Lotus Elan

Plastic Welding

PostPost by: Bill » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:39 pm

Hi All

I came across a product by chance the other day that may help solve a problem similar to mine.

The original ABS plastic cover on the central frame member on my early (1600 S1) started to crack a few years ago, this is an early dark grey colourd one that is not, as far as I know, replicated. I was going to take it to a body repair shop that I understand can now effectively weld plastic car components.

The gizmo is an ultra violet curing tool with that activates and cures a pen dispensed crack filler and chemically bonds the break together. I haven't got to it yet but will report back.

Bondic, manufactured by Laser Bonding Tech Inc in Canada - {www.notaglue.com}. Costs about $Can20.00

Bill
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:13 am

Anxious to hear back on this. Thanks
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:51 am

Bill wrote:The gizmo is an ultra violet curing tool with that activates and cures a pen dispensed crack filler and chemically bonds the break together. I haven't got to it yet but will report back.


interesting, sounds like UV curing epoxy, which polymerization is activated by the use of short wavelength light (typically LED, no laser required) - there is a whole range of characteristics one can get (viscosity, refraction index for optical uses, dental enamel versions etc )

I would first try adhesion or chemical reaction on a non visible corner - if it sticks, you still may benefit from adding a piece of rowing to the back, to strengthen the repair (I usually do that when using polyester resin for plastic repair, after roughing the surface for adhesion).
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:01 pm

+1 to what nmauduit wrote. This is another example of a UV cured adhesive, and it still relies on a bond. That's not to demean it in any way. If it's a secure bond, and produces a permanent repair, then great, it's something positive to add to the list.

However, 'plastic welding' is something that also exists, and it has been around for decades. I worked at a company that used it back in the 70s. If you think in terms of oxy-acetylene gas welding, you'd be in the right frame of mind. Except, eliminate the flame and replace it with a stream of hot inert gas. Instead of metal welding rod, substitute a slender filler rod of the same plastic that's being welded... like ABS. In the case of your cosmetic cover that's in an unobtainium color, you could slice off a sliver of the part from a hidden edge.

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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:38 pm

chemically bonds the break together..........................................

You could say that for flour and water or a semi dried turd :D

Bottom line is it is an époxy with a different perhaps more convenient means of curing, it will probably stick very well, better than my two flippant examples but a plastic weld it is not. My dentist does my fillings with a UV cured époxy, every one of them either came unstuck or crumbled away from a poor bond (he is a K-rap dentist but the others here are even worse) after going back when the last filling fell out and insisting that he do a proper job with a crown as I had asked for, he set to work doing that and put in yet another this time temporary UV époxy filling and blow me down this one has held up but will soon be removed for the crown.

Esprit 2, I have always wanted to do proper plastic welding as I have stitched loads of shattered plastic things together over the years with a pistol soldering gun, I recently bought a soldering station with a hot air gun for surface mount work which can also be used for plastic welding also a 3D printer pen which extrudes a molten filament of either ABS or PLA (whatever that is!) in various colours, after playing with it I reckon using that and the hot air gun together i might be able to plastic weld, a bit like heating metal with oxy-acetylene and using a mig torch for the filler rod!!!!

My cunning plans never work out and these things can sit on the shelf for 10 years before one day a job arises that they are perfect for.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:49 am

Chancer wrote:My cunning plans never work out and these things can sit on the shelf for 10 years before one day a job arises that they are perfect for.


Now isn't that always the way.. I have a room full of projects pending my retirement.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:12 am

So satisfying though that something you bought in error through not paying enough attention and for which you kicked yourself finally one day is worth its weight in gold!
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:18 am

That's how I come to have a basement full of crap, I mean Elan, Porsche 944 Turbo & BMW e46 M3 parts/tools that may be useful one day. :roll:
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PostPost by: Bud English » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:57 pm

Now where did I stash that vacuum pump I bought two years ago to use when I re-veneer the dash? Yup, It's on the bottom shelf in the cabinet where I store the duplicate parts that I've bought over the years for this project. :lol:
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:01 pm

pharriso wrote:That's how I come to have a basement full of crap, I mean Elan, Porsche 944 Turbo & BMW e46 M3 parts/tools that may be useful one day. :roll:


At least you have a basement!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:27 pm

They are great to have! I went from living in a basement apartment with no garage to a house with a basement-level garage (the 'garagement' I sometimes say) with enough space for the Lotus, the motorbike, two daily drivers, workbenches, laundry, and other odds & ends. It is bliss!
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PostPost by: Bill » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:29 pm

It worked like a charm - just follow directions
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