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topic 7673

Making Materials Stick to Polyethylene


I am looking for a way to either oxidize or change the electrical charge of polyethylene so that a foam material would stick to the Pe. The problem right now is, we are filling a cavity of Pe with foam to make this final product sturdier and help keep items in this device warm or cold (Sorta like a food carrier). We are finding out that the Pe is separating from the foam, thus giving us scrap. How do we keep the polyethylene to adhere to the foam? Anyone have any idea?


Ed Price
-Oklahoma City, OK


Ed, I've been, WAS, in the fabricating end of plastics, mainly thermoplastics, for 40 odd years. Having said that, I've really got no ideas as to 'how to' bond foam to Pe. You say that you are filling a cavity (made of Pe)with foam. Why then worry about a bond unless your 'foam' is not standing up or maybe shrinking? Maybe you are not using the right 'foam', maybe, probably, your foam density is very low (i.e., less expensive) and not heavy enough? There are no solvents, no glues, no cements for effectively bonding to Pe. The only effective modus operandi were if the 'cavity' had some mechanical links to effect a partial mechanical bond, ie. reverse bends, loops, etc.

You didn't say if your 'device' was subject to any movement, jarring etc. Years ago 'we' made Caligacs, as we called them for the Eskimos, a sled device like an Irish or Welsh Coracle, from frp with urethane foam in between. Well bonded UNTIL the thumps and jars of movement caused the foam to separate from the fibreglass & render them useless. Sorry to be so negative.

Cheers !

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to
advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).

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