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What is the best glue to use on thick Styrene? I'd prefer a quick dry, like super glue, but a strong bond. Also need bubble free.
 

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People have had Great Results with MEK. If you want to use a thickened type Glue, use Weld-On #16. Weld-On #16 is an Acrylic Solvent Cement that also contains MEK. You can order the Weld-On #16 from TAP Plastics.
Russ
 

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ABS Adhesive is commonly used to cement ABS plumbing parts together, but is also an excellent gelled adhesive for styrene. Unlike liquid MEK which dries before you place the parts together, this cement allows a little time for part placement and alignment although it will dry and set reasonably quickly. Most hardware stores sell it in the plumbing section.
 

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I've used the MEK type glues for years on styrene. MEK is used on an ASSEMBLED joint...you don't coat the glue on a part and stick it together. You put the parts together and then use a tool to apply the MEK. I use a dental pick. It will wick into the small joints and make a fantastic bond. Some folks like to use small POINTED brushes. Keep applying drops with your tool until you've got it glued along the whole joint. IMHO, it's almost hopeless to try to get a good glue joint with MEK if you don't assemble the parts first.

The main benefit...you don't see a glue joint as you will with thicker glues...and if it doesn't glue using this technique...it's probaby NOT styrene.
 

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I've had excellent results with Plastruct Bondene for styrene to styrene and styrene to ABS. As Mike shared, it's a wick type cement that goes on after the parts are held together in place. The bottle comes with a brush applicator and works wonderfully. Bonding is within minutes.
 

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Recently on one of the forums, someone said that the cheap super glue from Walmart made a bond that couldn't be broken. I am just now getting ready to put together a Colorado Model Structures Fire House, and am thinking of trying it. Alternatively, what is the impression of Hot Glue. I used that to put together a Piko Fire Tower, and it holds quite well, but I am not sure how it would work on a building. Any advice on Hot Glue.
Paul
 

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Hot glue as from a glue gun? It doesn't bond the plastic....while the MEK or the Bondene does. MEK dissolves the plastic pieces and makes them one piece. I think Bondene is just MEK is a little bottle...and it IS covenient as Stan says. You just want to be sure it doesn't drip on the plastic.
 

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Superglue does not hold up well when used outdoors. It will fail. A properly done solvent welded joint has no residual glue in the joint to fail, the plastic is melted by the solvent and welded together.
Russ
 

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My question is similar: What is the strongest possible bond for styrene?

The problem I am finding is that although solvents are very quick that the styrene is never quite as strong as it was in virgin form after it has been dissolved by solvent (e.g. EMA Plastic Weld).

I have tried Plastic Fusion by Super Glue corp but it's no stronger (possibly I have a bad batch that has gone off - I'm not sure)
 

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I prefer MEK. It's inexpensive, wicks into joints, and the solvent action seems to provide a strong bond. If you are seeing weakened plastic, you're probably applying too much solvent. This is easy to do--once I ruined a sheet of textured styrene by using just a bit too much MEK--it was a mess. I try to apply the solvent in two (or even three) applications to avoid this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Check out Russ' answer, first reply to Original Posting.
 

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I was having trouble with boxcar parts ungluing. I used some PVC pipe cleaner on the broken surfaces, then used the blue PVC cement (use a q-tip or paper towel, NOT the applicator in the can) sparingly. It's been only a few months, but the joints are strong and holding. Keep your fingers crossed!
 

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I don't know what Accucraft coaches are made from but I found that PVC/CPVC glue works better than anything else I've tried. On a test part the part itself broke before the joint came apart.
 

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Not all plastics are the same. While we tend to lump them all under the Styrene label, it takes different type adhesives for some. I built a Piko Engine house. I love using Weld-On, but it didn't work well on the Piko plastic for some reason. The little tubes of glue that came with the kit worked much better although it likes to string when pulling away from the glued pc. Also, the plastic ties used on most track does not like much of any type adhesive.
 

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CA glues, like Super Glue, are only strong in one direction. If you just tap it at 90 degrees, the joint will snap apart. Also not waterproof, so don't leave it outside.

MEK is great, but around here (Southern California) Lowes and HD quit carrying the convenient quart size. Another source has it, but only in gallon cans.
 

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CA glues, like Super Glue, are only strong in one direction. If you just tap it at 90 degrees, the joint will snap apart. Also not waterproof, so don't leave it outside.

MEK is great, but around here (Southern California) Lowes and HD quit carrying the convenient quart size. Another source has it, but only in gallon cans.
I remember that it was almost impossible to find MEK or Acetone right at the end of my time in California. A web search seems to indicate that MEK was outlawed in CA in 2012 and stores are only allowed to sell what inventory they had on hand--possibly there's not much market for gallon containers of it, which is why it's still on hand at that supplier.
 

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I use Tenax 7r, it makes a strong bond on most plastics as its basically a plastic weld. I have had pieces break before the joint would break using Tenax. It dries VERY quickly so the second you apply it you need to be putting the pieces you are working on together quickly. But as I said it works great.
 
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