View Full Version : What glue is best for rubber to metal

10-19-2012, 01:51 AM
I tested some different glues that I had and posted my conclusion in a video. If you have suggestions for a better glue... let me know.


10-19-2012, 06:56 AM
Your videos are just great!! My wife says you should be on the radio or talking books.

10-19-2012, 07:22 AM
Good video.

I think though ..for a better ,more scientific test ..
1. You should have abraded both the rubber and the aluminium
2 .You should have wiped the surfaces with isopropyl .


i want to congratulate you on the video though ...that's just the thing that would get you a job if you put a link to it in a a CV.

how many times did you have to do the narration without getting tongue tied .

All the best....markj

10-19-2012, 07:30 AM
I've used a 2 part rubber adhesive in the past and you can not separate them after the cure time is up. I can't recall the name but after some googlfoo I found it SC2000 (http://www.rematiptop.com/technical/ind/REMA-TIP-TOP-SC2000-Cement-Bonding-Procedures-Rev4.pdf)


10-19-2012, 09:12 AM
Good video.

I think though ..for a better ,more scientific test ..
1. You should have abraded both the rubber and the aluminium
2 .You should have wiped the surfaces with isopropyl .

All the best....markj

That's great feedback! Thanks!

10-19-2012, 09:16 AM
To avoid being tongue tied and saying a "um" a bunch of times... I chose to narrate during the post video editing. That way I can organize what I want to say and I can do repeated takes for each section until it's as good as I can make it. :D

Grind Hard
10-19-2012, 10:13 AM
Depends on what sort of rubber to what sort of metal.

Surface prep and cleaning is critical.

10-19-2012, 10:14 AM
I didn't watch the video all the way through, as I don't have sound here at work. I'll try to remember to watch when I get home.

Do you know what type of rubber it is? I would investigate adhesives for that type.

My story: Trying to glue some AAA battery holders to wood. 5 minute epoxy...no good. RTV Silicone...nope. Turns out the battery holders are made of polypropelene and 3M makes a special adhesive just for it...looks a lot like the tube to the far right in your demonstration, but I forget the number offhand. This stuff works great!

I have no doubt there are just as many different types of rubber as there are plastics. I also have no doubt that no matter what type of rubber it is, 3M makes a glue for it. Look in the 'non-structural' section of their web site.

Good luck!

10-19-2012, 10:19 AM
I think though ..for a better ,more scientific test ..
1. You should have abraded both the rubber and the aluminium
2 .You should have wiped the surfaces with isopropyl .


I have to agree with this, I know it makes a big difference when using contact cement with rubber to metal. I also think that the rubber sometimes still has some type of mold release agent on it from manufacturing.

10-19-2012, 10:35 AM
If you have suggestions for a better glue... let me know.

It's expensive, but I don't think you'll find anything that adheres and holds better than 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive Sealer.

It's a polyurethane with a caulk-like consistency and once it cures (~24 hours), you won't separate the parts without an angle grinder or Sawzall, and even then you'll use up some kiloWatt-hours. It's miserable stuff to undo.

10-19-2012, 11:16 AM
Nice job on the video! If you really want more suggestions, I'd like to hear what you think of E-6000. I've used it to glue up custom vibration mounts for a 7 1/2 hp motor, among other things. It has just the right amount of flexibility, adheres well to rubber stoppers and steel and is very strong. In most cases though it is really hard to beat a good polyurethane.

Mike Amick
10-19-2012, 02:24 PM
The vid was very nice. I am somewhat confused as to your opinion of the winner though. It was
totally obvious that the super glue won .. you couldn't even completely separate the rubber from
the alum. Why even include it in the test if you had some kind of bias against it ? I have a
feeling that .. even if you wouldn't have been able to separate the pieces even a little .. you would
have said .. " wow .. worked good here, but I don't trust it so on to the next sample. " And I
understand that and somewhat agree.

But I think I would have preferred that you explained your bias and excluded it from the tests, instead
of disregarding the results.

Really well done though .. nice job (other than that)

10-19-2012, 03:16 PM
Sorry about that ... I felt rushed at the end and thought I should clarify my decision, but I guess I was being a bit lazy.

I concluded that the double sided tape holding strength was more than enough.
Plus, glue would be the more messy solution... especially if the rubber would need replacement in a few years.
I love CA glue, but my experience has shown that "long term" it can be brittle and quickly fail.
Especially with the flexibility of the rubber and the range of temperatures... but it probably would have worked just fine.
I can pull the double sided tape off if I ever need to.

I like reversible solutions... screws instead of nails sorta thing.

10-19-2012, 04:07 PM
Fine Job! And nice bike too! Now you got me wanting a Triumph again.

10-19-2012, 06:57 PM
Am I right in suspecting that the sidestand application keeps the rubber under compression, and there are no tensile forces ? That would explain why you preferred the quick fix of the double sided pad over the stronger cyanoacrylate.

