This is better than super glue

Complete UV glue pen with UV lamp

Complete UV glue pen with UV lamp

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Broken plastic is a fact of life these days. Plastic tends to break due to being dropped or misused or due to age.

My weapon of choice in the fight against waste and sending everything to the landfill is Cyanoacrylate adhesive — this has many names, such as Crazy glue, instant glue, electric glue or super glue — and that’s pretty good stuff in general.

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But it’s far from perfect.

I found the performance of cyanoacrylate adhesives to vary greatly. It sticks well to some things, but not so well to others. Also, its repair ability survives well at room temperature, but use it to repair something that would be in a hot environment (such as a greenhouse) or a cold environment (such as a refrigerator). ) can be disappointing.

And after decades of using cyanoacrylate to fix things, I’m still wary of it. It’s everywhere, and although its performance may be worse on some materials, you can be sure that there’s one thing it grips well, and that’s human skin.

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And you definitely don’t want super glue to get in your eyes.

Some people mentioned that I should try UV curing glue to fix things, so I gave it a go.

And I am very impressed.

Note: The kit above has a different brand than the one I’m using (and comes with a refill tube) but the plastic and the UV light are exactly the same.

I recommend buying this kit that comes with a small UV lamp, so you don’t need to worry about buying it separately.

Unlike cyanoacrylate where you apply the adhesive and you have a few seconds to act before it hardens, UV resin does not harden until you shine UV light on it (or expose it to direct sunlight). heaven), so it gives you more time to be active.

UV resin curing with a small UV lamp

UV resin curing with a small UV lamp

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Also, since the resin is thicker, you can use it to make a better and easier fix than using cyanoacrylate (you can add a little baking soda to the cyanoacrylate to achieve the same results and it makes for a stronger bond, but again it can get messy).

UV resin also eliminates the chance of you accidentally sticking your face to whatever you’re repairing. Don’t think you can suddenly find your face glued to something? Think!

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Another application where UV resin glue is well suited is strengthening or reinforcing low-voltage wires. For example, get this charging cable for me amazingly useful label maker. The cable appears to be slightly bent due to the constant stress.

The strain relief on this cable doesn't actually relieve the strain on the rope

The strain relief on this cable doesn’t actually relieve the strain on the rope

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Ideally I would stuff some heat shrink tubing on top of this, but I couldn’t find one that would fit the connector and shrink far enough to hold onto the wire.

But don’t worry, I can apply some UV resin on the stressed area (I apply a thin layer, let it dry and apply a few more layers instead of a thick one).

Apply some UV resin on the stressed area

Apply some UV resin on the stressed area

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And then cure the plastic by UV lamp.

UV resin curing

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And this is after a few layers have been applied and cured. Work completed!

Work completed!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I’ve experimented with UV resin binders on a number of different materials, with impressive results. They seem to work much better for fixing things that will get hot and cold, bent, and are great for building materials when something breaks as the plastic shrinks (which happens over time).

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One downside is that UV resin relies on UV light to cure, so wherever you apply it, you’ll need bright light to cure. Keep this in mind as it makes it unsuitable for some applications.

For example, if you’re gluing something down, adding glue in between the two layers won’t work because UV rays can’t hit the plastic and the plastic won’t dry.

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But overall, I’m very impressed. It doesn’t completely replace cyanoacrylate adhesives, but it is another very useful tool in the toolbox.

And it quickly became an indispensable tool.


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