Get cracking: How to fix cracked plastic

Why should you know how to fix cracked plastic? Many common household items are made of plastic, and even the best products can break. Instead of throwing them away and burdening the environment, why don’t you just repair them? One of the most common steps you will face when repairing broken plastic objects is joining two or more pieces together. This guide tells you how.

The right adhesive for fixing cracked plastic

Whether you need to know how to patch a hole in plastic or join two pieces together, using the right adhesive is key.

A few drops of glue are enough to make broken objects look like new

The best adhesive to fix your cracked plastic depends on the job at hand. Some products are better suited for large projects, while others can bond only certain kinds of plastic. Some adhesives, such as Loctite Plastics Bonding System, are formulated to bond difficult materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, and Teflon. Others, like the epoxy Loctite Plastic Bonder, offer different advantages, including versatility and water resistance. You need to consider whether your adhesive is needed for interior or exterior applications and how you use the object you want to repair.

Once you have narrowed down your selection, always read the fine print and the technical details for your product to make sure it fits all of your criteria.

Repairing broken plastic: Typical applications

You will benefit from knowing how to fixed cracked plastic in a variety of situations. After you have learned how to fill holes in plastic, seal cracks or restore plastic, you will need to follow a different procedure. This section illustrates three sample projects.

For the best result, you need a high-quality adhesive that matches the material

How to fix cracked plastic with adhesive

  • Gather materials. Get together all the plastic pieces you want to join. You’ll also need and your adhesive, of course, tissue paper, something to protect your work area, and sandpaper (for bonding smooth surfaces).
  • Stay safe. Work in a well-ventilated, protected area. Wash your hands when you are finished, and optionally wear gloves for extra protection.
  • Prepare surfaces. Surfaces should be close fitting (pre-fit before joining), free of residue, and dry. Slightly roughen smooth surfaces to improve results.
  • Prepare adhesive and activator (if applicable). Open the adhesive and, if relevant, the activator according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply activator (if applicable). If you are using an activator, apply it to both surfaces unless otherwise indicated. Wait until it has dried completely, then proceed with the adhesive.
  • Apply adhesive. Apply it sparingly to one surface and press the parts together immediately. Hold in place until the bond sets. Do not reposition parts.
  • Clean-up. Clean the adhesive applicator with a tissue and close it. Remove glue using moistened tissue. If you need to clean up larger quantities of uncured adhesive, moisten it and let it cure before carefully scraping it off. You can cut away cured adhesive with a sharp blade and remove it with acetone or boiling water. Exercise caution, though, because acetone can damage some plastics and is highly flammable.

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