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When you know how to glue metal to metal, you’ll have a handy technique for your DIY crafts and for fixing things around the house.
This is a step by step guide and go over how to choose the best metal glue for your purpose.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to glue metal to metal.
How to Glue Metal to Metal — Choosing Your Adhesive
First, it is important to choose the right adhesive. While there are many options for this, the following types are known to be most suitable.
How are these metal glues different from each other?
Which is the best metal glue to use? For all practical purposes, you may use any of these three types.
The ultimate result is not largely different.
However, for best results, it would be useful for you to understand the key differences and similarities among the three and then make your choice of glue.
- Offers strongest structural strength.
- Relatively Difficult to use. A two-part system that needs combining before application.
- Takes a long time to cure, often 24 hours until the glued item can be used again.
- Not as strong as epoxy, but moderately strong.
- Single part system. Easy to use, however they require moisture to set.
- Takes between 2-4 hours to cure. The glued item attains full strength after 24 hours.
- Likely to offer only a poor peel strength.
- Single part system. Easiest adhesive to use.
- Creates instant bonding under room temperature.
Based on this quick comparison of practical factors, it becomes clear that the decision for the type of adhesive to use depends on the object you wish to fix.
As well, how permanent or temporary you wish it to be.
If you require a quick and easy fix, you can go for super glue. It’s ideal when the surfaces to be bonded are even and smooth, and you want to create an instant bonding.
However, these are not very durable and the pieces may fall apart over a period of time.
If you require a more permanent fix that makes the metal object more durable, you can go for two-part epoxy.
Epoxy adhesives are also great even when the surfaces have gaps or are uneven. However, epoxy glue requires some additional effort when compared with super glue.
Polyurethane adhesives do not provide an outcome that is as effective as epoxy, but they are strong enough for most household objects and are also easy to use.
However, note that polyurethane adhesives are poor gap fillers. So when you have two smooth surfaces and you require the object to be durable, you can use polyurethane adhesives.
How to Glue Metal to Metal — Using the Adhesive
Regardless of the type of adhesive chosen, the procedure to use any metal-to-metal glue is largely the same. Following is the recommended set of steps on how to glue metal to metal.
Step 1: Clean the surface
Make sure that the two surfaces to be bonded are free from dirt and debris. Wipe them clean.
It’s also useful if you do not touch the surfaces much, as oils from the skin could make the bonding less effective.
This step holds true for epoxy, polyurethane as well as super glue.
Step 2: Apply glue
Do take precautions with these strong glues. Superglue will bond with the skin instantly.
Superglue: This is the easiest glue to apply. Super glue comes in a single tube. You can dispense it evenly on one surface and immediately join it with the other surface to create a tight seal.
Polyurethane adhesives: These also come in a single-part system.
They may require ventilation during the application, and some resins also work better with moisture at the time of application.
Epoxy glue: The application of epoxy glue is different from other types of adhesives.
Epoxy glue comes in two parts — the resin and the hardener. Follow the instructions on the packaging to know how much glue to be dispensed so that you do not use too much or too little.
Dispense the desirable amount from both tubes onto a piece of board and mix them so that they combine well.
Now apply this mixture on the surfaces and immediately seal the joint by putting it together.
Step 3: Apply pressure
While super glue creates instant bonding, epoxy and polyurethane require time for the chemical curing process.
If needed, use a model clamp to hold the two pieces together or come up with a different way to apply pressure to the pieces, so that glue holds well.
It’s best to leave the object to dry overnight before you start using it again.
FAQs on How to Glue Metal to Metal
How do you bond metal to metal without welding?
You can use metal adhesives as an easier alternative to welding or soldering, to bond broken metal pieces. Epoxy glue, polyurethane adhesives, or super glue will do the trick for you.
Does Super Glue work on metal to metal?
Yes, super glue works well to bond two metal pieces. You can apply it easily and it also creates instant bonding.
However, objects bonded using Super Glue sometimes come apart over time owing to poor peel strength.
If you are looking for a method in which the glued object is more durable, you can go for two-part epoxy glue, which offers better structural strength to the metal pieces fused.
Why use Metal Glue?
When it comes to fixing broken or attaching metal, you may first think of solutions such as riveting, welding, or soldering.
While there is no question that these methods are effective, they are not easy. Welding requires the base metal to be melted to enable fusion. Soldering involves heating the metal to create bonding. Using rivets makes your objects bulkier.
Not everyone has the equipment and know-how that the above methods demand. Besides, welding and soldering are more suitable in an industrial context.
On the contrary, metal objects in our homes typically do not need welding and soldering.
A more practical solution would be to use metal adhesives.
They tend to be a better alternative because they are quick and hassle-free.
Also, they provide the following benefits:
- Quicker assembly: Adhesives do not require prep work unlike rivets, welding, or soldering. For example, rivets require pre-drilling. Whereas, application of adhesive requires no elaborate prep-work. As soon as you dispense the glue, you are good to go.
- Corrosion resistance: Adhesives join the objects and form a tight seal giving no room for leaks and preventing corrosion. While on the other hand, fasteners may corrode or loosen over a period of time.
- Reduced weight: The use of fasteners and rivets typically makes the overall object bulky and heavy. When you use metal adhesives instead, there are no additional weights involved.
- Smooth surface appearance: Welding and soldering may distort the metal surfaces. Fasteners look bad on an object. Adhesives, in contrast, result in ensuring the smooth appearance of the surfaces.
- Overall durability: As adhesives distribute the stress across the metal surfaces uniformly, there is better joint strength, making the object more durable when compared with fasteners, which focus the stress on only one area which weakens the joint ultimately.
Now that you have a fair idea about why metal adhesives are an ideal solution, you may wonder which adhesives to go for and how to get this done.
Here are some key takeaways on how to glue metal to metal.
Epoxy glue is the most recommended adhesive.
It is a two-part system, which comes with a resin and hardener that need to be combined well before application on the surface. Once you have applied the glue, you need to clamp the pieces together so that there’s sufficient pressure to help the curing process.
Other types of adhesives you can use include super glue and polyurethane adhesives, which may not be as effective as epoxy but are easier to use and will still do the trick for most metal objects.