I agree with mark that you should abrade at least the rubber, and especially for the contact adhesive. That's what the bicycle repair man says !

Nice video. I didn't see the camera steady in use, though. Walk round the bike, kneel down as you zoom in on the sidestand ?

Bob Fisher
10-19-2012, 07:04 PM
I've always had good luck with super glue, as mentioned,cleanliness is of prime importance. Buy decent super glue though,the Loctite brand seems to work well. Bob.

10-19-2012, 07:22 PM
Three more, in my kit...

* Sanding disc cement (made by Franklin and probably impossible to locate)


** Barge cement


*** Fabric cement known as "Liquid Stitches" etc. It is not totally waterproof.


Alan Douglas
10-19-2012, 08:00 PM
The 3M 5200 is indeed amazing stuff. Besides not getting it off the parts being glued, you won't get it off your hands (or clothes) either. And once opened, the tube really should be used soon, though if it cures at both ends you can still puncture it in the middle and get more out.

CA works well for gluing rubber O-rings to make drive belts. Cutting the o-ring stock assures clean surfaces; that's probably better than abrading an existing surface and hoping to remove contaminants.

10-19-2012, 11:43 PM
From your tests, the CA seemed to hold the best, but a close second was Goop. I've had pretty good luck with that for many things, including aluminum and rubber. E-6000 is pretty close to Goop, so should work well also. It supposedly has a higher strength than Goop. One of the factors is that it should be applied quickly, in other words don't let the solvent flash off or a skin to form before bringing the parts together. But you can use it as a contact cement as well, and in that case you do let the solvent evaporate to a great extent. Bear in mind that compounds that work by having a solvent evaporate also shrink quite a bit.

CA is crisp, or non-flexible, so it doesn't do well long term on materials that are rigid and subject to cyclic expansion/contraction. That includes aluminum. Although the initial bond is very good, as you have demonstrated, it will end up fracturing away. It does bond very well to rubber, which surprised me at first, but since learning of that I have bonded many belts together without problems- using a good formulation, not the dollar store crap.

3M 5200 is pretty good stuff, agreed. It works by moisture absorption, which has been mentioned, but I would add that it doesn't shrink during the curing process. If you're using it to create a part, that part will come out the same size as the glob you laid down. It has been suggested that for thick sections, or in dry climates, you should breathe on the parts before applying the 5200. I have not yet tried machining the cured compound, but I have a feeling that you could grind it successfully. I would be very wary of the dust and fumes that may be generated though.

10-20-2012, 01:01 AM
Dang Darryl. You are spot on and I agree 100% with everything you said. I just wish I had stated it so clearly. That's why I didn't use the CA glue. I chose the 3m tape because it was the least messy and strong enough for my application. The goop was actually better than the 3m tape and I would expect E-6000 to be even better. That would be my first or second choice depending on the next application where I need to glue rubber to metal.

10-20-2012, 03:33 AM
As said, abrading then cleaning the surfaces (usually with denatured alcohol or acetone) is mandatory for maximizing the bond with virtually any adhesive. Also, many adhesives benefit greatly by even a light clamping.

I manufacture a product that requires the bonding of similar materials and demands long term reliability in a harsh environment. Loctite 380, 4211 and some similar products all work well.
Loctite makes many specialized CA adhesives and application data is just a Google search away.

Double sided tape has some yield and is more likely to fail in shear (which a kickstand is surely going to see) than an appropriate CA. I have, however, had excellent luck with the grey 3M/Scotch automotive molding double sided tape (aka- outdoor mounting tape). It is thin and the glue bond is tenacious.

5200 is very handy stuff, but it doesn't like much heat. They say it is good for 190. Heat from the sun can kill it.
What i did just learn from the spec sheet:
- Alcohol should not be used in preparation for bonding as it will stop the curing process, causing
the adhesive to fail.

Specs for 5200:

10-20-2012, 04:10 AM
Apparently alcohol enters the 'pores' in the product and thus prevents moisture from diffusing into it. No moisture, no cure. Interesting how that whole process works. I imagine that the alcohol molecule gets trapped- otherwise it would eventually dissipate and the cure would begin.

I have an unopened tube of 5200 that's about a year past its date- I wonder if it will still work- all I can do is try it. I was given a box of assorted epoxy putties, flexible epoxy, etc, that had been stored on a high shelf in a hobby shop. It was warm enough at 'ground' level, let alone up near the ceiling. The epoxy putty still works, but the rest of it is useless. I have no way of knowing where that tube of 5200 had been kept before I got it-

This has made me much more aware of all the 'perishable' glues, paint, and other chemical stuff I have around here. I now try to keep all that stuff in a cool, dry place.

Alan Douglas
10-20-2012, 10:29 AM
If you can push on the side of the tube and dent it, the 5200 is still uncured inside.

10-20-2012, 03:22 PM
Funny how my tube has all these little dents all over it. I guess I've tested it several times. :)

Mike Amick
10-20-2012, 05:02 PM
Can the 5200 be purchased locally ... or .. mainly online ?

