Glueing a broken plastic refrigerator shelf

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My wife put 2 cartons of milk on the same shelf and that proved to be too much weight for it and both back corners snapped off in almost identical pieces. I've never had success gluing two pieces of plastic together to support weight but I'd like to try something different and see if it works. I'm going to take my Dremel and drill about 6 holes in each side of the pieces to be joined. Then I'm going to insert pieces of a paper clip into each hole to act as reinforcement for the glue to adhere to much in the same way rebar works in cement. Has anyone had any success with this? I'm thinking if nothing else it will increase the surface area of the connection. Any hints on making it work better? I'm going to use Gorilla Glue to join the pieces because it will expand into the holes
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broken pieces. I used Phenoseal ( great adhesive caulking) to put all the parts together. It's been a few years without failure. MLD
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I had a plastic clamp for a clip-on fan break,and I used epoxy and popsicle sticks to reinforce it;you have to let the epoxy cure for a week or two before putting it under stress,to get it's full strength. The clamp has a very strong spring,and it's held up for about two years now. I used RAKA boat building epoxy and fumed silica thickener. I tried J- B Weld before that,but it didn't hold up very long.It seems to be a softer epoxy. System Three or West System epoxy would do just as well as the RAKA.
The popsicle sticks are stiff and give more strength than a paper clip will,and epoxy bonds to it better.
Polyurethane glues are crap.(Gorilla Glue)They also foam up,expand and make a mess.For wood,I guess they are OK.
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Jim Yanik
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That's weird, I was doing some reading last night and it was recommended to stay away from epoxy for plastic and then someone said polyurethane worked great on plastic. Confusing. I guess all plastics are different and some work best with poly and others with epoxy. I've had great success with Gorilla Glue. I think the people who don't aren't clamping the piece for 24 hrs. I've had the same experience you've had with JB Weld. Funny, I used it a decade ago to fix a crack in my radiator that sealed it shut now I have a problem getting it to join anything that is stressed, I wonder if they changed the formula. I'll try the Raka stuff you mentioned, any clue on where I can locally?
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You are right.

Clamp plastic and you squeeze out the glue. Poly works best with wood because it's designed to cure in the presence of moisture already present in the wood.

sealing and -joining- are two different tasks. You need more bond strength for joining.Lots more for stressed parts.

AFAIK,RAKA is only available online,West System and System Three are at least equal and usually available locally(boat,woodworking shops),but System Three online has an EXCELLENT trial kit for $10(last I checked,awhile ago) postpaid,it also has generous samples of various fillers,the great Epoxy Book,a wonderful guide to using epoxies(a MUST read,IMO.),spreaders,mixing cups and sticks,and a big piece of fiberglass cloth.It will have enough epoxy for your application. **And I don't have any financial association with them.**
I have used their trial kit and loved it.I still have the trial kit box,book,and some of the fillers.I also get glass cloth from a hobby shop,you can get very light weight cloths(top finishing) or heavier,stronger cloths. You can also use strands from the glass cloth in your repair.
the plastic I dealt with was similar to Bakelite.
your fridge shelf is going to get a lot of weight put on it,and it WILL need reinforcement.I would use the popsicle sticks,a bit of that glass cloth on both top and bottom,build it up thick(on the bottom side),and cure it for 2 weeks before putting it into the fridge.The Epoxy Book will really help you in this repair,and you can DL it for free from the System Three website even if you go with West System.
IIRC;www.systemthree.com.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

The secret is usng Just enough. The popsicle sticks are a neat trick. When I can, I use string or cording. Iie the ends of the string together when wet. (It will be stromger when dryas it shrinks.) Make a tight knot. Wrap the string around item that needs to be clamped(for gluing). Then take a stick/pencil/dowel, loop string around such then start twisting the stick/pencil dowel until tight. Then tape stick, etc. solid or secure pencil/stick on itself or wedge it so it remains tight. It works wonders and is cheaper than clamps.

