A heat gun is more than a tool to strip paint. It is a quantifiable tool that is qualified by its versatility. It can be used in practical applications (many of which we have covered), and can even be used by the hobbyist and artist. So is it any wonder that you can weld plastic with one?
Some plastic, in spite of its versatility, has a difficult time accepting glue. Once glue is applied, its bond is really only temporary. This includes any plastic made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). The only way to truly fuse them together with any lasting effort is by using high heat.
Here are two methods of welding plastic:
What you’ll need:
- A heat gun (or a plastic welding kit)
- A soldering iron
- Plastic (the kinds that won’t accept glue)
- Leather gloves
Method #1 “Face Fusing”
Step 1. Procure the materials you intend to fuse. If it’s for a project, cut as needed using a pattern or template. Otherwise, prepare them to be heated.
Step 2. Heat each of the faces until they are soft. Put on your gloves and press them together. It is possible to heat them too much, so it may be wise to practice on scrap first.
Pro tip: Use a piece of sheet metal to press the plastic together. It will add pressure without fusing.
Method #2 “Spot Welding”
Step 1. Using pliers, hold a piece of plastic (in a stick form if possible) at the seams or in between your surfaces.
Step 2. Take your heated soldering iron and gently press against the plastic “stick” until it begins to melt.
Pro tip: If you find this too difficult, try to heat a screw until it passes through the both materials. Then heat it until they fuse together.
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