What glue will bond polyethylene?
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Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/04/2011 08:14:40 MDT Print View

I have a little MYOG idea that would involve gluing 2 pieces of an Adventure Medical Kits heat sheet (space blanket) together to form a larger size. These AMK space blankets are made from metalized polyethylene. Can anyone recommend a glue that would effectively seal 2 pieces of this stuff together with a reasonable degree of strength and longevity?

David Erekson
(finallyME) - F

Locale: Utah desert
What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/04/2011 08:38:20 MDT Print View

PE is pretty hard to find a good adhesive. The reason the film you have has a PE layer is so that you can heat seal it. I would try heat sealing before going the adhesive route. Much easier, cheaper, and less messy.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
heat sealing on 10/04/2011 08:59:42 MDT Print View

Any ideas on how to go about heat sealing it?

I notice that the AMK emergency bivy bag made of the same material has seams that are fused in some way.

Brad Walker
(brawa)

Locale: SoCal
heat sealing on 10/04/2011 09:56:54 MDT Print View

Normally you'd use an "impulse sealer" for something like that. Maybe an iron would work? Don't know, we have impulse sealers :)

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 10/04/2011 10:32:49 MDT Print View

Great idea Brad. I did some searching and found that the typical bags used with impulse sealers are polyethylene. Maybe I can find one to borrow and experiment.

Steve Small
(lustreking) - F
Tape? on 10/05/2011 13:10:18 MDT Print View

Does it need to be glue? How about tape?

Check out the 18oz two man tent on on this page. He details the construction of a tent using Heatsheets, and taping them together with Scotch Tough Transparent duct tape.

I actually have a roll sitting on my desk that I just bought today. I'm planning on trying out a hammock tarp using two of the heatsheets. It's more expensive than regular duct tape at close to $6 for a 20yd roll (though he recommends cutting the 2" tape in half, giving you an effective 40 yds of tape), but is supposed to be more resistant to uv than the silver stuff.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 10/05/2011 15:37:56 MDT Print View

Neat link Steve, thank you.

I'm trying to avoid tape due to added weight (particularly that ultra duty duct tape) plus in cold weather I have seen all sorts of tape adhesive give up, especially if subjected to much of a load.

A friend at work has access to an impulse sealer, which I will experiment with on some scrap pieces of heatsheet. I figure if I can get a quality fusion of the 2 pieces, it will be reliable and superlight.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/05/2011 17:05:34 MDT Print View

Permananent glue bonds on PE are difficult!
Temporary bonds are also difficult.

Actually, GOOD quality sticky tape is about as good as you can normally get.
[Good: 3M or similar brand, made in the West, NOT the cheap Chinese stuff. That releases quickly: lousy adhesive.]

Cheers

Steve Small
(lustreking) - F
More on tape on 10/06/2011 20:46:30 MDT Print View

For what it's worth, I cut off a 6 inch section of the tape that I have and it weighed 1.45 grams. So if you cut the tape in half lengthwise, it weighs 1.45 grams/foot.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
wont work for you but.. on 10/07/2011 17:31:09 MDT Print View

a trick that can be used for painting polyethylene objects is to lick the surface with a flame, it changes it so that paint can adhere. Wouldnt try that though.

There is a glue out there for PE I recall. TAP polyweld I think

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: wont work for you but.. on 10/07/2011 21:10:10 MDT Print View

I looked up the TAP polyweld. The key instruction is as follows:

'with a simple flame treatment and Poly-Weld'

Sigh.

Cheers

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
space mylar blankets on 10/08/2011 00:17:04 MDT Print View

The space blanket made out of Mylar you might be able to heat sealed together. I use to make r/c indoor blimps out of mylar and heat sealed them together to make the blimp with a model airplane film iron at medium heat. Most factory use sonic welding for the seams.
Terry

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
What glue will bond polyethylene on 10/09/2011 22:34:15 MDT Print View

+1 for the impulse sealer.

Took a piece of a HeatSheets space blanket and used a Uline 8" impulse sealer, model no. H-161. Started at the lowest setting, and at setting #3 got a good solid weld, with the shiny sides facing out, the orange sides facing together - does not work with the shiny sides facing together. The machine looks like a big stapler and was purchased for rebagging trail meals to save weight. Around $100 in 2004. Problem: How would you create a several foot long seam. Maybe they make something that is not closed at one end, as a stapler is, that would do it. Anyway, it is 100% doable.

Just for fun, snipped off a 2" wide 0.18 mylar strip from the edge of some cuben and tried it. Did not seal until setting #8, and that toasted the mylar (PET) around the bond, making it very brittle so that it shredded when stressed. No good.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/10/2011 06:24:48 MDT Print View

I have used double-stick tape on some space blanket projects and it worked well.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/10/2011 08:25:31 MDT Print View

I've seen painters and asbestos removal workers mask off large areas of a room by connecting poly tarps with some sort of spray adhesive. I'm sorry that I don't have a product name for you.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
What glue will bond polyethylene on 10/10/2011 22:11:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the lead, Daryl.

Had some old Bender's spray contact cement #630 and tried it on the HeatSheets - very effective. Was amazed that it was still fresh in the can.

Not much on Google about buying the Bender's, but went to McMaster-Carr and found among the spray adhesives, 3M #90 recommended for polyethylene:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#spray-adhesives/=efsmwa

I've had good experiences buying from McMaster, and a number of other posters have also.
Good luck!

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
What glue will bond polyethylene? on 10/11/2011 10:02:32 MDT Print View

You can purchase Model airplane iron from Hobby people,Hobby Lobby,Hobby Town,Tower hobbies for about 20 to 30 dollars. Then you just run the tip along the the seam the full length to get a air tight seam.
Terry