Joining metal has traditionally involved techniques like soldering or riveting, but for many DIYers – and indeed some professionals – these methods of fixing may seem somewhat daunting. No surprise then that in recent times the option of gluing metals together has become much more popular, and thanks to modern adhesive technologies, it’s possible to achieve a strong, reliable bond.
There are lots of different glues on the market, so visit your local hardware store and you may be bewildered by the choice. When it comes to metal bonding adhesive the two main options are cyanoacrylates – super glues – or epoxy resins which usually come as a two-part mix.
While epoxy is more fiddly to use it creates the strongest bond. However, it does take time to set – even ‘rapid’ epoxies take several minutes to bond and an hour or two to reach full strength. You therefore need to be able to support the joint in some way as the adhesive sets.
Whatever type of glue you choose from a supplier such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/, the key to getting a strong, reliable joint lies in preparation. Make sure both surfaces to be joined are clean and dry. It’s also a good idea to roughen the surface slightly using a wet and dry paper to aid the adhesive bonding.
After cleaning, try to avoid touching the surfaces to be joined with your bare hands as this can introduce grease which will weaken the adhesive joint.
It’s important to use the right amount of glue. Too much will lead to a messy joint that will need to be cleaned up later, but too little will result in a weak bond. If using epoxy, make sure that you mix an equal quantity of the two parts, blend them together thoroughly and use the adhesive straight away. While epoxy will fill small gaps between the parts to be joined, super glue needs them to fit closely together.
Let’s Stick Together
You’ll need to have some way of holding the pieces together as they join. Using a clamp is a good option or adhesive tape for smaller items. Super glue bonds faster but it’s still worth leaving it for a few hours to achieve its full strength. Epoxies – even rapid ones – usually need to be left overnight.