Gas station without pumps

2016 October 13

Flexible adhesives

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 13:23
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I’ve started figuring out how to fix my bike seat (see Broken bike seat).  The idea is to insert at 15mm diameter aluminum rod (6061 alloy, tempered to T6) that spans the break and the high-stress point on the other side of the clamp, which is also scored and likely to fracture, and glue it in place. Originally I was planning to get someone to weld it, but that is looking like a bad idea—the heat-affected zone around the weld would lose 80% of its strength, unless the whole seat is retempered, which is a bit problematic with a powdercoat finish.  Also, grinding the weld down to the point where it is smooth enough to fit into the clamp would be difficult, and the result would again lose a lot of the strength.

I found the rod I need at McMaster-Carr, and it should arrive tomorrow, but I now need to choose an adhesive that is strong, flexible, and can cure in a thin film between the rod and the inside of the aluminum tube.

In the comments on Broken bike seat, gflint suggested a silicone adhesive, but most of the consumer ones are one-part adhesives that rely on exposure to moisture from the air to cure, which won’t work for a thin layer 10–15cm long between two pieces of aluminum.  There are two-part silicone adhesives that don’t rely on exposure to humidity for curing, but they are most marketed to industry, not easily available for one-shot end-user projects.  I don’t want to have to buy a $60 tool to apply the adhesive!

I started looking for flexible epoxies available to consumers.  Here is what I’ve found so far:

adhesive cost flexural modulus (stiffness) tensile strength flexural strength
TotalBoat FlexEpox $17.99 193,000psi 5,610psi 9,050psi
West System G/flex 650 $27.55 150,000psi ~2,000psi? or is that overlap shear strength?
Marine-Tex FlexSet $29.67 ? ? ?

Bob Smith Industries BSI-203H Mid-Cure

$8 3800psi
3M Scotch Weld DP-125 $41.52+applicator ? 3300psi (2200psi overlap shear) ?

There are undoubtedly many others (Bondo 280, for example), but I’m having a hard time finding any technical information about them. The costs are what I could find on Amazon.

Currently, I’m leaning towards the TotalBoat FlexEpox, which is cheap, has decent specs, and a slow set time, so I have time to reposition things.  I might have preferred a slightly more flexible glue, but I think this will work.

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