How To Glue Silicone Together: Detailed Explanation
Have you tried gluing silicone rubber but failed? You’re not alone! Someone might be trying to fix theirs right now, too.
Gluing silicone together can be tricky and demanding. If you don’t apply the proper technique, your silicone materials won’t stick together.
So, how can someone glue silicone together, so it can remain bonded for a long time?
Continue reading to learn how to get the answers you seek.
What Is Silicone?
First and foremost, let’s understand what silicone is. With that knowledge, gluing the material could be a walk in the park for you.
Gluing silicone material frightens many. Why? The process can be confusing and time-wasting. Sometimes, the silicone won’t stick after spending so much time. So the process can be very frustrating.
So, what is silicone? Several people claim silicone is rubber, while some believe it’s plastic. But the truth is silicone is rubber and considered a human-made elastomer.
Elastomer means a polymer that boasts elastic properties. Silicone has the properties of rubber and plastic. That’s why most people claim it’s plastic.
Silicone And Constituents: What You Need To Know
A synthetic polymer, silicone boasts silicon, a popular chemical element. Silicone makes up 28 percent of the earth’s crust and present in silicate minerals. Furthermore, it’s the eighth-most abundant element found in the universe.
Silicon and silicone differ. Silicone is the finished product, while silicon is the raw material used in silicone production.
Silicon is quite hard and brittle in its pure state. But it does form a crystalline solid when combined with a blue or grey metallic sheen.
Silicon is the primary material in silicone production, but it’s not the only element present. Silicone also boasts oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.
Besides being human-made, silicone is viscoelastic. This implies that it has both viscose and elastic properties, which are what defines a rubber material.
So, silicone rubbers are synthetic elastomers, thanks to their viscoelastic properties and the fact that they’re human-made.
How To Glue Silicone Together: The Steps Explained
Let’s get straight to it. How can you successfully glue silicone material together?
Step#1: Get your tools ready:
Gather all your tools you need. That’s the first thing to do. You only need few items, though. These include a silicone adhesive, Activator/Accelerator, adhesive promoter, sandpaper, and a heat gun or hairdryer.
Using hand gloves could make it harder for you to glue your silicone perfectly. So, hand gloves aren’t crucial at any stage of the silicone bonding process.
Keep in mind also that the only thing that can glue silicone is silicone itself. So you can either use silicone glue or silicone caulk. These make the gluing process successful, as the silicone adhesives come packed with several goodies that increase the tack.
Step#2: Sandpaper the silicone:
Here you have to make both surfaces rough using your sandpaper. Doing so will help make the surface you’re bonding stick together.
Step#3: Clean the surfaces:
After sandpapering, clean the surface with a cleaner. The aim is to ensure there are no residues on the silicone rubbers’ surfaces.
After using a cleaner, the next step is to use a soft cloth to wipe the surfaces. This will help get rid of any residue that could hamper the bonding process.
Step#4: Use adhesive promoter:
Now that the surface is clean and free of residues, your next step should be to apply an adhesive promoter on both surfaces.
Adhesive promoters are coupling agents. Once applied, they can increase the bonding strength between the substrate and coating.
Step#5: Apply activator/accelerator:
At this stage, you have to spray one of the silicone rubber’s surfaces with an Activator/Accelerator (AA). Doing so will help speed up the curing process and make the bond between silicone materials stronger.
Step#6: Warm-up both surfaces:
Now is the time to use your heat gun or hairdryer. Both are effective for this process. So use any of the heat sources to warm up the surfaces.
Please take note of the word “warm.” Don’t make the surface hot. When you touch the surface, it should be warm.
On the other hand, the temperature should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit and nothing more.
Step#7: Put the silicone adhesive to use:
Only silicone can bond silicone. You can use silicone glue or silicone caulk; any of these would do the trick. These adhesives boast several goodies that can help to increase the tack.
How you apply the SI adhesive is also very important. So please take note. Apply the glue to the opposite side to where you have the Activator/Accelerator (AA) applied. And ensure that the adhesive reaches the joined edge.
