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topic 6696

Polymer Bonding


Which of the three following thermoplastics listed below has the best ability to be bonded to itself?

ABS, polypropylene, high density polyethylene

Please recommend some techniques and adhesives for performing this process.

- Houston, Texas


Hi Brian,

Firstly, one should know exactly what you have in mind, i.e., the end use, the size ... after all, you are 'talking' about 2 entirely different plastics, ABS and the Polyolefins. They behave differently !

The Polyolefins ... they can be fused together with great success (pressure pipe joints now to 60" dia in hdPe are joined this way). They cannot be cemented together. PP can be heat fused just like HDPE but you CANNOT interfuse PP to HDPE.

ABS ... Possibly the only useful plastic that can be butt cemented together. For the ABS mine line fittings up to 12" dia., all mitered joints were 'cemented' together. But there is a trick to doing this and making a successful bond. But MEK / methyl ethyl ketone is, as far as I know, the only successful solvent for ABS. Unlike PVC, you can make a very successful ABS ultra heavy cement for patching holes in such things as ABS dingies, etc.

All of these plastics can be welded to each other but ABS weld rod is rather rare in the true chemical field as there are better acid/alkali resistant plastics such as PVC.

I hope this short summary helps you. Cheers !

Freeman Newton
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

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