Metal to plastic is fantastic

This article will show you how to glue plastic to metal. Choosing the right adhesive is key. We’ll cover a variety of situations that you may encounter.

How to glue plastic to metal: selecting an appropriate glue 

There are several common adhesives used for bonding metal to plastic, each with advantages for specific projects. We’ll cover these in detail to help you choose the right glue for your repair.

Here are some primary considerations:

  • Ensure the glue you choose is compatible with the type of metal and plastic that you intend to bond. All super glues and plastic glues are not the same. Always carefully read the label to check if a product is suitable for your job.
  • Select a glue that will hold up to the conditions the item will be subjected to. Will it be outdoors or exposed to moisture or UV light? Will constant vibration or impact be an issue?
  • Are the parts close-fitting ? Is the surface sound? If not, an epoxy is the best choice for spanning gaps or resurfacing an item. Other adhesives may not have the strength and rigidity needed.
Prepare the surfaces with sandpaper to ensure a good bond

How to bond metal to plastic: three methods

Let’s review three of the most common methods to bond metal to plastic. 

How to glue metal to plastic: super glue

Super glue is the easiest method and will work in many situations. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Set up in a well-ventilated area with good lighting. Don’t forget safety gear such as nitrile gloves, and safety glasses.
  2. Prepare the surfaces to be bonded. Sand any parts that are very smooth or shiny with fine-grit sandpaper. Then clean the parts of dust or grease to ensure a good bond.
  3. Make sure the parts fit correctly before you apply adhesive.
  4. Apply a few drops of glue to one surface.
  5. Press the parts together and hold them until a bond begins to form. Then allow them to cure for 24 hours before normal use.
  6. Clean up excess adhesive with a damp cloth or paper towel. If the adhesive has cured, carefully cut it away with a razor blade. Remove residue with acetone on a cloth after testing to ensure the plastic holds up. 

How to glue plastic to metal: plastic bonder

Plastic bonder is very similar to super glue with the addition of a primer or activator. It is a great way to glue metal to plastic when using hard-to-bond materials. 

Simply apply activator to each surface, allow it to dry for 60 seconds, then apply the glue to one surface as you would with other glues.

Only a special adhesive for plastic and metal remains permanently strong

How to glue plastic to metal: epoxy

Epoxy is a two-part adhesive that must be mixed before using it. Many epoxies come in a dual syringe dispenser that makes it easy to measure out equal parts of the resin and hardener onto a disposable surface. The two materials should be thoroughly mixed and then applied as you would with super glue. Check the label as to setting time because epoxies vary, and you have limited time to work with it before it hardens.

Some types of plastic are particularly challenging to bond to with ordinary adhesives. Polypropylene (PE), polyethylene (PP), and Teflon are among them. If you need to bond to these or similar materials, you will need a plastic bonding system or specialty glue.

The best way to glue metal to plastic: top-quality adhesives 

For quick and easy repairs to smaller items, try LePage Super Glue Gel Control. This handy adhesive dries transparent in seconds and holds stronger than many similar glues. It will bond to metal, plastic, wood, leather, and more. You’ll love the precision dispenser.

If you need a glue that can handle those hard-to-bond surfaces like polypropylene, polyethylene, or Teflon, LePage Super Glue All Plastics is the best choice. No mixing is required, simply apply the primer/activator, wait one minute, and apply the glue. It’s resistant to moisture, most solvents, and temperature extremes.

When epoxy is called for, we recommend LePage Epoxy Gel. It’s an excellent choice because it won’t drip or run, sets in about six minutes, and bonds to metal, glass, ceramics, most plastics, and even masonry materials. It dries to a very resilient, machinable finish that can be sanded and painted.