10-20-2012, 05:12 PM
I bought mine through Lordco, though a couple of the marine places carried it. Seems though they only stock cheaper stuff these days, so it was going to be a special order. I did get some of the cheaper stuff, but it doesn't compare.

01-29-2016, 06:19 AM
Super Glue will bond some types of rubber to metal.

01-29-2016, 07:14 AM
I bonded some engine mounts on a land rover which had separated with pro superglue. steel to rubber bond, ground back to bright metal, cleaned the rubber with lacquer thinner and bonded. left under light compression in a vice, then refitted. They were still good when I sold it six years later!

01-29-2016, 07:45 AM
one word: sikaflex

01-29-2016, 08:20 AM
You guys do know the thread's over 3 years old, right?

Paul Alciatore
01-29-2016, 01:42 PM
Well, I am glad someone brought it up. I have to glue the rubber on my truck's running board. So I am reading with interest. I had to throw away the previous can of contact cement I had as it went bad years ago. I won't buy water based contact cement again. Looks like some good choices here.

You guys do know the thread's over 3 years old, right?

01-29-2016, 04:56 PM
I watched the video again. I may not have noticed at the time, but when he spread the goop it looked a little dried at the start, coming out of the tube. My experience has been that unless you start with it fresh it won't hold as well. In the testing it looked like it was holding fairly well though- better than most adhesives that he tried. I could also tell that he hadn't roughed up any surfaces, and that makes me wonder if he did a chemical cleaning at all, like brake clean or pvc prep- I use brake clean quite a bit but only have tried pvc prep once, and don't recall the results.

I've had pretty good luck with CA on rubber, but I don't know how well it would stand up on a surface that goes through temperature extremes- especially where the material has a high rate of thermal expansion. And in using CA, especially with a hardener, the dollar store ones just don't seem to cut it.

01-29-2016, 06:24 PM
Yeah, I like Sikaflex too!, but wear gloves!!

01-29-2016, 11:44 PM
I have to glue the rubber on my truck's running board.

3-M Weatherstrip Adhesive should work great on that Paul. They make it in black, in addition to the 'classic' snot color.
The stuff is super handy to have on hand.

Ian B
01-30-2016, 04:48 AM
Decades ago, I worked on the full scale fatigue test rigs of a Buccaneer and an F4 Phantom. We transmitted the simulated loads to the wings & airframes through round rubber pads bonded to the aluminium surfaces and the hydraulic ram attachment points.

The procedure was to soak the rubber pads in sulphuric acid, which caused the surface to harden. The pad was then taken and beaten with a hammer, causing the hardened surface to crack. The areas to be glued were then cleaned, and epoxy was applied and cured with heat lamps.

Occasionally, a pad would pull off, but not often - it was the best method we'd found.

Anyone interested can see the actual Buccaneer test rig here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46a-7N_13Sk - 3 minutes 53 seconds from the start. The rams on the Buccaneer test rig were beneath the aircraft, for the F4, they were all above.


01-30-2016, 08:54 AM
In testing glue bonds you need to know the final application. Will the failure likely be due to the joint in tension, compression, shear, peal, or environment. Some bonding materials work well in one or two but fail miserably in others. An analogy is Velcro. Separate two pieces apart by pealing them from one end. Easy, no?. Now try to separating them by pulling perpendicular to their joint. No go. Then try separating them by pulling them in the plane to the joint, in shear mode. Again, no go. Glue bonds can behave in similar manners. Glue manufacturers can be a real help...3M, Master Bond, Henkel (Loctite).... And as mentioned over and over, surface prep is cardinal.

As an aside, I noticed that the OP only placed GOOP on one surface. They recommend on both, like contact cement. And, though GOOP comes in a variety of labels for specific applications...Shoe, Automotive, Marine, Plumbing, Crafts, and others...they are all the same glue. I got that straight from a nice lady at the company when I went looking for MSDS sheet(s). Ahhh, Marketing. ;)


01-30-2016, 04:28 PM
I think the goop formulation is the same for all types, but the amount of solvent might be different. I've had household, automotive, and marine from the same-looking tube. Household seems the thinnest, and that probably means the longest working time, plus the most shrinkage. Automotive and marine were thicker, but both about the same. Maybe there's additives that suit marine (damp) or automotive (under-hood temps) but I don't know. What I got when I called the company was 'it's rubber'- and they wouldn't give any other info.

A.K. Boomer
01-30-2016, 07:24 PM
honorable mentions would also be the adhesive they sell to auto-body shops that they use to glue metal together --- it will tear steel before it lets go -- and is still somewhat flexible --- I don't think you get much stronger than that

also and "maybe" 3/M super weather strip adhesive --- it's the real "gorrila snot" and actually close to the same color *guessing...

With what was shown I think I would have went with the super glue,,, again you don't get much better then tearing the material off that you glued instead of the glue itself...