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    Joining plastic


    Summary: Learn how to join plastic, glue plastic, join plastic with plastic adhesive and weld plastic together.


    Plastic products in self-assembly kits are usually designed to simply slot together and lock in place. If you need to make a permanent joint, the easiest way is to use mechanical fasteners or adhesive.


    Fasteners

    Drill a hole in the plastics and insert a fastener such as a screw, rivet, pin, nut & bolt, hinge or bracket to join the plastics. Thread-cutting screws work best on harder plastics whilst press-on locknuts and clips are better suited to thin sheets


    Adhesives

    A range of adhesives are available for joining plastics and rubber.

    • Superglue will join many materials except tougher surfaces like silicone.
    • Epoxy glue is a two-component glue, which is blended immediately prior to use.
    • Hard plastics like PVC and acrylic will require a weld-adhesive, which may take longer to set.

    Welding

    There are many types of welding and fusion bonding used in industrial work to join plastic using heat, lasers and ultrasound. The most common domestic welding is solvent welding, which is often used to join plastic pipes.

    • Apply solvent to the ends to be joined.
    • Clamp the plastics together for about 30 seconds. The solvent dissolves the plastic allowing molecules to entangle and fuse together.
    • Complete fusion may take up to a day at room temperature for some solvents.
    • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how quickly you can restore water to newly welded pipes.



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