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Can Gorilla Glue Be Used on Plastic? What You Need to Know

man holding glue

Plastic products are often necessary in our lives. We use them in our cars, homes, and even our clothing. Since plastic materials are fragile, they often need repair services that require strong adhesives. Gorilla Glue is a popular brand that has been creating super strong adhesive products that work well with a variety of plastic products.

Common household glues might work on different plastic materials, but they usually form a weak bond and leave a sticky mess. However, Gorilla Glue provides optimum bonds with substantial durability when used on certain plastics but not all plastic. The glue might foam during the curing process but, after drying, it will form a secure and solid bond between plastic sheets. However, this glue can only provide a temporary fix to the most common plastic products.

In this article, we will investigate if Gorilla Glue works on plastic and explore the different types of plastic that work with it. Read on to find out more.

divider 7Does Gorilla Glue Work on All Plastics?

Unfortunately, there are some plastics that Gorilla Glue will not adhere to. These include:
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Silicone
  • Rubbers with a substantial oil or plasticizer composition

Nevertheless, the company has, for the past 2 decades, been working on adhesive products that can work on these plastic materials. Today, you just need to identify the type of plastic you have to glue in order to get the correct adhesive for that specific plastic type.

First, you should know that Gorilla Glue only works as a temporary fix and should not be considered a permanent fix on plastic materials. Second, Gorilla Glue doesn’t make strong bonds with plastics made with a hard outer shell.

That being said, there is no disputing that Gorilla Glue is an essential commodity in your workshop. Every Gorilla Glue formula has specific strengths and weaknesses that make it suitable for some projects and unideal for others.

How to Glue Plastic With Gorilla Glue

Even though Gorilla Glue might not be as reliable as other glue brands, it can serve as a temporary solution in a dire situation. To successfully bond plastic products with Gorilla Glue, follow these steps.

1. Prepare the Surface

The first and most important step is to prepare the surface of the plastic that you will be working on. Ensure it is clean and free of any dirt or debris. You can use a paper towel to wipe down the surface of smooth plastics.

If you are working with hard plastic materials, you may need to roughen up the surface so that Gorilla Glue can stick to it. You can use sandpaper, which is readily available at hardware stores, or a simple file to roughen up the surface so that the glue can spread in and create a bond.


2. Wet the Plastic

boiling water_Shutterstock_Lenti Hill
Image Credit: Lenti Hill, Shutterstock

After cleaning the surface, soak one side of the plastic, while being careful not to saturate it.


3. Apply Gorilla Glue

Next, apply the glue to the plastic while ensuring that you evenly distribute it on the surface. You can use a spatula or brush to apply the glue. However, remember that you should not apply too much of it because it may cause the plastic to warp.


4. Clamp the Surfaces Together

After applying the Gorilla Glue, tightly press the two pieces of plastic together. Since the glue will start hardening in a matter of seconds, you need to confirm that the plastic pieces are correctly aligned.

Depending on the size of the material being glued, you can use a weight or a clamp to hold heavier plastic pieces together as the glue dries.

Tape or a rubber band can hold lighter and smaller plastic products. The moist glue displaced while clamping the plastic pieces can be removed with a clean piece of cloth by wiping in the opposite direction.


5. Allow the Glue to Dry

After applying the glue, you need to give it time to dry. Most Gorilla Glue varieties typically take 10–45 seconds to cure and about 1 hour to dry completely. However, experts recommend that you let the glue sit for at least 24 hours for it to completely dry and cure on the surface.

Don’t disturb or move the pieces before they have bonded together. After confirming the glue has dried, remove the unused dried glue around your joint with chisels, or sandpaper.


6. Test the Bond

After the Gorilla Glue has dried, you need to test the strength of the bond created. You could either try pulling the pieces apart or bend them to see if they snap. If the bond is strong, then you have successfully glued plastic with Gorilla Glue.

divider 4

Risks Involved in Bonding Gorilla Glue With Plastic: Safety Precautions to Take

Yes, a few risks are involved in using Gorilla Glue to bond plastic products. First, the glue is very strong and even harder to remove once it has dried up. If you try to force it out of unevenly clamped pieces, the dry glue can damage the plastic.

Second, Gorilla Glue can be poisonous to the body once ingested. Therefore, you should try as much as you can to limit contact with your mouth and eyes. In addition, Gorilla Glue can release toxic fumes, so it’s safer to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Generally, observe these safety precautions when using Gorilla Glue:
  • Always wear safety gloves when using the glue.
  • Try to limit the fumes inhaled by using the glue in a well-ventilated room.
  • Never allow the glue to come into contact with your mouth, eyes, or skin. If it does, wash it off immediately with warm soapy water and gently scrub it until it comes off.
  • Do not allow children or pets to get into contact with it.
  • Store it in a cool, dry place.
  • Follow the instructions on the label.

divider 7Conclusion

While Gorilla Glue may be a popular adhesive product due to its versatility and strength, it doesn’t work well on PP and PE plastic materials. Its adhesive quality depends on the glue’s ability to expand and sink into the materials that require bonding. Unfortunately, most plastics lack the necessary moisture content on their surface that is required to activate Gorilla Glue’s bonding process.

If you need to create a strong bond between PP and PE plastics, you should consider other gluing options. But, if you absolutely have to use Gorilla Glue on plastic, consider sanding and then cleaning the surface to make sure that the glue has somewhere to grab on.

Just remember to follow the instructions on the label provided by the manufacturers. The glue is best used in a well-ventilated area, and you should test the bond before using the glued plastic items.


Featured Image Credit: Studio_Fennel, Shuttertock

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