Polycarbonate is a thermal plastic type that does one thing well – it can transmit heat and light while retaining most of its durability.
Working with polycarbonate requires specific adhesives, which I’ll discuss in this article.
I’ll also tell you how to glue polycarbonate to various materials.
There are a couple of glue types that you could use for polycarbonate, but it largely depends on the type of project you’re working on.
Do you need a quick-setting and instant-power glue or a long-term durable adhesive? Should it be resistant to water, heat, and solvents, or just water?
Recommendation – J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder forms a solid layer of plastic over the material, putting it in place for a long time. After mixing the resin and hardener, this glue provides a holding strength of over 4000 PSI. It sets within 15 minutes and it works on a large variety of plastics, including polycarbonate.
Stick around for more information on bonding polycarbonate efficiently!
Check out also our article on the best glues for patching gas tanks.
Types of Glue for Polycarbonate
If you want to buy a good polycarbonate adhesive, you’ll need to choose between several types.
Each has its use and offers specific advantages in some circumstances. You can choose between:
While super glue doesn’t work the same with all plastics, it does a great job bonding polycarbonate.
It also doesn’t form the strongest bond, but the tensile strength is high enough to keep most applications in place.
It also takes a few minutes to set, dry, and cure fully.
Superglue is water-resistant and somewhat resistant to heat and impact but not fully waterproof.
Still, super glue is one of the most popular and easily-accessible adhesives out there.
Second on this list is the epoxy adhesive, the one you have to mix beforehand.
It’s a bit stronger than super glue regarding tensile strength, but it’ll take a long time to cure (even 48 hours) fully.
I wouldn’t recommend using epoxy glues outdoors because they tend to get yellowish when exposed to UV light. For this, you need UV-resistant glue.
However, epoxy glue is completely waterproof and resistant to heat and other solvents, for the most part.
Though, even if you don’t use it outdoors, the glue won’t look good when dry and cured. I wouldn’t use it for anything aesthetic.
Polyurethane or Acrylic Glue
If you’re feeling professional, you can use polyurethane to bond polycarbonate.
Alternatively, urethane or acrylic adhesives work just as fine. You’ll be using plastic to bond plastic.
In my experience, plastic-based adhesives are stronger than anything else and are waterproof.
However, you’ll make a mess when using polyurethane or acrylic glue.
These glues are also toxic, so you’ll need to wear a breathing mask or work in a well-ventilated environment.
Lastly, the curing process takes up to 72 hours to complete.
This is the stuff that creates the best bond for polycarbonate.
Methacrylate is an industrial-grade adhesive that creates a bond so strong you’re more likely to break the plastic pieces when trying to undo the glue.
Unsuitable glues include wood glue, regular Gorilla Glue, and cyanoacrylate glue.
Best Glue for Polycarbonate
Here you can find my recommendations for the best glue for polycarbonate.
1. J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder
- Works on any type of polycarbonate sheet
- Great polycarbonate glue all around
- Good quality polycarbonate adhesive
- Can bond all types of polycarbonate plastic
- You need to mix components before using the glue
J-B Weld is, by far, one of the best glues I’ve used for polycarbonate bonding.
Its versatility is a big pro since it works on coated metals, thermoset and carbon fiber composites, ceramic tiles, fiberglass, concrete, aluminum, PVC, thermoplastics, normal plastics, and more.
In other words, you can use J-B Weld for any plastic. J-B Weld is a great glue for fabric to plastic as well.
It sets in a quick time (about 15 minutes), which gives you plenty of time to arrange the pieces however you see fit.
Even if you make a mistake, 15 minutes is enough to repair it. Its high tensile strength can keep any application stable for many years, considering you’re dealing with plastic.
This adhesive is completely waterproof and has a good deal of heat resistance.
Despite this, you’ll need to mix the components before applying the glue. And then, it’ll take about 30 hours to cure completely.
But if you care about quality over quickness, J-B Weld Plastic Bonder is an excellent choice!
2. Weld-On 4 Acrylic Adhesive
- Strong plastic bonding
- Can bond ABS plastic
- Works on any kind of polycarbonate material and polystyrene
- Great for gluing polycarbonate sheets
- Not that great for home use
Aside from crosslinked acrylics, Weld-On Acrylic Adhesive can bond any type of plastic, polycarbonate.
Remember that this glue is for industrial use, so it won’t be worth using it for small-scale applications.
It has a super-strong hold and resists water, heat, and most solvents.
In terms of durability, resistance, and tensile strength, Weld-On Acrylic Adhesive is in the top three in the world.
However, its highly poisonous nature makes it unfitting for home use. You’ll need a good pair of gloves and a respirator when working with this glue.
Otherwise, you’ll get poisoned and harm your health in the meantime.
Weld-On 4 Acrylic Adhesive is very resilient and boasts great resistance to impacts, shocks, high temperatures, and acids.
Weld-On also works great as a glue for glass to plastic.
