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Adhesives for 6061

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  • Adhesives for 6061

    I'm working on a project in 6061 aluminum. Some of the parts are small and don't have allowances for drilling and tapping. Do any of you guys ever need to use an adhesive between two pieces of aluminum? And if so, what adhesive do you use? What is the expected life of the joint?


    There's only one way to find out, might as well get started now!

  • #2
    I just glued some aluminum with superglue and slightly misaligned it. Couldn't get it apart till I applied some heat. If the application will see any warmth you might want to go with a temperature rated epoxy if the clearances allow it.


    • #3
      Google "structural aluminum adhesives". There are a variety of high-performance adhesives designed for the aerospace industry.

      For a general purpose, high strength adhesive, try Loctite's H8000.

      (Notice that it is an acrylic adhesive ... basically just juiced-up super glue. If they are small parts that don't see a lot of loading/heat, try some super glue as Wilhelm suggested!)


      • #4
        I've used PC-7 epoxy. Works well. I have not tried any aluminum-specific adhesives, so there may well be one which is ideal for aluminum. Would be interesting to know of that-

        Ok, reading into that a bit it seems there are some from a few different makers. Maybe one is about as good an another. Loctite, 3M, etc.
        Last edited by darryl; 12-26-2010, 05:04 AM.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          In as past lifetime I used a variety of epoxies on aluminum mainly for marine work. Never an issue... Take care that you joint isn't exposed to sunlight, or paint it; many epoxies do not contain UV inhibitors.


          • #6
            It helps to etch, with something like "Alumidyne" and then alodyne the surface to be bonded. It gives it a bit of "tooth" without injecting contaminates into the bond line like sandpaper of scotchbrite.

            Hysol makes something called "EA-9309" that works well, as does a 3M product EC-2216, which is way cheaper.

            here's a link with some information



            • #7
              Superglue works nicely on aluminum. I built a rack for my VCR with some aluminum angle and superglue. You would have to use some heat to get the parts to separate.


              • #8
                To etch you can use Easy-Off or just a lye solution. Rinse in hot water to remove. Permatex Cold Weld Epoxy is designed for metals including aluminum and produces a bond strength around 3000 psi shear. I bought it a few minutes ago to glue some parts on my telescope.
                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                • #9
                  What a great wealth of information. Thanks guys! I'll be shopping tomorrow.

                  Evan, I like the Easy Off etch idea. Do you spray it directly on or into a tin then use a Q-tip or something similar as an applicator?

                  Thanks again all,

                  There's only one way to find out, might as well get started now!


                  • #10
                    Structural adhesives are widely used in many industries today to replace riveting and welding.
                    I know 3M and Locktite have many products available that work well.
                    I have personally used Locktite's H8500 Speedbonder on steel sheet metal and can honestly say that on light gages of metal, the metal will tear before the bond lets go.
                    They also make a product for aluminum.


                    Here's a little video showing a test between a good adhesive vs. rivets vs. spot welds.

                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                    Location: British Columbia


                    • #11
                      Thanks for this thread. For once the product is available in Australia also.

                      On the below Permatex links you can click on the little TDS icon and get a Technical Data Sheet for the product.






                      • #12
                        Aluminium rapidly forms an oxide on its surface, which can inhibit adhesion. One way to get the glue right into the aluminium is to use the wet epoxy as the lubricant on a piece of wet-and dry paper, i.e., sand the surface using epoxy instead of water.
                        This is also a good trick for painting aluminium. It means that you don't have to use an etch primer, which is expensive and often horrible stuff to use.
                        Needless to say, rubber gloves, overalls and rude words when you drop the sandpaper are in order.