What would be the best way of repairing a crack/split in a 'hard shell'
Is it possible to weld the plastic together again? - If so how?
(I would buy a new suitcase if I could find reasonable size ones without
I have tried that with suitcases made from different plastics at
various times and have never been successful for any length of time
using glue or solvent welding or heat welding.
I say "any length of time" because it tends to depend heavily on
frequency of use and mode of transport. I travel somewhere pretty
much weekly by air. That's pretty harsh treatment.
If the requirement is more occasional or is mainly land based travel
where one can control the handling of the luggage, then strength is
I have had one of the older type of Samsonite types for some time -
maybe nearly 10 years - and it's still pretty good, but slightly too
small for current needs. I tried one of the current model Samsonite
equivalents and found that the catches failed after one trip. It was
replaced. The replacement failed. I should add that I don't overpack
or overload and place a luggage strap around anyway.
I now have four main luggage items that I use individually or in
combination, depending on the type and length of trip and mode of
- For the shortest trips, a Tumi expandable wheelie bag. This is
regulation aircraft carry on size. I use it for that or on short land
trips. I don't check it in.
- For medium size trips (i.e. best part of a week), the old Samsonite case.
- For longer trips, I have a Rimowa case. They are best known for
their traditional ridged aluminium designs, but now have an extensive
range in polycarbonate as well. The plastic is thinner than the
more typical ABS cases which means that if dented it simply pops back.
There is a large weight saving as well which is important now that
checkin items are now often limited to 23kg. I go to the U.S. fairly
often, and having TSA locks is useful as well. On other cases, the
locks have to be left open on check in or the TSA may break them to
look inside. I bought this one from an on-line place in Germany and
IIRC it was about half the price of UK suppliers and cost about 15
Euros to ship. In over three years of use, it's holding up well.
It does have wheels - 4 on the model I have, which I find useful
because it saves titting around with broken or chargeable luggage
trollies in airports. Possibly like you, I've had disappointing
experiences in the past with mimsy wheels being broken off of cases by
the apes doing baggage handling. On this case, they are very solid
indeed and easily replaceable anyway by the user. They can be taken
off if not wanted.
- Periodically I have extra items that need to be collected and brought
back, necessitating more capacity and some rearrangement. I have a
roll-up nylon duffel bag that I bought in the U.S. that goes in the
suitcase nd gets used if needed.
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
Peel back the lining and apply of patch - using fibreglass matting and
resin, as used for car body repairs. When it's cured, stick the lining back
I had a hard case damaged by an airline some years ago, and they gave me
enough compensation to buy a new case (I bought a soft one to prevent the
same thing happening again!) - but left me with the broken case. I mended
it, using the method which I have described - and it's still going strong
(but doesn't travel on aircraft!)
In article ,
It's probably ABS - and if none of the other sugestions here work you
may find that your local car repair shop knows a specialist who can weld
plastics. It's often quite cheap if you take it to them and don't insist
on having it done at once.