Step#8: Apply some pressure:
After applying adhesive to the silicone, most people allow the joined surface to bond alone. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best way to glue silicone together.
If you want the surfaces to stick for an extended period, hold them together for a while. That is, press both surfaces together for a minimum of 15 minutes. Don’t ever let go until the 15 minutes elapses.
Step#9: Apply silicone adhesive to the seam:
A successful silicone bond is one that’s firm and lasts long. And there’s no better time to make the surfaces bond well than when the glue applied is still fresh.
So, apply a little bit of the silicon adhesive on the seam on the joined surface. Do this to make the bond stronger and long-lasting.
Ensure that the silicone adhesive you’re applying is on the seam alone. It shouldn’t land on other parts of the silicone. If it does, it could make the material look rough.
Step#10: Apply Activator/Accelerator on the seam:
The Activator/Accelerator (AA) intensifies the silicone adhesive’s chemical reaction, making it firmer and long-lasting.
So, for the last time, spray some Activator/Accelerator (AA) on the seam.
So that’s it. You have successfully bonded your silicone together.
A Handy Tip: Upon completing the above bonding process, your silicone would be joined together. But the strength of the bond would depend on how long you allow it to cure. So give the silicone more time to heal if you want the bond to be stronger.
How To Glue Silicone To Metal, Steel, And Aluminum
Most people don’t believe that silicone can be bonded or glued to anything other than itself. And frankly, you won’t know this unless you try. The truth is, you can glue or bond silicone to metals, steel, or aluminum.
However, bonding silicone to steel, metal, or aluminum materials is almost similar to bonding silicone together.
The only significant difference is that you need to sandpaper the steel, metal, or aluminum with coarse grade sandpaper. That’s the first thing to do to prepare the metals.
The next step would be to sandpaper the metals with low-grit coarse sandpaper. The grit should be somewhere around 400 to 600.
After sandpapering the silicon rubber and any of the three metals mentioned, you can then follow the process mentioned above to complete the bonding.
Remember to also hold the silicone and metal firmly together for 15 minutes. Doing so will enable the materials to bond and be stronger.
A Handy Tip: Just like bonding silicone together, if you want your silicone to metal bond to be stronger, give it more time to cure.
Uses Of Silicone Rubber
Silicone is one of the most vital elements to humankind. Little wonder why it’s so much talked about.
However, silicon is the raw material. And together with other components, it’s used to produce silicone rubber, used in several applications.
Silicone’s use in automotive applications is quite broad. One of them is on spark plug wires. You’ll find several layers of silicone on spark plugs’ wires, serving as insulators. And that’s the reason sparks don’t jump to any adjacent wire to cause misfires.
The use of silicone tubing in automotive intake systems is also widespread. So overall, silicone is used in automotive to ensure safety and reliability.
Silicone rubber’s use also extends to baking, cooking, and food storage products. They are considered the future of bakeware. Silicone rubber is relatively easier to use and does much better than non-stick pans.
Furthermore, silicone molds don’t require greasing and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Being heat-resistant is one reason silicone is the future of bakeware. You can place silicone rubber in the microwave oven without fear. Furthermore, you can put silicone rubbers in the freezer.
Contrary to many views, silicone boasts low toxicity levels and impressive thermal stability. It doesn’t change a food item’s flavor or release odor that could affect a food’s quality.
Silicone’s use in the fashion world is also massive. Companies use silicone to produce undergarments, footwear, sportswear, and other apparel.
Again, silicone is used in electronics, computer hardware, and other applications. So you can see how valuable silicone is to almost every industry.
Though tricky, it’s possible to glue silicone together. You can bond or glue silicone together or silicone to metals using a suitable adhesive and following the proper process.
Holding both parts of the bonded material for over fifteen minutes can help make the bond firmer. It would help if you also allowed the bond more time to cure and become firm.
We have highlighted the steps you need to take to glue your silicone together. Just read and follow them to get it done.