How to Bond UHMW to Steel
UHMW (ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) is the thermoplastic with the highest impact strength, and is therefore a very difficult material to bond to other substances. By using the correct type of epoxy, however, you can create a permanent bond between UHMW and carbon steel that will be weather- and moisture-resistant and suitable for industrial applications.
Put on a pair of nitrile gloves. Clean and clear off a suitable work surface to avoid the chance of accidental application of the adhesive to any other objects.
Roughen the surface of the UHMW with a sheet of 120-grit sand paper.
Clean the surface of the UHMW with a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Also at this time, use an alcohol-soaked cloth to wipe down the surface of the steel to remove any debris, oil or other material that could hinder the bond.
Mix the BONDiT B45-TH epoxy resin and hardener according to the manufacturer's instructions (this will either be in a 1:1 or a 2:1 ratio).
Apply the epoxy evenly and uniformly over the entire surface of the UHMW where you would like to bond it to the steel, then slowly and evenly press the two materials together. Set them aside for 24 hours to allow the epoxy to cure.
- Wear gloves during the entire application procedure to avoid risk to your skin.
Brandy Alexander began writing professionally in 1993. She has years of experience as a professional of the English language employed with the "Cape Times" and "The Mercury." Alexander holds a master's degree in English literature from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
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