Looking for adhesives for wood and acrylic.
August 1, 2010 5:57 PM   Subscribe

What epoxy/adhesives are recommended for adhering acrylic to wood with a permanent, strong bond?

I'm working on an art related project where I will need to bond wood and acrylic together and am looking for suggestions on the type(s) of glue/epoxy I should be looking into?

The ideal properties I'm looking for are in order of importance:

1) non-toxic/non-corrosive (at the very least once dried)
2) permanent bond
3) strong hold/hardens when dried, i.e. not silicon (product might get dropped on occasion)
4) waterproof
5) dries clear (preferable crystal clear as the seams will be highly visible)

After doing research online, I've found that most acrylic contains something called "mold release agents" to help remove the acrylic from the molds during manufacture. Most of the glues I've found state the acrylic must be free of these agents for their glue to retain its bond properly overtime. I am unsure of the nature of the acrylic I will be bonding so would prefer to find a solution that works even if release agents are present (if possible).

So far my research is pushing me towards IPS' Weld-On 45 (which meets most of my criteria but not all of it) here:
Its a bit overkill strength-wise and price-wise, it is not cheap so any alternatives would be welcome.

Thanks in advance for your help! :)
posted by ogunther to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
How about tape? 3M makes an industrial VHB (very high bond) tape for doing this kind of bonding. It is clear, double-sided, and astonishingly strong. Like, stick door handles to glass doors strong. You can get it from Uline.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:33 PM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't have a particular adhesive suggestion, but mold release agents are topical, not something that's an integral part of the plastic. The mold gets coated with a release agent so that the part doesn't stick -- think of it like spraying Pam on a waffle iron, only the release agent doesn't soak into the (plastic) waffle . You can clean it off of the molded plastic product. When they say the plastic needs to be "free" of it they just means the surface needs to be cleaned of the stuff.

Hopefully these are small parts you're gluing together. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity or exposure to moisture, while plastics do not. With larger pieces, the stresses this creates will break the glue joint regardless of which glue you choose.
posted by jon1270 at 6:34 PM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, seanmpuckett. That is a great suggestion but won't work for what I am designing currently. I will check it out for future uses though.

Jon1270: I did not know that; thank you so much for that information. Do you know what type(s) of cleaner to use to remove the release agents or does it depend on the acrylic? I would prefer something that leaves the surface unmarked though that is not as important for this specific design.

Also, in response to your statement about wood expansion/contraction: these pieces will be relatively small (think bracelet size in diameter) and only about 5 to 10mm thick. I plan on sealing the wood (and possibly the acrylic) so that should limit the amount of humidity the wood will absorb/lose.
posted by ogunther at 6:45 PM on August 1, 2010

Do you know what type(s) of cleaner to use to remove the release agents or does it depend on the acrylic?

It's tough to be sure without knowing what release agent was used -- there are a lot of them on the market. I'd wipe it down with alcohol on a clean paper towel, then lightly sand the surface with fine sandpaper.
posted by jon1270 at 7:00 PM on August 1, 2010

Perhaps something like Goop? It sets to a sort of rubbery consistency, clear, is reasonably strong. The lack of brittleness would seem ideal, especially with dissimilar materials.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:03 AM on August 2, 2010

This is the stuff.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:06 AM on August 2, 2010

For all your glue-finding needs.
posted by ymendel at 9:37 AM on August 2, 2010

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