Gluing plastic is really a difficult task around the home for many people, due to the smooth surface of the content. Proper surface preparation and the use of a suitable glue, are necessary for best results. Craft and hobby glues need to be labeled for use on such material to prevent surface damage. One should always test fit the pieces before gluing the plastic because it will ensure whether the content can be repaired. Another thing to remember is the temperature” glues work great when they are used at room temperature; not too cold, not too hot. This is a very practical and helpful tip if you own a home, as you will certainly require this skill eventually.
Plastic materials that have glossy or smooth surfaces need to be cleaned before any adhesive is applied. Do not use any harsh chemical, only use a mild detergent and water to clean. Use a microfiber cloth to dry the pieces, and remove any lint. After this step, you can glue the material. Many times plastic do not hold together due to machining oils that remain on the material. So cleaning is imperative.
Roughing Up the Surface
In some cases, the plastic surface might require roughing through sandpaper. Roughing in some instances is essential because the rough surface always holds glues with less trouble. Again, after roughening up the surface, you need to clean the surface before applying the glue. Cleaning is important, as mentioned above, because any remaining particle might trouble the process.
Soft and Hard Plastic Material
If the material is soft plastic, you can consider polystyrene cement instead of a typical glue because it works well as an adhesive. For hard material, you can use cyanoacrylate (instant glue). The instant glue or cyanoacrylate, is not useful for softer materials because it might result in melting. Acrylics and Polypropylene need particular glue to make a strong bond.
Always allow the pieces to dry and do not touch them; keep them undisturbed for a long period of time, as this will help the gluing process. Use clamps, rubber bands, or tape to assemble the pieces. If the plastic object is flat, you can weight it down with some objects like books. Be sure to read the label before using any glue or adhesive. Always follow the safety instruction. Never use plastic glues in ventilated areas. Always wear gloves or recommended accessories before gluing plastic. If, by mistake, adhesive has touched the skin, you can use a mild liquid soap, vinegar, and water to remove it from your skin.
Here are some additional tips for common household repairs!