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PVC Plastic- Gluing Alternatives to PVC Cement?

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PVC Plastic- Gluing Alternatives to PVC Cement?
Posted by cedarwoodron on Saturday, July 12, 2014 1:01 PM

Based on what I have learned, PVC cement- of the sort purchased at a hardware/home center store- is essentially a solvent, which melts (at a molecular level, no lessCool) the two pieces of PVC together so that they become one piece, essentially. Therefore, it does the gluing job quite nicely!

Now, being the frugal (not cheap, just "frugal") modeler that I am, I am not really inclined to go out (unless absolutely forced to by circumstance) and purchase a $7-$10 can of PVC cement, for which I have no other near-term use. If I do so, I can guarantee that I will not use it sufficently in time (shelf life<9 months) to avoid it becoming a jellied (and therefore useless) waste. I say this from recent experience.

So, my question for today is: has anyone used any alternate gluing methods or products on PVC with good results (before I waste time experimenting and replicating someone else's results)? I already tried to research this with the Forum Community search tool, but no luck.

If so, what type of glue or adhesive did you use?

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by cacole on Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:02 PM

How strong a bond do you need?   As strong as the PVC pipe cement?  If not, you might try lacquer or paint thinner if you have some handy that you use for track cleaning, or acetone if you have some that you have been using to glue platic models.

Don't spread it on like you would for a regular PVC pipe joint, but let capillary action draw it into the joint after they are put together.

 

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:21 PM

Most don't use PVC stuff much and I have cstuff years old that is still good, Abs cement too, though again, not used much in our hobby.

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:52 PM

I use MEK. Keep a fan nearby for the fumes. Capillary action does the rest. Very little needed.

 

Rich

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Posted by JoeinPA on Saturday, July 12, 2014 4:33 PM

I was involved in a project that involved fabrication of some box-like structures out of PVC sheet material. We found that the best joints were obtained with plain MEK. Since we were not worried about gas or water tight joints this worked very well and gave strong joints.

Joe

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Posted by Rock Island Jim on Saturday, July 12, 2014 4:35 PM

I've had cans on hand for years without issue. If you keep the cap on tight, it should last for a long time. I feel that I get my money's worth before it goes bad. 

 

You our might also consider asking a neighbor or friend. I'm guessing many semi-handy people have a can sitting in their garages. If you live nearby, you're welcome to borrow mine.  Lol. 

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, July 12, 2014 4:39 PM

Rock Island Jim
I've had cans on hand for years without issue. If you keep the cap on tight, it should last for a long time. I feel that I get my money's worth before it goes bad.

For sure. My father has several cans that've remained usable for almost ten years. Usually have to vise-grips to open them though.

 

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Posted by dstarr on Saturday, July 12, 2014 5:32 PM

The plastic in most model RR products is styrene (polystyrene) and I glue it with MEK.  I got a quart can of MEK for about $6 at the paint dept somewhere (Walmart, Franconia Hardware, Lowes, Home Despot)  long ago.  I figure it will last until I die. PVC (poly vinyl choride) is used for pipes, and I glued it with what ever the pipe store was selling at the time.  It was a long time ago that I did my last home plumbing job.  I might expect MEK to work on it, but I would do a test bond before going all the way. 

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Posted by mikelhh on Saturday, July 12, 2014 6:04 PM
I glued my storage tanks together with cheap Superglue Gel. Seems like a good bond to me.

Modelling the UK in 00, and New England - MEC, B&M, D&H and Guilford - in H0

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Posted by CSX_road_slug on Saturday, July 12, 2014 6:54 PM

I use PlasticWeld, always worked for me.

-Ken in Maryland  (B&O modeler, former CSX modeler)

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Posted by delray1967 on Sunday, July 13, 2014 12:32 AM

I recently found Epoxy for Plastic.  It claims to etch the surfaces of the plastic, similar to how our common liquid plastic cement works.  It works fine for gluing plexiglass (the reason I was looking for something different). Some of the thicker glues have some kind of filler in it, liquid cements simply melt the surfaces of the plastic then evaporate, essentially welding the joint (chemically instead of using heat).  I recall some old pre - built models seemed to have been assembled at the factory by someone using a hot knife.

I prefer liquid plastic cement (any kind that is 'watery') for smaller parts that fit together nicely (like detail parts on a loco shell) and the thicker Testors plastic cement (or other 'gel-like' cements) for joints that won't be visible (like the insides of structures).  CA doesn't work that well for me for plastic to plastic joints, but is fine for metal to plastic or other dissimilar materials.  Nothing wrong with trying different glues and seeing what works best for your style of building.  Laquer thinner worked well for styrene joints for me as well.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, July 13, 2014 5:39 AM

You can buy an 8 ounce can of PVC cement at Home Depot for $3.27.

If you keep the top on tight, especially after using it only once, it should remain in non-gel liquid form for years.  You could also store it in a zip loc bag.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by cmrproducts on Sunday, July 13, 2014 7:30 AM

richhotrain

You can buy an 8 ounce can of PVC cement at Home Depot for $3.27.

If you keep the top on tight, especially after using it only once, it should remain in non-gel liquid form for years.  You could also store it in a zip loc bag.

Rich

I have had better luck using the PVC PIPE CLEANER!

Get the clear type

Read the ingreadents and it has all of the usual glues MEK - Toulene - Methelene Cloride (Tenex 7R) and so on!

MOST people NEVER Read the Labels on the bottles, Cans, Tubes of Glues!

If you did you would find they ALL contain almost the same chemicals !

And the First Chemical listed is the one with the largest volume of the mix!

It is no wonder - everyone has such a problem knowing what is in the stuff we buy!

One doesn't have to KNOW what each of the checials are - JUST that you see the names in each of the different brands and types of Glues - You soon find they are AMOST all the same!

BOB H - Clarion, PA

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Posted by cedarwoodron on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 4:35 PM

OP: I used Loctite super glue ULTRA GEL CONTROL to finally do the PVC gluing I had to do. The gel allowed time for proper positioning and I left it for 24 hrs just to be on the safe side- resulting in a solid connection! Big Smile.

Much less messy than PVC cement (and less costly- already had the Loctite glue on hand)!

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 6:58 PM

I've been known to use JB Weld epoxy but I use it for securing PVC to metal or wood.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

Dr. Frankendiesel aka Scott Running Bear
Space Mouse for president!
15 year veteran fire fighter
Collector of Apple //e's
Running Bear Enterprises
History Channel Club life member.
beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam


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