The Secrets of Gluing Metal to Metal
Gluing together two nonporous surfaces such as metal can be a challenge. Here’s how to prepare your surfaces and choose the best glue for metal.
Gluing metals together can be tricky business. When you glue porous materials such as wood or paper, a variety of glues will work from a simple wood glue to an inexpensive craft glue. When you glue metal to metal you’re bonding two nonporous surfaces which requires a glue that forms a strong chemical bond.
What are the options available when your goal is to glue metal to metal? For some applications, particularly jewelry, the use of soldering is recommended over use of a glue. Soldering gives a more professional appearance to the finished piece as well as a stronger bond. In some cases you may not have access to a soldering setup and need a quick attachment between two metals. In this case, your only choice is to resort to glue. To get the best results, it’s important to choose the best glue for metal work to ensure that the bond you create is durable.
Before gluing two nonporous, metal surfaces, it’s important that the pieces be scrupulously clean to allow the two parts to bond adequately. The surfaces to be joined should also have as much texture and tooth as possible to provide a good attachment. To roughen the surfaces of the pieces, use a piece of dry sandpaper to sand them for a few minutes. This will allow a stronger chemical bond to form with the glue and with the adjacent surface. Once sanding is complete, it’s time to select the glue you’ll be using for your application. Here are some adhesive options for gluing metal to metal:
This glue comes in two parts which need to be mixed together before applying to the pieces. It’s imperative that the two parts be mixed in equal concentrations. If not, the glue won’t dry completely and you won’t get an adequate bond. Two part epoxy glues vary in the amount of time you can work with them before they set. If you need quick bonding, choose a five minute epoxy glue. These glues can be found at most craft and hardware stores. Always use them with good ventilation and clean up spills with acetone.
You only need a small amount of this glue to bond two surfaces together. The surfaces to be attached need to be held in contact with one another for thirty seconds after applying the glue to allow an adequate bond to form. If the two surfaces aren’t cleaned and sanded to provide some texture, they may pop apart after time has elapsed. Pay particular attention to preparation of your metal surfaces when using Krazy Glue. You can also purchase Krazy Glue Advanced Formula which has even more bonding power. It can be found at most hardware stores. Clean up is with acetone.
To make the bond between metals even stronger, use a clamp to apply additional pressure between the two pieces during the bonding process. Always observe the recommended drying time which is one of the most important factors in success when gluing metal to metal. Try to avoid gluing when the humidity level is high or the temperature is very high or very low as this can affect bonding. By choosing the best glue for metal work and preparing your two pieces appropriately, you can successfully glue metal to metal to form a sufficiently strong bond without the hassles of soldering.