Plastics present a special problem with some adhesives because solvents in the adhesives can dissolve plastic. Here are some popular plastic adhesives:

  • Model cement: Usually sold in tubes as "model maker" glues, model cement forms a strong bond on acrylics and polystyrenes and can be used on most plastics, except plastic foam. Clamping is usually required until the cement has set (about 10 minutes); curing time is about 24 hours. Model cement dries clear.
  • Vinyl adhesive: Vinyl adhesives, sold in tubes, form a strong, waterproof bond on vinyl and on many plastics, but don't use them on plastic foam. Clamping is usually not required. Vinyl adhesive dries flexible and clear; curing time is 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Acrylic solvent: Solvents are not adhesives as such; they act by melting the acrylic bonding surfaces, fusing them together at the joint. They are recommended for use on acrylics and polycarbonates. Clamping is required; the bonding surfaces are clamped or taped together, and the solvent is injected into the joint with a syringe. Setting time is about five minutes.
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