When working with ABS plastic, or any plastic for that matter, you may notice that glue sometimes have a tendency to not adhere properly. Due to this, you have to use a specific type of glue that works with the molecular structure and surface structure of the ABS plastic. Glues that are not compatible may appear solidly set at first but will not fully adhere and will eventually break out and come apart, which can be detrimental if applied in a structural or plumbing setting, especially. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates for the best glue for ABS plastic and figure out which one is right for the job you are attempting to complete.
- Low odor
- Can be used with non-plastic medias
- A lot of product in the container
- Quick bond
- Includes UV light
- Compact for travel
- Very strong bond
- High durability
- Can be modified
- Includes gap filler
- Syringe application for mess free use
- Multipart system
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
When working with ABS plastic, your best option is none other than a family of adhesives known as cyanoacrylates, also known as superglue. Cyanoacrylates work due to pulling moisture from the air to cure, creating a mesh-like bond that sticks well and handles smoother services without abrasions without issue in most cases due to the mesh creation allowing better adhesion. Due to this, many people stick to superglue or a similar product when working with most ABS plastics.
This includes our #1 pick, the incredibly powerful Loctite Super Glue Plastics Bonding System with Activator. As a product that is made from cyanoacrylates, this glue works extremely well to create a lasting bond on a wide range of ABS plastic surfaces. The two-part system requires no mixing, simply apply the activator first then a coat of the bonding agent and you are all set.
The product cures relatively quickly, usually within twenty to twenty-five minutes, but some reviewers do note that it is best to leave the bond for a full twenty-four hours before use if possible to help ensure it is fully set. Either way, this is a solid choice that is great to have on hand!
- Includes activator
- No mixing, no mess
Types of Glue for ABS Plastic
When you begin to look for a glue product for ABS plastic, chances are you will find quite a few different options. Different materials seem to work well with bonding ABS plastic but some certainly do work better than others. Let’s take a look at which work best to suit ABS plastic repair situations and decide what products you should have on hand for all of your ABS plastic welding needs.
There are generally four popular types of glue that work well for ABS plastic materials. These include cyanoacrylates, two-component epoxies, UV curable adhesives, and polyurethanes.
Also known as superglues and other similar products, cyanoacrylates work the best when gluing ABS plastics. The quick bond forms instantly and works to lock the ABS material in place without melting or damaging it in any way.
Epoxies are a different type of adhesive all together. An ABS epoxy will create a very strong bond but can be messy and take quite some time to fully dry down and cure. Typically, these types of adhesives need clamps to cure fully, as well.
UV Curable Adhesives
Similar to two-component epoxies, UV curable adhesives take time to dry and need clamps in most situations but also require access to a strong UV source to fully harden and set in place. That being said, these bonds are some of the strongest and most robust, so many find them worth the extra effort and time.
Polyurethane creates a strong bond that lasts for quite some time and is also heat resistant and waterproof when fully cured. It takes a moderate amount of time to cure and requires pressure to fully bond but is durable. It can also be rather messy.
How to Glue ABS Plastic
When looking at how to bond ABS plastic, the exact details will vary greatly depending on the type of glue you are using. Some will require sanding of the smooth surface to ensure proper adhesion while others will be much more simplistic and just need direct application. Just follow the directions closely on the packaging to ensure you are doing what needs to be done with your specific product.
As with all glues, there are definite safety risks. Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, skin, and other surfaces. Also, try to stay away from flames since many types of glue are very flammable. Each product will also have additional concerns so be sure to read all packaging inserts to make sure you are using the product properly and safely.
Glue for ABS Plastic – Buying Guide
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our list below for a summary of our results.
- Loctite Super Glue Plastics Bonding System with Activator
- Oatey All-Purpose Cement Low Voc
- GUGUYeah UV Light Glue Kit Clear Adhesive Liquid Plastic Welder
- Pratley Powda Bond Adhesive Powder Filler Repair Kit
- J-B Weld 50139 Plastic Bonder Body Panel Adhesive and Gap Filler Syringe
When picking out an ABS plastic glue, there are a few factors you should consider. Let’s look at what makes for a good glue and what to look out for while deciding on your final purchase.
The most important thing you should consider is how well the glue bonds. If there are reports of good initial bonding but long term lack of effectiveness, you should perhaps consider a different product. With most ABS glue, the bond is supposed to be permanent and should last, as they typically bond via dissolving a tiny layer of the plastic and creating a gripped, interlocking bond.
Aside from that, you should also take into account the drying time of the glue. When researching how to glue abs plastic, you probably noticed that many people claim the glue sets fairly immediately or within a few minutes. This is because most ABS glues dry down incredibly quickly. They may still move a bit and not be fully set but they will not have to be supported in order to finish the setting process. Being able to easily pull apart your plastic pieces after using glue for ABS bonding can indicate that the glue may not be compatible with the surfaces.
ABS adhesives for plastic are quite easy to find since they typically involve simply gluing plastic to plastic. Even gluing ABS to PVC is not particularly difficult with the right glue or cementing product. Be sure to read your labelling to ensure the glue are suitable for mixed media usage.
Most ABS safe glue are actually mentioned in descriptions of how to repair ABS plastic, as many of them can be utilized as a repair mechanism. Using the glue as a filler works by bonding the plastic back together and bridging any gaps or cracks. Simply sand away the extra glue and you are all set!
While bonding plastic to plastic is simple, sometimes bonding other materials can be a bit more difficult. If you are looking into a situation like gluing ABS to wood or bonding fiberglass to ABS plastic, you may want to double check the packaging on your glue of choice to make sure it is suitable.
Since these surfaces are not as uniform as most plastics, it can be harder to allow the glue to create a gripped bond. This could lead to the bond breaking or not completely setting. Always check labelling before using any glue with ABS to prevent damage or misconnection.
As much of a no-brainer as it seems, always follow the directions when using ABS plastic glue. Sometimes they require multi-step processing to properly set and instructions can vary greatly across brands. Due to this, it is necessary to always double check labelling to ensure you are properly and safely bonding everything together. The last thing you want is to create fumes or have something break and cost you more money down the road so take things slow and do your research! Now, let’s look at some of our favorite products!
The Best Glue for ABS Plastic
The top best product [hide]
The bond that is created is quick-acting, usually taking just five minutes but sometimes up to an hour to become unmovable but does require more time to cure fully, as most glues do. As a whole, this is a very sold product that, for the price, is definitely worth checking out. Be aware, though, that some reviewers did report it is messy to use and that if you leave glue on the sides around the lid, it could become glued shut. If left open, it will dry out quickly.
The brand also has a guarantee that the glue is stronger than any other on the market and backs their product with a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the quality or ease of application. If you are looking for a very affordable UV option that will work well in most usages, this is the way to go.
Glue for ABS Plastic: FAQ
Can ABS glue be used with PVC?
Are ABS glue toxic?
Should I use a mask with ABS glue?
In a market as niche as ABS glue, you can typically find some real hidden gems. These products are high quality, low cost, and get the job done, saving you time and money in the process. If you need a solid, well tested product, check out some of these we have discussed or check into reviews of comparable products for even more options. Good luck!