Mending hard shell plastic suitcase

What would be the best way of repairing a crack/split in a 'hard shell'
plastic suitcase.
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
Reply to
Michael Chare
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 less critical.
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 travel:
- 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.
Reply to
Andy Hall
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 in.
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!)
Reply to
Roger Mills
I have used araldite to do a repair like this. I undid the lining and glued a peice of plastic across the split - cleaned all surfaces with meths before gluing. Worked well.
Reply to
In article , says...
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.
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