With its unique synthetic construction and flexibility, Rubber is definitely one of the more difficult materials to bond. Let’s find out what glues work best for this irritating material.
How to glue Rubber:
The best way to glue rubber really depends on your requirements.
In most cases, rubber has to remain flexible and waterproof. For that reason I usually recommend Eclectic Products’ amazing goop series of adhesives.
Why Rubber is so difficult to glue
The main problem with gluing rubber is flexibility. (both in the rubber and the glue)
Most household glues become solidified once they become dry, which means that flexible rubber would crack the bond.
Rubber can be synthetic or natural, with most products like rubber boots, car tyres, and shoe soles being made from synthetic rubber.
Best glue for Rubber to Plastic
The best glue for rubber to plastic depends on the particular type of rubber and plastic. Some plastics like PVC and ABS can be glued easily, and for those you will be able to use Amazing Goop as described above.
Most household plastics including plastic toys, plumbing pipes, and automotive plastic will bond no problem with amazing goop.
Some plastics however are more difficult to bond. These include HDPE/LDPE polyethylene, polypropylene and PTFE (also known as Teflon).
For these more difficult plastics, you would have to use a plastic cement such as Loctite Plastic Bonder.
How to glue Rubber to Plastic:
- Goop stinks, so make sure you use it in a well ventilated area.
- If possible, sand the plastic surface with coarse sandpaper.
- Apply Amazing Goop to both the plastic and the rubber.
- Press and hold the surfaces together
- Allow 45 minutes for the glue to dry, but up to 72 hours for it to fully cure.
Best glue for Metal to Rubber
Gluing Metal to Rubber is much more common than you might think, so it’s not particularly difficult to bond. Just think about how much rubber and steel are in the plumbing systems in your own house. Those have to be stuck together somehow!
Because this is such a common adhesion, there are countless products out there which cater to this exact material pairing.
In general, the best glue for Metal to Rubber is J-B Weld original. It bonds extremely well to both Metal and harder rubbers, but it sacrifices some flexibility.
If flexibility is required (it often is, especially with rubber seals etc) the best option is to use Amazing Goop again.
It’s waterproof, completely flexible, and bonds fast to both Metal and Rubber, however it doesn’t bond as strongly to metal as J-B Weld.
Weigh up your options, and have a look at the amazon reviews for each product before you decide which best suits your needs.
How to glue Rubber to Metal:
Using J-B Weld: (very strong but not flexible)
- Squeeze out equal parts of the J-B weld on to some scrap material
- Mix the two parts together completely until they are solid grey
- Apply the J-B Weld to both the rubber and the metal surfaces
- Press and hold the parts together
- J-B Weld cures in a few hours but I always advise leaving it overnight before using it
Using Amazing Goop: (flexible)
- Work in a well ventilated area
- Roughen the metal surface with a file or course sandpaper (important!)
- Apply the Goop to both the Rubber and the Metal
- Press the surfaces together
- The bond will dry in 45 minutes, but takes up to 72 hours to fully cure
Best glue for Rubber Boots
Rubber boots (AKA Wellington Boots or Gum Boots) are pretty hardy, but if you do end up ripping them or breaking them then fret not! They are extremely easy to repair using a special glue designed especially for it.
If you’ve read any of my other articles you probably know I’m about to recommend Shoe Goo to you. And you’d be right!
Shoe Goo is waterproof, flexible, UV resistant, adheres to rubber, leather, and fabrics, extremely strong and durable.
If you’re repairing your rubber boots, Shoe Goo is the best option, but in a pinch you can also use Amazing Goop or E6000 adhesive if you have it at home already. (they are made by the same company and are chemically similar)
How to repair Rubber boots with Shoe Goo:
- First, make sure you thoroughly clean the affected area.
- Remove any dirt or oil from your boots as this will prevent the shoe goo from sticking.
- If necessary, apply some tape to the inside of your boot to prevent the glue from seeping in.
- Apply a thin layer of Shoe Goo to the outside of your boots, covering the tear or hole completely.
- Leave your boots for at least 24 hours to cure before you use them.
- If necessary, you can add a second layer to strengthen your repair.
Shoe Goo dries completely clear and flexible (there is also a black version available!) and is fully waterproof. Perfect!
To sum up, Rubber is pretty easy to bond, as long as you use a specialist glue designed for Rubber and don’t try to use a regular household CA glue, as it becomes too brittle when it dries.
I hope you managed to find the right product for you, and good luck with your project!
Thanks for reading!