Tips on how to Fix Plastics
Our interest in repairing plastics began with a motorcycle, that had been
crashed and the replacement of the damaged plastic panels was more than the bike as a whole was
worth, so repair was the only option.
We purchased many glues and kits that we tried before the painting was done (a good trick is to
test the parts on the bike before the paint work is done) and all of them proved to be un
successful in many ways.
Generally plastics can be divided into three groups: Chemically resistant plastics (p. p, p. e, p.
a,) chemically non resistant(a.b.s, p.v.c, p. s,) and thermo sets.
The chemically resistant plastics must be welded with heat i.e: a welder, as these plastics can not
be glued as they are too oily and also have oxidisation on the surface. (these are the ones that
you try to super glue and it doesn't work!!)
The chemically non resistant plastics can be glued or solvent cemented as the solvent does the same
thing as the welder and loosens up the polymer chains so they can intermingle and form a bond.
This process is what happens when you use p.v.c glue on plumbing pipes or solvent cement on a model
Thermoses like fibreglass or bakelite can not be melted with heat or solvent as they were made with
a glue that set chemically and will not soften.
We repair these materials with a glue that we invented that is as strong as welding weldable
plastics, So identification of the material for repair dictates the repair method.
Then usually the repair is sanded, prepared, filled and painted.
Identification is crucial and where it's not stamped or written on the material, the process of
identification is usually to use a rag with a solvent on it to see if the material is chemically
Other processes can be used such as burning a small bit or seeing if it floats!! (if it floats it's
usually p. e)
These days i tend to "know" what it is by it's intended use or just the look of it, also the sound
it makes when flicked for instance a.b.s will sound more metallic than p. p, it's just a matter of
following the clues.
to help solve your plastic problems
Advanced Plastic Welding