Which Super Glue...

Sumner Nov 20, 2019

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I've never used super glue much and have a diesel loco where one side step broke off and also some of the hand railing needs to be glued back. I read that some super glues aren't meant for some plastics. Can someone please give me a specific type/name of a super glue that would work for this or another alternative.

    I read one person's account of detailing a loco and they used Gorilla Brand super glue but I've also read that glue isn't necessarily compatible with all plastics. I'm tempted to start with it?

    Are most manufacture's (Kato, Atlas, Life-Like) diesel loco shells made from the same material and will all glue using the same glue?

    Thanks,

    Sumner
     
  2. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Your typical ACC 'super glue' doesn't attack plastics. It's not a solvent. It bonds by a kind of molecular lock, and another rule is that less glue works better than more, because it has to be thin enough to work it's magic.

    The big flaw on most conventional ones is that a) it runs like crazy and is difficult to control, in the watery state b) while you can lift a 2000-lb car with it in tension, you can break a bond easily with a good hard shock. You can glue about anything but it will also knock right back off with a hard bump. VERY brittle bond in shear.

    The 'gels' are intended to attack the first problem.

    I've come to use thin ACC almost exclusively, but I puddle it and use a needle or wire for application. Less is more. If I have porous material like wood or ceramics, the gels work better. My favorite watery brand is Duro, it's cheap, small-tube, and rather predictable in behavior. But most of the watery stuff is the same, one of the big differences is the design of the tube and how fast it plugs up before you run the tube empty, you'll find your own favorite.

    But, if it's going to have any kind of shock load on it at all - couplers, frames, mechanical twist...I'm back to 2-part 5 minute epoxies or something that works like that. In your case the steps are kind of hit-prone, ACC with certainly hold it, but it may also break right off if the steps get bumped, unit derails, etc. I'm still a fan of Walthers Goo to mount motors, coupler boxes, if the bond can be rather flexible and expects to take a beating.

    Solvents work well if they are MATCHED to the plastic - and plastic composition can be all over the map. Most solvents only work with styrene or polycarbonates, certainly not delrin. Handrails today are USUALLY delrin, and that's tough to repair. If you're not sure about a solvent glue, put a drop of it somewhere where it doesn't show, let it dry, then see if you can pop it back off. Easy pass/fail test. Solvents, however, are not perfect - I've all but outlawed them on styrene sheet and shape assembly because of long-term warpage - ACC is actually better and will not warp over time.

    I haven't tried the new LED-cured resins, those may have promise. My dentist glued my crown in with that stuff, it's remarkable.

    I've repaired a lot of broken delrin parts by drilling them through with a #80 drill, 'bolting' them with .010 brass wire, and then hitting them with a little bit of watery ACC. That really works, it's exactly like a bolt, the wire keeps any shear forces from destroying the bond, and the capillary action of the ACC works like thread locker. When I really have to fix something difficult, it's drill & bolt up with wire and ACC.

    My ultimate solution for broken handrails has been to replace them all with brass wire, which solves breakage and painting problems for good. If this is an Atlas product, and some Kato, 'most' of their production is available online for replacement parts and very inexpensive - that's the easy way out. I'd go that way first.

    And, if you're brave and have a steady hand - you can melt Delrin parts back together or to form a bond. It's relatively low-temp, a soldering iron will melt it, if you can work from the back or a hidden area the slightest touch with heat will either bond it together or destroy it beyond all hope. That is the time-honored method of assembling all delrin MT coupler boxes, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  3. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Sumner likes this.
  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Fascinating stuff. If you look at the '1' ratings the problem seems to be that you get one use and one use only, it almost immediately hardens / evaporates in the remaining glue. Worth a try though.
    Heptane is supposedly the curing solution, which is also sold under the trade name "Bestine" for cleaning Shapeways RP parts. Yeah, that stuff evaporates like nobody's business and seems to find a way out of a sealed container like magic.
    Gotta try that stuff though, to the point I'd deliberately break up a junk part just to see what it could do.
    I'd think some of your big-box DIY stores would stock this that have a good adhesives line.
     
  5. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Great info and advice by Randgust and N above.

    I would like to add to what the OP was asking. Perhaps OP was asking about foam and CA. CA will attack and melt foam but not hard plastic which is use for loco shells other than handrails. If you want to use CA for foam, there is Foam-Safe or Ordorless CA. Those are safe on foam. And if you are going to use an accelerator, they also come in Foam-Safe and Ordorless flavors.

    I use hobby grade CA since I fly RC airplanes and such but LHS'es are hard to find these days. Gorilla or Loctite brand CA will work just fine for your purpose.
     
  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys, great advice. I've ordered a few different things to try.

    Ordered the Loctite but then watched a video on it and don't think it will work for the handrails as you rub the activator of the surface to glue together and don't see how that will work with the handrails and the holes they go into.

    Also ordered Faller Expert Plastic Cement as I'd read good reviews on it but still don't know if it is the right product to try on the handrails or not. From what has been said it sounds like the CA isn't the right product for the handrails. Is that correct?