That’s why I recommend it for bonding polycarbonate!
3. SCIGRIP 10315 16 Acrylic Plastic Cement
- Strongest glue around
- Quality plastic glue that works on hard plastic
- Creates a strong bond
- Can also bond aluminum and cardboard
- Long curing time
This adhesive has around 4000PSI worth of strength and can bond any type of plastic, including polycarbonate.
It’s a high-end plastic bonder with superb tensile strength and durability that won’t let you down.
Once you apply it, you’ll have about 5-6 minutes of working time before it solidifies and hardens completely.
After that period, it’ll begin setting, and there’s nothing you can do. But, on the flip side, you won’t have to wait too long before the project is finished.
The low level of VOC means it’s non-toxic and safe for you to use without a mask.
But I recommend wearing gloves because it’ll be a hassle to remove from the skin.
SCIGRIP Acrylic Plastic Cement is waterproof and offers a permanent bond that most hazards won’t destroy.
SCIGRIP Acrylic Plastic Cement is a great choice if you are looking for glue to fix fridge plastic.
Being a solvent-type adhesive, it’ll melt the plastic and bond everything together. So, if you made a mistake, you can’t redo anything.
Lastly, it takes over 48 hours to cure fully, but the bonding strength is worth the wait.
4. Caseway SC-325 Polycarbonate Cement
- Specially created for polycarbonate bonding
- Heat resistant
- Creates a strong bond
- Great for industrial use
This adhesive is specifically used for polycarbonate, thanks to its fast-setting time, high tensile strength, and overall durability.
But before that, you should know that Caseway Polycarbonate Cement is extremely toxic.
You’ll need a pair of protective gloves, eyewear, and a respirator to work with this glue.
Most retail stores even categorize this adhesive as a non-returnable hazardous material, so you’d best be careful with it.
But aside from this, Caseway Polycarbonate Cement is one of the best adhesives for polycarbonate.
It is exceptionally strong and durable, with a waterproof concept that’s also resistant to high temperatures.
While it takes a long time to cure and is very flammable, Caseway adhesive is a great choice for large-scale applications.
I recommend it for industrial use or when you have nothing else to use. Its toxic nature makes it highly dangerous.
Caseway SC-325 also works as a glue for rubber.
5. C-Poxy Two-Part Epoxy
- Very versatile
- Fast setting time
- Creates a strong bond
- Long curing time
Lastly, we have the C-Poxy Two-Part Epoxy, a mixable adhesive with great holding strength.
The chance of making a mess is exponentially larger because you must mix the resin and the hardener before applying the glue.
But besides that, C-Poxy Epoxy is versatile, as it works on wood, rubber, glass, stone, fiberglass, ceramic, plastic, concrete, and more.
It’s also waterproof and highly resistant to extreme temperatures. The curing process takes over 48 hours, but once the process finishes, the bond becomes permanent.
The fast-setting time should be useful enough when you need to work fast. C-Poxy Epoxy is ideal for bonding polycarbonate, either way!
How to Glue Polycarbonate to Other Materials
Bonding polycarbonate to other materials isn’t difficult if you know what you’re doing.
It takes some getting used to the bonding procedure, but if you follow the instructions, you should be good. Here’s what you should do:
Polycarbonate to polycarbonate
To glue together two pieces of polycarbonate, you’ll need a good adhesive first.
Superglue is great for small-scale applications that don’t require much holding strength.
Superglue sets fast and hardens in a few minutes, giving you extra efficiency when working.
For large-scale applications, you should use an industrial-grade polycarbonate cement or a plastic adhesive like J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder or J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder.
Apply some glue to both surfaces and press them together. Wait for five minutes, and you should be fine.
Polycarbonate to wood
There’s one problem here. Most polycarbonate-specific adhesives won’t bond to wood.
You’ll have to resort to a more general adhesive like superglue that works on wood and polycarbonate.
But some industrial-grade plastic adhesives work on wood as well. Once you have the glue, apply it to one of the surfaces and press the two materials together.
Polycarbonate to metal
To bond polycarbonate to metal, you’ll need a polyurethane adhesive. Almost nothing else works on these two materials.
Even though polyurethane adhesive takes a long while to cure, it’s your only option. Clamping is required, as well.
But once it sets and cures, the polyurethane forms a pretty sturdy bond that will remain durable over the years.
As for some safety tips when working with polycarbonate adhesives, ensure never to ingest any glue substances.
Most of them are very toxic. Therefore, I recommend wearing a respirator when the adhesive emits toxic fumes.
A pair of protective gloves and eyewear are also recommended to avoid the glue on your skin or eyes.
What’s left to be said is that it’s not difficult to work with polycarbonate.
If you have the right adhesive, you won’t have a problem bonding polycarbonate to other materials.
J-B Weld 50133 Plastic Bonder is my top pick for this list, a two-part epoxy glue that offers a PSI of over 4000 and is resistant to most hazards!