--
Betty Boop


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replying to MLD, Asiangem wrote:

I used Sugru to fix my refrigerator door.
Sugru is the world’s first mouldable glue that turns into rubber glue
It all started with an idea and a small team of product designers and material scientists here in London. Their dream is to make fixing, modifying and making things easy and fun for anyone, and Sugru is our solution.
Their patented silicone technology is unique. Out of the pack, Sugru feels like play-dough, and it's that easy to use too. It bonds to almost any other material and cures just by exposing it to air. Its durable cured properties mean it'll stay strong and securely bonded anywhere from the freezer to a steamy hot shower, from the home to the great outdoors.
https://sugru.com/guides/how-to-fix-...ing-with-sugru
I do not sell the product or have any connection to the product - just that it worked to fix a hole and molded an hook for my shelf which was in the inside of the door.
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Kal,
Did you glue on the shelf supports or the shelf?
Dave M.
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Asiangem wrote:

Worsk for me.
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I'd suggest a 2 part epoxy glue. Gorilla glue is great on porous materials but doesn't stick to plastic, that's why you can pull off the cap even when its coated with dried glue.

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Joe writes:

You have no chance of succeeding without analysis of the species of plastic and what will bond to it. Few plastics admit a glue bond anything close to the strength of the original material (which, after all, itself failed), so your quest is quite futile. The notion of pinning is misconceived.
Polyurethane glue such as the overhyped brand you mention has its applications, but this isn't one of them, and you shouldn't be suckered by the phony labeling into thinking it is.
Glues and stuff to pour into your car are sold as easy miracles to solve hopeless problems. It's best to learn that not every claim on the retail shelf is credible, despite your natural credulity. Save your child's wonder for the toy store, and develop your aging cynicism for $10 bottles of stickum.
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You need to test a few spots to see what will hold. I love to use crazy glue (Cyanoacrylate Adhesives) but it only works on certain plastics and basically solvent welds them together. In some cases it's stronger than the original bond.

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CA doesn't solvent weld most plastics any more than it does on metal or wood. It also isn't that good under continuous weight bearing duty in either cold or hot temperatures, unless you get the really good stuff (not the teensy tubes from a variety store), and even then it's not so hot...
Best to do some tests. Even model airplane glue might just do the trick depending on the plastic and careful application.
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Chris Lewis,

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wrote:

for everything else as it is too damn brittle.
Try acetone. It temporarilly disolves the plastic into a goo. Brush some on the edge of both pieces. Touch to gooey sides together, and when it "dries" it'll be a single piece of plastic.
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Yeah, but it does work well on skin! I recently discovered how well when my 7 year old fell and made a nice gash on his nose that I thought would need stitches. Off to the E.R. where they stuck him back together with (medical grade) superglue. Within about 10 days the would healed perfectly with no trace of a scar. The Doc was right -- much better than stitches!
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Depends on the plastic. Model airplane glue is little more than polystyrene dissolved in acetone to give it some body. If your shelving is polystyrene (good chance), either acetone or model airplane glue will work more or less the same, and model airplane glue is easier to work with - won't dribble all over the place. Just get fresh stuff - semi-congealed stuff won't work...
However, not all plastics are polystyrene. Acetone won't do a thing to polyethylene for example. Essentially nothing will. Some plastics just don't "glue". The "slippery ones" generally don't, no matter what you use.
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Chris Lewis wrote:
...

Shelving is probably not polystyrene. Even citrus oils dissolve polystyrene. It would not do to have refrigerator shelves marred because you put oranges in the fridge. Polystyrene (unless it is foamed) tends to be on the brittle side (in my experience). Those clear plastic (brittle) disposable beverage cups are polystyrene.
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Buy a replacement shelf. Really.
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I tried something similar with disappointing results. Your mileage might be better. Replacement shelves are way too expensive, So I'd just do without the shelf until the refrigerator gets trashed. I have good woodworking skills, so I'd construct a slotted shelf from white oak.
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wrote:

Assuming the shelf itself broke, I was fortunate enough to be able to use those plastic coated wire shelf racks you cut to length (Borg item). Got it to fit in the existing clips fairly easily.
The rest of the old plated wire racks then looked like crap. Replaced them all.
Have you tried duct tape? :-)
"It's only temporary, unless it works." Red...
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