Nylon is an interesting and versatile thermoplastic, which is used across various industries and can be found in various physical forms. It can be found both as a hard plastic and a soft fabric and both require a different method of bonding.
What is Nylon and why is it so hard to bond?
Nylon is the trademark name for a special group of thermoplastics developed in the early 20th century by DuPont.
It’s used across various industries because of its versatility, it can be formed in to a hard plastic (often used in machinery) or woven in to soft fabrics, often blended with other fabric materials to make clothes.
So why is Nylon so difficult to bond?
Nylon is hydrophobic, which means that it repels water. It has a similar greasy or oily feeling to it, similar to other plastics like HDPE/LDPE and Polypropylene, both of which are also difficult to bond.
Although Nylon is tough to bond with conventional adhesives, there are options out there designed especially for thermoplastics. Let’s take a look at them and find out which one is best for you.
In a rush?
No time to read? The best way to glue Nylon is to use a plastic cement like J-B Weld PlasticWeld in conjunction with a regular CA glue like Loctite Super Glue. For Nylon Fabrics, the best glue is E6000 Craft Adhesive.
Best glue for Nylon to Metal
Gluing Nylon to Metal is difficult. Some glues like JB weld work great on metal, but not on Nylon. Some plastic cements will work really well on Nylon but won’t bond to metal.
In fact, to get a good Nylon to Metal bond we need to use a few different products, one for each material and stick them together.
Firstly, to bond the Nylon side, we will need to use a plastic cement. Plastic cement like JBWeld Plastiweld work well. Plastiweld is a two part urethane adhesive, but it works especially well on thermoplastics like Nylon, by chemically altering the surface of the Nylon to ensure good adhesion.
Plastiweld does not stick well to Metal, though.
For the metal side, you will want to use a cyanoacrylate glue like Loctite Control Superglue, which bonds well to the metal and will also bond to the cured plastiweld surface.
How to glue Nylon to Metal:
- Apply the Plastic Weld to the Nylon side.
- Wait a few minutes until the plastiweld becomes tacky, then press it against the metal surface and remove it again, to ensure both surfaces will fit together smoothly.
- Apply your CA Super Glue to the metal side.
- Press both sides together, the CA will bond to the cured Plastiweld.
- Hold for 30 seconds to ensure a good bond.
Best glue for Nylon to Nylon
Nylon to Nylon is a lot simpler than Nylon to other materials.
This is because you can use plastic cement to chemically fuse the two Nylon surface together.
Using a plastic bonder like JB Weld Plastic Weld will give you the strongest bond possible.
Check out some of the reviews of JB Weld Plastic Welder on Amazon to see what other people are using it for.
How to glue Nylon to Nylon:
- Mix the PlasticWeld in a 1:1 ratio
- Apply a thin, even layer to both Nylon surfaces
- Apply light clamping pressure for 15 minutes to ensure a strong bond between the Nylon parts
Best glue for Nylon to Wood
Nylon to Wood is another mismatch of materials that don’t bond well together with a single adhesive, but there are a few different options for gluing Wood to Nylon to get around this.
For the Nylon, again you’ll use a plastic cement like JB Weld Plastic Weld. For the Wood, you will have to either seal the wood with a PVA Wood Glue like Elmer’s Carpenter’s Glue first to enable the Plastic Weld to adhere to it, or use a CA glue, which will stick to both wood and the cured Plastic Weld.
How to glue Nylon to Wood:
Method 1: (Using Wood Glue & Plastic Weld)
- First, apply a layer of Wood Glue to the wood.
- Allow the Wood Glue around 30 minutes to become dry.
- Apply the Plastic Weld to the Nylon
- Press the two parts together and apply clamping pressure for 30 minutes
Method 2: (Using CA Glue & Plastic Weld)
- First, apply a layer of Plastic Weld to the Nylon
- Press it against the wood for a second just to make sure the surfaces match
- Let the Plastic Weld dry (30 minutes)
- Apply CA glue to both the Cured Plastic Weld and the Wood
- Press together and hold for 30 seconds
Best glue for Nylon Fabric
Nylon fabric is tough to glue because of the thermoplastic material and the stretchiness of Nylon.
The best option for gluing Nylon fabric is something like E6000 Craft Adhesive.
E6000 is an extremely strong and durable adhesive, but it remains fully flexible once it’s cured.
It’s available in both Black and Clear, and it works on all types of fabric.
It can go through the washer and dryer without degrading and remains fully flexible once cured.
Check out some of the customer reviews of E6000 on Amazon for a better idea of whether or not it will be suitable for your project.
To sum up, Nylon is a difficult thermoplastic to bond, just like its cousins Polyethylene and Polypropylene plastic, you have to use a specialist plastic cement, which bonds great to plastic but not so much to other materials.
Hope this helped, and good luck with your project!