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H.B. Fuller's Guide to Metal Glue

Posted 01/27/2021 by Dan Baldwin, Americas Director of Product Management, Engineering Adhesives

If you use the wrong type of glue for a project, the structural integrity and overall longevity of your hard work can go to waste. To help you get the most out of each product you use, we have decades of adhesives experience to share

 

There are so many effective options to choose from when it comes to bonding metals that the question becomes a matter of application rather than glue types. Ultimately, the performance of the glue will be affected by the surface type it’s applied to and the conditions it will endure over its functional lifetime. There are even more considerations like moisture, temperature, and exposure, so we’ve broken down the best performance options according to where and how the adhesive will be applied.

 

Gluing Plastic to Metal

Finding the best glue for bonding plastic or composites to metal can be a tricky enterprise — many adhesives don’t bond well to plastic and can potentially even damage the surface of such materials. Epoxies offer the most flexibility in terms of strength and compatibility, as they form extremely strong bonds with a great deal of tensile strength and resistance to impact. Another excellent option for bonding plastic to metal are acrylic or methyl methacrylate (MMA) adhesives. MMAs are engineered to provide a unique balance of tensile, shear, and peel strength, they assure maximum performance in assemblies that see stress, shock, and impact. Strong, durable bonds are their trademark, even when faced with severe environmental conditions. Key advantages of MMAs are their fast setting and curing times relative to other chemistries. Cyanoacrylates are also very effective in bonding plastics to metal and are a great option when an “instant” bond is required.

 

Handling Glass and Metal

The best glue for bonding glass to metal can be challenging to find, given the fragility and weight of glass. Epoxies, as well as polyurethanes, are often ideal for bonding metal to glass. Varying levels of viscosity help you achieve different results  low viscosity glass adhesives cure faster while high viscosity can allow more time for adjustments while fitting into tight crevices for glass repair.

 

Gluing Metal to Wood

Both epoxies and polyurethane-based adhesives are the best glue for bonding metal to wood. The addition of rubber to epoxy adhesives can be especially effective, as the mix provides water resistance, fast setting times, and toughened bonds with high tensile strength. Cyanoacrylates (surface insensitive type) are also very effective in bonding metal to wood and are a great option when an “instant” bond is required.

 

Bonding Metal to Metal

Metal adhesives have become steadily more popular, as they not only bond but also act as sealants. Besides often being the cheaper option compared to mechanical fasteners and welds, they have more flexibility to handle vibrations and changes in temperature. Cyanoacrylate and polyurethane-based adhesives, along with epoxies, offer both strength and flexibility to glue metals together well. Thoroughly cleaning and sanding down the surfaces to be slightly rough can further help the adhesives bond for excellent, long-lasting results. Another excellent option for bonding metal to metal are acrylic or methyl methacrylate (MMA) adhesives. MMAs are engineered to provide a unique balance of tensile, shear, and peel strength, they assure maximum performance in assemblies that see stress, shock, and impact. Strong, durable bonds are their trademark, even when faced with severe environmental conditions. Key advantages of MMAs are their ability to bond untreated and as-received metal, fast setting times, and fast curing times relative to other chemistries. Cyanoacrylates are also very effective in bonding metal to metal and are a great option when an “instant” bond is required.

 

More from H.B. Fuller

Browse our diverse range of adhesives to meet demanding construction and project needs whether you’re looking to bond metal to metal or any other surface type. 

 

Contact us today to discuss your adhesive needs.

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