    Sumner
     
  7. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Gluing plastics is usually done with solvent. Think Tenax-7 for styrene, it's magic. But, and as an old professor would say, and it's a mighty big but, is that there seems to be no solvent that will melt delrin. That's what we need, along with a good 5 cent cigar.
     
  8. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Sumner, what kind of loco (brand/model) are you trying to fix the handrails on? Moderm ones usually have "snap on" handrails where no glue is needed.

    Do the handrails protrude past the shell's thickness so you can see them on the inside (just a touch like a nub)? If so, you may want to try pushing the handrails in and apply a tiny drop of contact cement, something similar to Goo, to the tiny nub that is sticking out on the inside. I don't know if this is even possible has I haven't looked at inside of a shell lately to see even if there are protrusions. And even then it's not a permanent join as nothing really sticks to Delrin.
     
  9. NS Top Gon

    NS Top Gon TrainBoard Member

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    As Randgust mentioned, the LED-cured resins, which are cured with an ultra-violet light, do work on delrin plastic. I repaired the top rails on a Micro Trains tank car with it and it still holds together very well. I know of someone who did a Kato locomotive kitbash and used it to splice handrails together with success. I have also used it to hold Micro Trains coupler boxes together to body mount them. It used to be sold everywhere but I have not seen it for sale lately. Hopefully someone with chime in and give you a source for it. Good luck finding it.
     
  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Search for "Bondic" on that evil inlet place that we can't link to here. :)
     
  11. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, it is a 1989 Kato Union Pacific U30C. I'll try and pull the shell off tomorrow and check. I last looked at it a week or so ago. If I remember right there were holes the railing had come out of but didn't want to stay in them. I do have some Goo,

    Sumner
     
  12. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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  13. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    I worked in a hobby store when ACC first came out. We sold a brand, (40 years ago), called 'Hot Stuff' - and there was an accelerate for it. Yes, really. It came in a spray bottle and I think it was just water but it was amusing.
     
  14. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Hot Stuff is still around. Good stuff. I think they were one of the first.

    https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Acce...words=hot+stuff+ca+glue&qid=1574384129&sr=8-5
     
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  15. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Or touch it with a hot knife. Put a head on it and it won't come out.

    Rivets. They're still better than glue.
     
  16. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    With a head, it won't come out but it may be pushed in? With somethig like Goo it is somewhat prevented from moving in both directions, in or out.
     
  17. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have one for you. For those who know "superturbine" or Jason Smith may know about this stiff. When I was bashing my EM-1 into an SP AC-9 he suggested this CA glue.

    It is from Bob Smith Industries and is called "Tire Glue" and it says it is "rubber toughened" The RC car guys use it to glue their rubber tires to metal wheels so they don't spin off. Jason liked it and recommended it when I was gluing parts together on my bashed loco. He told me that they would not get knocked off because there is a certain amount of give to the joint. In one of his videos he had a boiler shell that had been cut and shortened and then re-glued together with this CA. The seam was glued on inside of shell and held very well.

    I used the bottle I have about 6 years ago and have kept the bottle in the cheese drawer of my refrigerator. I just removed the cap and it is still liquid enough to use. This stuff is black in color so be careful with how you smear it on.

    Just food for thought, you should be able to find at a shop that sells RC cars.

    As always, have fun,
    Carl

    PS: I have no affiliation with Bob Smith Industries.
     
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  18. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    'Superglue' is typically composed of 91 percent ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate (ECA)...this is the active agent, 9 percent polymethylmethacrylate, <0.5 percent hydroquinone, and a trace of organic sulfonic acid...these are the stabilizers that keep it in liquid form. It doesn't 'dry' but relies on a chemical reaction that is caused when it is exposed to the water vapor in the air. The cyanoacrylate is a polymer which contains its own hardener compound. However, a weak acid is added acting as an inhibitor, preventing the reaction and “holding apart” the molecules which accounts for the liquid consistency of the compound. When exposed to water, the acid is dissolved. It triggers a chain reaction and the compound cures to the solid state.

    Accelerator is not water (it evaporates if you don't seal the bottle well) but water will will work (sort of). Some people claim that applying water, alcohol, or baking soda to a substrate can work in place of a commercial glue accelerator, but because curing starts at the surface and develops toward the center, thick seams or large dots of glue may harden slowly or not at all and tend to be much weaker. It seems the active ingredient is N,N-Dimethyl-p-toluidine (according to the MSDS) which is a weak amines (base) that neutralizes the weak acid (instead of diluting like water does) that is keeping the glue in its liquid state. Mix an acid with a base and it cancels each other out allowing the glue to harden.
     
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  19. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I used to race RC cars at a national level so I know the stuff well. What it is is CA mixed with finely ground rubber (which is why it is black). The rubber give the glue some ability to flex before it breaks.
     
  20. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    We have a chemist amongst our ranks! :) Yes, tire glue, fortified CA, rubber CA and a bunch of other monikers will give you a less brittle joint.
     

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