Cuben bonding
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Caleb Boyle
(calebB)
Cuben bonding on 02/22/2012 15:28:50 MST Print View

Hey folks,

I'm wanting to bond some cuben, but I'm having trouble finding the Hysol U09-FL. Has anyone tried using this plastic contact adhesive from Loctite, or do you think it would work? It would be cheaper and my local hardware store carries it.

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/6/21/cntct_vnylpl/overview/Loctite-Vinyl-Fabric-&-Plastic-Flexible-Adhesive.htm

I appreciate the help!

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Adhesive on 02/22/2012 16:14:44 MST Print View

I tried bonding cuben with fourteen different adhesives that were specifically marketed as high-strength plastic bonders for low-energy surfaces like PET, PP, and PE. I tried products from 3M, Loctite, Permabond, Dymax, and several other companies. Hysol U09fl and U09lv produced the strongest bonds overall in shear tests of 1" cuben strips and 3M Scotch Weld 4693H was the strongest one-part adhesive. None of the four adhesives available in hardware stores performed well.

I'm not familiar with the hardware store adhesive you're considering. For me, it would be a much bigger inconvenience to have a tarp seam fail in the field than to have to invest some extra time and money in a good adhesive. If it is important to you to use an adhesive that is cheap and locally available, then the one you propose seems like a fine choice. If you are very careful about your procedure (clean surfaces, tight clamping, etc.), it will probably work well enough.

Caleb Boyle
(calebB)
adhesive on 02/22/2012 16:23:55 MST Print View

Thank you for your insight. I guess I won't rely on the hardware adhesive.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cuben bonding on 02/22/2012 20:45:50 MST Print View

Thank you, Colin, for that info.
I immediately ordered several tubes of the 3M.
I've tried several other flexible glues for fabrics on cuben, and got poor results.
The best, surprisingly, was the GE silicone glue I use for silnylon, but the peel strength was only fair.
This leads me to ask your opinion, if you've tried them, of the tape applied adhesives, like the one Quest retails, that remain on the material after the tape is pulled off.
Thanks for any further info you can provide.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Bonding on 02/22/2012 23:12:53 MST Print View

Samuel, I've tried three different kinds of tape, including the stuff that Quest sells. I found that, like the liquid adhesives, tight clamping gave a much better bond. I think most people don't clamp when using tape, but it makes a significant difference in my limited experience. I clamp the seam tightly between two pieces of smooth wood moulding using a dozen or more small C-clamps. I lay down strips of LDPE painters plastic over the seam (under the moulding and the clamps). This is the same method I use for liquid adhesives. Also, the tapes all seem to develop a stronger bond with time. If I were using tape, I would make an assumption that it would achieve near maximum bond strength after about two weeks or so. I would leave it in the clamps for that entire period. None of the tapes I have used have been able to match the shear strength of hysol, and the peel strength (which isn't really important) is much less.

The 3M 4693H can be used two ways. It is a solvent-based contact cement, so the usual method is to apply and let dry as for typical contact cements, then press the seam together and clamp. However, you can't reposition the surfaces once they have touched. That would disrupt the bond.

Or, you can apply the glue and mate the surfaces immediately. This allows you to reposition them. I chose to do it this way when I used the 4693H for a cuben quilt. This will give a good bond, but you need to wait for several weeks while the solvent gradually evaporates from between the clamped surfaces. It is very tempting to take the clamps off and test it. I had to mark a date a month away on my calendar and vow to leave it alone until then.

So, one advantage to the Hysol is that it not only gives a good bond, but it is quick (36 hours or so) compared to my obsessive methods for taping and solvent gluing.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cuben bonding on 02/23/2012 02:40:23 MST Print View

> Loctite-Vinyl-Fabric-&-Plastic-Flexible-Adhesive.
I THINK this is a solvent-based adhesive specifically designed for vinyl. I would not expect it to work very well on any other plastic.

Cheers

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Bonding on 02/23/2012 07:39:58 MST Print View

Spinnaker makers also sew a seam down the middle of the taped seam

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Thanks on 02/23/2012 09:09:23 MST Print View

Colin,

"I tried bonding cuben with fourteen different adhesives that were specifically marketed as high-strength plastic bonders for low-energy surfaces like PET, PP, and PE."

Thanks for the testing and sharing. Lotta good info in this posting.

Daryl

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cuben bonding on 02/23/2012 20:23:53 MST Print View

Colin,
Thanks for your detailed response. Very helpful.
FYI, I will also be stitching, but I want to create a bonded hem on the cuben edge before introducing it into a seam involving other types of materials (zipper tape, polyester fabric, insect net, etc.). Without the bonded hem to reinforce, I would expect the stitch holes in the cuben to open up. So am looking for a strong and tough bonding agent for that purpose. Not looking forward to weeks of clamping.
Maybe the Hysol is the only answer. From her posts, I don't think Judy Gross is using clamps on her cuben tents. She mentions only contact cement.
If all the holding power I had were the adhesive, I would definitely clamp as you described.
Sam F.

Edited by scfhome on 02/23/2012 20:34:53 MST.

Rob E
(eatSleepFish)

Locale: Canada
cuben bonding and clamping on 02/23/2012 20:42:34 MST Print View

Very interesting and informative thread. Do you think it is necessary to clamp the cuben bonding if you are going to sew it as well? I was planning on bonding and sewing, as that seems to be how the other cottage makers do it, so I assumed it was the strongest.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: cuben bonding and clamping on 02/23/2012 20:56:11 MST Print View

Sewing will actually weaken your bonded seam. It introduces stress points where tears will propagate. This is why many cottage makers have bonded only ridgelines.

The hems don't see as much force and sewing is quicker generally so that's why the thread is used. If you aren't attaching to other fabrics, try to avoid sewing in your designs if you're already going to be bonding.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: cuben bonding and clamping on 02/24/2012 07:39:34 MST Print View

"Sewing will actually weaken your bonded seam."

I have no personal experience, but I might some day

There was some thread where spinnaker makers do this. Spinakers probably have more stress than tents.

If you sew through 2 layers of fabric, and have taped seam on each side of the row of stitches, then it will be stronger than the single layer of fabric on each side.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
cuben bonding on 02/24/2012 19:22:16 MST Print View

"If you sew through 2 layers of fabric, and have taped seam on each side of the row of stitches, then it will be stronger than the single layer of fabric on each side."

That's what I am also thinking, Jerry. A tougher adhesive (when dry) should make a difference as well.