Which is the Best ABS Glue? | The Definitive Guide on Bonding ABS Properly

Which is the Best ABS Glue?

Before talking about the best ABS glues and adhesive types, let’s first understand the basics of ABS material. It is an opaque, amorphous plastic known for its impact resistance and easy bonding properties. Bonding ABS is easy but comes with its own sets of challenges. While various plastic glues (plastic adhesives) can be used for bonding ABS, the most commonly used glues are 2 components epoxy, cyanoacrylate, structural acrylic, and UV curable adhesives.

Types of ABS Adhesives – 

As mentioned above, all types of cyanoacrylate, 2 components epoxy, and structural acrylic and UV curable adhesives bond well with ABS. What adhesive suits you the best depends compete on your specific needs. For example, if you are looking for a flexible solution, then always go for MS Polymers. Another good example for specific sets of features is UV curable adhesives which are known to form strong bonds with also providing light to the bond joint.

Selecting the right adhesive depending on your application is not an easy task. Certain technicalities must be taken care of, such as solvent and temperature resistance.

Below are the table sharing the solvent and temperature resistance of popular ABS glues.

Solvent Resistance
Polar Non-Polar
Anaerobic Very Good Very Good
Cyanoacrylate Poor Good
Epoxy Part 1 Very Good Excellent
Epoxy Part 2 Very Good Very Good
Epoxy Modified Good Very Good
MS Polymer Good Fair
Polyurethanes Good Good
Structural Acrylic – No Mix Good Very Good
Structural Acrylic – Part 2 Good Very Good
Structural Acrylic – Part 2 MMA Good Very Good
UV Curable Good Very Good
Temprature Resistance
High Temp Grade
Anaerobic 150 °C (300 °F) 230 °C (450 °F)
Cyanoacrylate 85 °C (185 °F) 250 °F (480 °F)
Epoxy Part 1 180 °C (350 °F) 300 °C (570 °F)
Epoxy Part 2 80 °C (175° F) 300 °C (570 °F)
Epoxy Modified 80 °C (175° F)
MS Polymer 80 °C (175° F)
Polyurethanes 120 °C (250° F)
Structural Acrylic – No Mix 150 °C (300 °F) 200 °C (390 °F)
Structural Acrylic – Part 2 120 °C (250° F)
Structural Acrylic – Part 2 MMA 120 °C (250° F)
UV Curable 120 °C (250° F) 150 °C (300 °F)

Pro Tip – Always consult with a professional before taking any significant step related to gluing any plastic material, let alone gluing ABS plastic. That will give an idea of which ABS glue suits you the best for your needs.

Engaging Read – ABS Melting Point, Properties, Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages

Tips for ABS Surface Preparation –  

  1. Keeping the surface clean, dry, and free from contamination is the most basic thing to keep in mind. Then, if that part is done well, bonding ABS can be done “As Received.”
  2. If you are looking to do a solvent wipe before or after cleaning, use isopropanol. People usually go to acetone, and while acetone is an excellent cleaner, it can be too harsh or aggressive, consequently attacking the plastic.

General Properties of ABS – 

Surface energy 42 mJ/m²
Maximum service temperature 89°C
Softening Temperature 100°C
Processing Temperature 205-275 °C
Tensile Strength, Yield at 23 C 28 – 120 MPa
Mould Shrinkage 0.002 – 0.007 %
1.03 – 1.14 g mL-1

ABS Applications – 

ABS is used in various products in multiple industries such as Automotive, Electrical equipment, and appliances.

Automotive Applications – Dashboard components, instrument panels, pillar trim, steering wheel covers, seat belt components, door liner handles.

Electrical Applications – Electrical enclosures and computer keyboards.

Appliances – Vaccum cleaners, shavers, refrigerator liners, food processors, control panels, toasters, irons, etc.

FAQs – 

1. Is it important to clean ABS before gluing?

Ans. Cleaning the surface is very important before gluing as it will help achieve maximum penetration into the fitting. The surface where the glue is applied must always be free of water, dirt, and even identification stickers for best results. In addition, always apply glue to both surfaces.

2. Does Gorilla glue work on ABS plastic?

Ans. While various plastic adhesives are useful with ABS, gorilla glue is not suitable for ABS. It doesn’t stick to ABS properly becomes very messy.

3. What is the strongest glue for plastics?

Ans. The world’s strongest glue for plastics is Loctite Plastics Bonding System. It’s a two-part cyanoacrylate adhesive, and its water-resistant sets in seconds with minimal effort dries clear.

4. Will epoxy stick to ABS?

Ans.  ABS will bond well with mostly all epoxies without causing flaming. Just rough it up and wipe it with acetone (be quick, or acetone will damage ABS). However, many plastic materials would not bond that well even with flaming.

5. How do I prevent ABS from sticking?

Ans. Tips to prevent ABS from sticking while 3D printing are as follows:

  1. Set adequate temperature
  2. Decrease printing speed
  3. Use bed adhesives
  4. Increase flow rates
  5. Increase first layer height and width
  6. Turn off the cooling fan

Conclusion –

Always be careful with using glues with ABS. Although using ABS, you will get many options to choose from; we need to choose the best for adequate results.

Go through the tables talking about solvent and temperature resistance to have a basic idea about choosing the perfect ABS glue.

Thanks for bearing with pathetic writing 🙂 Leave your thoughts and reviews in the comment box; I’ll make sure to answer you back.

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