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What is the Best Glue to use with Plastic?

October 24, 2019

Best Glue For Plastic from Gorilla Glue

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From broken toys to home repairs, there are a myriad of reasons you might want to use glue on plastic. 

But with so many different types of plastic and so many different types of glue; it can be hard to get the combination right. Getting it wrong can have dire consequences for your project, resulting in bonds that don’t hold or cause damage to the plastic itself. 

To save you some time (and possibly some heartache), here’s what you need to know about adhesives and plastics. 

 

 

Choosing the right glue for plastics

The key to using glue with plastics is finding the right combination. That means first and foremost, you need to know what kind of plastic you’re dealing with.  

Typically, the symbol with the three arrows and a number in the centre on packaging (otherwise known as the recycling symbol) is what you need to look for. 

Here are the main types of plastic as well as some suggestions on what type of glue is best to use. 

 

 

Recycling Symbol 1: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

A more heavy duty and durable plastic– think washing detergent bottles and buckets. 

What’s the best glue? Epoxy, but surfaces must be prepared first by roughening—for example, try using gritty sandpaper. 

 

 

Recycling Symbol 2: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) 

Soft and flexible, PVC is used to make toys and plastic pipes, even teething rings.

What’s the best glue?  Plastic cement, cyanoacrylates or epoxies.

 

 

Recycled Symbol 3: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) 

LDPE is used to make squeezable, less rigid bottles, garment bags and even some clothing and furniture.

What’s the best glue? 

LDPE has a very low surface energy; which basically means it’s very slippery. Glue isn’t recommended. 

 

 

Recycling Symbol 4: Polypropylene (PP)

Some of the items made from this type of plastic are bottles caps, drinking straws and pill bottles. 

What’s the best glue? 

Similar to LDPE, Polypropylene has a low surface energy. Some industrial adhesives may be effective, however surface preparation will likely be required. 

 

 

Recycling Symbol 5: Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene is often used to make disposable cups and cutlery and is frequently used in model kits.

What’s the best glue? 

Epoxies and spray adhesives will all work well with polystyrene.

 

 

Recycling Symbol 7: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) 

A very common household plastic—think LEGO® and other toys, computer keyboards—even the front plating on electricity wall outlets

What’s the best glue? 

One of the easier plastics to bond, multi-purpose glues like Gorilla Glue Clear, cyanoacrylate-based adhesives like Gorilla Super Glues, and epoxies will all work well. 

 

 

Though it may seem a lot to get your head around, it’s important to find the right product for your project. With a little research, you can feel secure in the knowledge that your bond is going to hold.