I have to re-attach a piece of plastic which is the pivot for 2 pieces
of plastic to hinge. It's like a plastic rivet. Unfortunately the top
of the 'rivet' has come off (top is about 2cm across) and needs to be
glued back onto the shaft (about 1cm diameter tube, about 2-3mm of
What would be the best glue to do this, considering that it is under
quite a bit of stress when the 2 arms are flexed?
Whether or not it is a long term fix is another matter - I just need it
to work for as long as possible.
What sort of plastic?
Gluing plastics is problematic in general, many simply don't glue well.
Chances of repairing a structural element is fairly small.
Does the bit of plastic have any recycling marks? (3 arrows, with a number
Without seein/knowing the what it really looks like I doubt whether you
will a succesfull fix if the area is taking stress on it with glue, could
you not make another rivet? Modellers shops sell all sorts of plastic
I'm having difficulty visualising this, but as well as glueing, would it
be possible to drill a fine hole through the "rivet" and insert a steel
pin (even an expendable drill bit?) to give it some additional strength?
Think about this - your rivet has already failed once, and that was from
an un-glued starting point. You have zero chance of getting this to work.
Other options to consider:
- Steel machine screw through the rivet
- Replace rivet with a new one
- Replace rivet with steel equivalent
Sounds a tall order for any type of glue... also, the optimum glue would
depend on the type of plastic - what is it?
I'd definitely go for some form of mechanical reinforcement here - can
you replace the shaft with a metal component, eg a bolt with a locking
nut at the other end? (Is the cosmetic appearance important - you don't
say what the application is) Or at the very least, if you do repair
using glue, you could drill a small pilot hole down the centre of the
top and shaft, and fit a screw to pull the whole lot together and
I had a plastic lug snap off one of the internal shelf doors in
the freezer. This looked like it might be a problem to glue, so
I melted the two surfaces quickly over a gas flame and pushed
them together, and it's been fine for the 10 years of use since.
Obviously, this only works with thermosoftening plastics.
Thanks for all the advice. In the end I decided against gluing because
of the weak bond it would probably end up with. The item is basically
something 2 foot long with a large 'hinge' in the middle (completely
plastic item) to fold it to half size - visualise one of those old rules
which folded in half.
The two halves were fixed together by two plastic plugs with a screw
which held them together. I cannot see exactly though how they screwed
together as removing the screw does not allow the two parts to come
apart - maybe someone's repaired it before??
Anyway - my fix in the end was to replace the plastic collar bit which
came off, with a large metal washer. A screw used to go through the
middle of this collar, so I could just screw the washer on with that. I
had hoped to also replace the screw with a longer one, buy B&Q didn't
have any suitable.
This is something I've sold on eBay for a not insignificant amount (not
enough to just refund the money). It literally fell apart as I packaged
it! (It's ex-work). The fix makes the item completely working again
and likely to be much longer lasting than either a glued repair, or even
maybe the original design. Therefore I'm completely happy to pass the
item onto the purchaser - in fact, I'm glad it broke before it got
posted, and otherwise it could very well have broken either in the post,
or more likely when the purchaser first had a fiddle with it.
Glueing plastics never works well. I'm struggling to understand the
description of part your are trying to glue anyway.
I find I have some success by hot riviting small broken plastic parts.
For smaller parts I use ordinary paper staples, bent so provide the
reinforcement needed, then pushed into the plastic with an hot
There is quite a range of plastics. If you can shave a sliver off, hold it
in tweezeers, light it note the nature of the flame (if any) and the odour
on the flame going out, I could venture a guess.
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail /
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.