What is the best glue to repair pinball ramps and plastics?
I hope this information contributes to the final answer to this question.
The product is called:
Weld-on - SciGrip Smarter Adhesive Solutions
3 Very Fast Set - Clear, water thin solvent cement
(used with the applicator shown)
It is one of the solvent cements that the plexiglass industry uses.
It works so well that it is considered welding…not gluing.
First of all I have no idea what ALL “plastic” pinball ramps are made of but, the few I have worked with seem to be made of polycarbonate. Also, I have no idea when pinball machines began using polycarbonate plastics, but it is unlikely that it was earlier than 1970, because it was only in 1970 that they perfected making “glass-clear” polycarbonate.
Most pinsiders have heard of the Lexan washers that protect play field plastics from breaking. Lexan is a brand name for polycarbonate. Lexan (polycarbonate plastic) takes a whack much better than plexiglass (acrylic); so it is a reasonable assumption that most modern games are using polycarbonate in all ball impact areas.
This stuff has a VERY fast working time of 1 minute, fixture time of 7 minutes, 80% strength in 24hours (and about as strong as it is going to get at 48 hours)
No need to give your plastic “bite” by roughing it up. In fact, you want smooth surfaces. Capillary action will suck it in place.
CONS: Weld-on solvent cement is easier to use on plexiglass (acetate) because it drys clear on plexiglass (acetate) if you make a mistake and accidentally drip some of it on the surface of your material (don’t attempt to wipe up a mistake, it will evaporate)
But unfortunately, if you make a mistake on polycarbonate it will not dry clear, it will cloud your clear material. So when working with it LESS IS MORE.
The secret of joining any two pieces of plastic is having the applicator (and figuring out how to use it without dripping) and letting the capillary action do its job, and most of all practice makes perfect.
This can have its cons as well. You will be tempted to tape two broken halves of plastic together before joining them. That is a mistake, because capillary action can suck the liquid up under the tape which can ugly-up the visible surface of your play field plastic. Don’t get me wrong, you can use tape to hold two pieces of plastic together, but just make sure the tape does not touch the crack you are attempting to join; use a toothpick to raise it from the surface slightly. so basically if you use tape to hold your two pieces together keep the tape off the surface of the plastic so the solvent will not travel under it as well.