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How to Bond UHMW to Steel

Brandy Alexander

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.

You can securely bond UHMW to steel using epoxy.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Roughen the surface of the UHMW with a sheet of 120-grit sand paper.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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).

Step 5

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.