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How Tech-Bond’s Poly Prep and Bonding Agents work.
Polymers, whether nylon, the poly-plastics of the 60’s (polypropylene, polyethylene, polyurethane, and the ubiquitous polyester), or the newer incarnations, Teflon®, Delrin®, ABS (a co-polymer) and the UHMW’s, can’t be glued or bonded by using over the counter technologies such as CA’s, or epoxies. Polymers gain their strength (and their shiny appearance) because they bond to themselves, so there’s nothing for a glue or epoxy to “grab” onto.
Tech-Bond’s Poly Prep (PP) is an adhesion promoter that enables these space-age materials to be bonded (glued). Our PP solution etches the surface of the material while also “opening up” the surface polymers of the material. Once the surface is primed, Tech-Bond™ Bonding Agents and other premium CA’s serve as monomers and will bond with these materials, either the polymers to themselves or to another substrate.
Epoxies will NOT work on polymers even after these surfaces have been primed with an adhesion promoter. If desired, a Tech-Bond™ Bonding Agent can be applied to a treated polymer, after which an epoxy can be applied to the Bonding Agent. Another solution that engineering firms have used to resolve problematic issues is to use both the thicker viscosity, Tech-Bond™ Black label and the thinner Tech-Bond™ Blue label together in combination as a solution when working with polymers.
Examples of common items made with polymers
Polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, polyester: cell phones, cameras, computers, printers, eye glass frames, dentures, plastics on cars, motorcycles, ATV’s, power tools, X boxes, knobs on kitchen appliances, plastics found in farm machinery, plus the plastics in radio control helicopters, storage bins, etc.
Silicone rubber: Silicone is a highly durable material which normally can’t be bonded. Silicone is common in marine applications, like wet suits, diving suits, etc. For the younger generation, silicone is the rubbery coating on cell phone.
UHMW’s, Nylon, Delrin®, Teflon®: Very durable materials for their weight and are becoming common in manufacturing, hobbies (model engineering, model railroading, radio control, cars, boats, etc., woodworking, and others, plumbing and industrial applications.
Using Tech-Bond’s Poly Prep(PP)
The procedure varies based on whether, the materials to be bonded are the result of a fresh break, or if one or more of the substrates are virgin polymers. Polymer bonds must be smooth surface to smooth surface for strength. If there are uneven surfaces, or any gaps, the strength of the bond is significantly reduced.
Recently broken polymers
With fresh breaks, (by definition the polymers are broken) lightly rough the two surfaces with steel wool, emery cloth or fine grit sand paper. After roughing proceed to number 1 below.
Polyester and flexible nylon bond rather easily. Flexible surfaces do not need to be roughed. The critical component of flexible bonds is to prevent a "peel" from starting. Once a peel starts, it can't be stopped. To prevent a peel, make sure the Bonding Agent reaches all the way to the edge of the bond.
When working with virgin polymers where the strength is the bond is critical, aggressively rough the surface(s) that need to be bonded with medium or coarse grit sand paper. After roughing proceed to number 1 below.
1) Spray the polymer surface to be bonded with PP, both surfaces if polymer to polymer, let dry.
2) Let the treated surface cure for five minutes.
3) If polymer is a silicone, UHMW, Delrin®, or Teflon®, repeat steps 1) and 2)
4) Apply Bonding Agent thoroughly over one or both surfaces, press together. If necessary, spray the seam with Activator/Accelerator.
5) Let bond cure for 24 hours without stress.
If you have further questions, please call 877 565 7225 or 614 327 8884 for technical support.