Plastic Repair

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Plastic Repair

Post by 75X11 on Thu May 19, 2016 8:21 pm

There are occasions when a plastic part of a mechanism might need repair.  This will deal with more modern plastics like styrene or ABS to begin with.  When faced with a broken item made of this material, one is tempted to turn to a glue to join the pieces together.  A glue being an intermediary material that does not necessarily have the same characteristics as the plastic it is mending.  When such glues are used, eventually the stress applied to the joint will separate the plastic from the glue that is sandwiched between the broken pieces and the item will break again and the joint will be fouled with the residue.  For such repairs I always strongly advise the use of a cement.  A cement is customarily a solvent that liquefies the surfaces to be joined and allows the fusing of the break with just the parts' material.  This is a cement that I have had good luck with.

When using it, one must allow it to dry completely all down to the inside of the joint, as the material can remain softer than the unrepaired plastic for a day or two.  There are also occasions when an item is subject to such stresses that it can tax a whole component to it's breaking point.  when this is the case, I use a set of welding orifice drills to drill holes through the repaired and dried portion and insert metal wire, or even hardened needles with the ends ground off to rest in the holes acting as reinforcing bars to give added resistance.  I cement them in place and they add strength.  Wire can be used in such circumstances to act as a staple and hold the joint together and provide torque resistance.  In some cases, I have also used nylon monofilament fishing line for this purpose, tying the loop through the joint and cementing it in place.

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