Gluing ABS to styrene
January 16, 2013 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I need a "medium-build" adhesive to glue some fairly small (5mm) plastic components to each other, and my usual glues aren't useful here.

The components in question are ABS & styrene; they have been tentatively joined using a solvent glue (I believe it's MEK+Chloroform, it's extremely thin and evaporates in the blink of an eye), but due to some tiny misfits between components the solvent glue has not been able to create a full-penetration joint.

Consequently, I'd like to go back over the joints using a glue with more "body" to fill these gaps -- something that, for example, can hold a 0.5mm bead when applied would be ideal. I've considered going back with more solvent glue, but given how thin it is I'm having trouble applying it in suitably small amounts without using a hypodermic needle (plus it's hard for me to get syringes in suitably small sizes without looking like a junkie).

posted by aramaic to Science & Nature (8 answers total)

Could you shred and dissolve some plastic scraps in a bit of solvent glue and use that?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2013

I used model airplane glue and it worked well. MEK never seemed strong enough.
posted by mattoxic at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2013

I've used Loctite construction glue for bonding styrene to itself and all kinds of other materials. You can make beads as small and as large as you like, and it's very cheap at hardware stores.
posted by halogen at 12:54 PM on January 16, 2013

I'd think that solvent based model airplane glue might be best for those materials. If close fitting parts cannot be had, perhaps a gel cyanoacrylate superglue will do the job as long as the plastics are not too flexible, as ABS/styrene plastics tend not to be.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:57 PM on January 16, 2013

Construction Adhesive. No More Nails or the Loctite varieties are both good products.

Be careful of glues that are solvent-based. Acetone, turpentine, methanol or methylated spirits do not react well with either of your plastics.
posted by bonehead at 1:55 PM on January 16, 2013

Seconding model airplane glue. It's basically MEK with styrene dissolved in it as a filler. Since ABS has styrene in it too, the airplane glue will make a fusion joint with the styrene parts.
posted by scruss at 2:49 PM on January 16, 2013

You can make your own abs cement with acetone and abs scrap. There are other gluing tips here.

(plus it's hard for me to get syringes in suitably small sizes without looking like a junkie). hobby and craft stores, ebay, mcmaster-carr, farmer supply, etc. ...
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:00 AM on January 17, 2013

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