Considerations for gluing metal to metal

If you want to attach metal to metal and don’t have the equipment to contemplate soldering, gluing it together could be the solution. Whilst companies who work daily with metal items such as a Rivet Shelving company will have all the necessary equipment for soldering and dealing with any parts of the shelving that no longer join together, the average person doesn’t have access to these items. There are a number of things that you need to consider before selecting the right glue for your needs.


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Select an adhesive

There are a number of products available that can be used, such as polyurethane, epoxy and preparations containing cyanoacrylate (superglue). Two-part epoxy and superglue are good choices, especially the epoxy, which comprises two elements that must be combined before using it. Both of these can be bought at a hardware store. To find out more about superglue and how it was discovered, see this report from the BBC on the man who invented it.


Clean your metal surfaces thoroughly and sand them with fine sandpaper to help roughen the surfaces, or add some texture to make it easier for them to bond together. Avoid touching these surfaces, as your fingers will leave oil that interferes with the gluing process.


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Apply adhesive

Follow the instructions on how much glue to use and apply it to the surfaces. If you’re using epoxy, combine it according to the instructions and then apply it. Work quickly to ensure that the glue doesn’t spoil, and use it in an area that has plenty of ventilation to minimise any risk of inhaling the fumes. Once glued together, your creation should be left alone overnight to give it time to cure completely.

Add pressure

Clamping or pressing the surfaces together in some way after gluing is considered to be a good idea as it will form a stronger bond while the curing process takes place.
Superglue bonds more quickly, but the surfaces really need to fit together quite closely to obtain a good result. Any gaps between the metal surfaces could mean that the bond is not as strong as it should be. Although the superglue acts very quickly, it should be given several hours to cure.

When working on a project that requires strong glue, always take care not to get it on yourself or on any of your other materials or work surfaces.

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