril family compared to Acrifix is the formation of small cracks at the bend of the Plexiglas, caused by internal mechanical stresses. At the same time, the appearance worsens, but strength remains.
Second moment glue and Cosmofen
Most second adhesives are cyanacrylate-based. Regardless of the type of packaging - in metal, plastic tubes or bottles with a narrow spout for application - they are very similar in their properties.
A common property is that they do not dissolve plexiglass, but create an intermediate adhesive layer.
Therefore, experts do not recommend using them for compounds subject to any load. The best they can do is grab a small piece of detail on a toy or decoration.
The adhesive layer is opaque, the junction is very noticeable.
Dangerously! The “moment” can glue the skin of the fingers so that you have to see a doctor. The use of protective gloves is mandatory.
Do it yourself plexiglass adhesive
For the manufacture of plexiglass glue, you will need a strong organic solvent and plexiglass shavings or sawdust. You can use small pieces that fit in a bottle.
As a component of glue use:
- a solution of polymethyl methacrylate in dichloroethane.
In a small bottle with a solvent, chopped Plexiglass is added in small portions, constantly stirring with a wire loop or a glass rod. The amount of plexiglass is established empirically based on the required consistency.
Another recipe for preparing a mixture that can be glued to plexiglass involves dissolving a conventional foam (extruded polyurethane) in 646 solvent. The course of preparation is exactly the same, with the only difference being that the foam does not need to be crushed. It dissolves perfectly.
After the composition has become visually homogeneous and transparent, it must be kept for several hours until the dissolution process is complete.
Before gluing, mix thoroughly.
Glue at home
To glue firmly, durable and subtle, you should:
- Using a rag soaked in gasoline or alcohol, thoroughly degrease the glued area. Even the smallest marks left by a finger can lead to a violation of the strength of the seam.
- Fix the parts so that there is a slight gap between them.
- Apply glue to both parts. An injection syringe is excellent for this purpose. It allows you to carefully dose the applied mass. The syringe needle should be modified with a file or an abrasive bar, removing the bevel. Leaving bevels may cause splashing. A syringe adhesive mass is introduced into the gap between the parts.
- Press the parts firmly against each other and secure until the joint is set. Thick plexiglass can be clamped in a vice or clamps. More fragile parts are wound together with an elastic bandage.
- Stand from minute to half an hour, depending on the amount of adhesive applied.
In order to protect surfaces that cannot be glued from glue, you can pre-glue them with masking tape (paper tape).
Glue plexiglass to metal
Sometimes a home craftsman needs to glue two dissimilar materials, such as, for example, plexiglass and metal.
In this case, you can use tools such as:
- glue "88",
- adhesives of the Liquid Nails family,
- instant means on which it is indicated "suitable for gluing metal, plexiglass."
Before gluing the surface should be thoroughly cleaned and degreased.
Both purchased and home-made adhesives have high chemical activity and are harmful to human health.
To maintain health, you must follow the safety rules:
- work in a well-ventilated area
- when working with dichloroethane, use exhaust ventilation,
- Use safety gloves and safety glasses.
In case of accidental contact with glue on the skin or mucous membranes or if swallowed, seek medical advice immediately. Be sure to bring a tube with you.
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