RapidFix UV Liquid Plastic is an innovative and useful product that does not solidify until exposed to UV light. What it lacks in adhesion, it makes up for in utility and there are few situations where this product really comes into its own.
RapidFix liquid plastic is a fantastic product for small repairs. It works on the outside surface to quickly heal cracks and seal any damage.
The plastic is completely solid, waterproof, and weatherproof. It’s perfect for sealing cracks, damaged cables, and leaky plumbing, and it’s an insulator of electricity. It dries within a few seconds when exposed to UV light.
The package comes with the liquid, plus a separate UV flashlight. After you run out, the company also sells a refill pack, which is a little cheaper and doesn’t contain the flashlight.
It’s worth noting that this product isn’t really an adhesive. It’s a liquid plastic, and as such it performs better than glue for some tasks (Especially for plumbing repairs and sealing cracks) but it’s not a replacement for an actual glue when you have two things you need to stick together.
The plastic only seals when the UV light hits it, so it’s not a replacement for CA superglue if you need a flush-fitting repair (for tasks like repairing a broken vase, or a broken cup handle you will be better off with CA glue)
Pros and Cons:
- Solidifies in to a solid hard plastic
- Bonds in a few seconds
- Dries clear
- Doesn’t dry out in the bottle like regular glue
- UV Flashlight included
- Completely waterproof
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Good value, especially the refill pack
- Can be used in damp conditions
- Ideal for sealing plumbing joints
- Not a substitute for glue or epoxy
- Not as versatile as glue or epoxy
- Doesn’t work where the UV light can’t reach
This RapidFix liquid plastic is quite different from most other glues, and although there are a few similarly performing products out there (notably from LazerBond and Bondi), this offering from RapidFix is the best value for money and has a better flashlight included than other brands.
This product remains fully liquid and nonadhesive, even when exposed to air or water until it’s exposed to UV light from the included flashlight.
After hardening, it forms a solid plastic which you can build up in layers, similar to how a 3d printer works. This is distinctly different from most other adhesive products, making it especially useful in certain situations.
The advantages of this are several, but most importantly it means that you don’t have to worry about clamping, and you have time to apply the plastic where it’s needed before you decide to harden it.
Works in damp conditions
This is a huge advantage to using liquid plastic over many other types of glue. The plastic is completely non-reactive with water and air, making it perfect for when you need a strong seal against the elements.
This plastic is perfect for use in plumbing situations and in the auto industry where a strong waterproof plastic seal is required.
Never hardens in the bottle
RapidFix doesn’t really get the credit for this feature, since it’s just an unintended side effect, but it’s a great feature nonetheless.
If you’ve ever used just any CA superglue, you’ll know that once the cap has been opened, no matter how careful you are the glue is going to end up hardening inside the bottle if you don’t use it all, since a little air always gets in.
Liquid plastic is nonreactive with air and water, so you won’t have that problem, you can leave it on the shelf (away from sunlight) and it will last for years without drying out.
Large bottle and cheap refills
If you need a liquid plastic, you basically have three options. RapidFix, Bondi, and LazerBond. As far as the chemical properties of each one, they are almost identical. They work the same way, so how do you pick which is best?
The RapidFix plastic has double the size of bottle compared to its competitors, and the included UV flashlight is much higher quality, with a removable AA battery and aluminum casing, compared to a thumbnail-sized button battery-powered UV light provided with the others.
How to use RapidFix UV Liquid Plastic
UV Liquid Plastic is useful to have around the house, it’s easier to use than hot glue, but it only works in specific circumstances. There are quite a few reviews for this product where people have used it incorrectly and unfairly judged the product for it.
1: Prepare the surface
Make sure the surface is clean from any oil or grease, as this will prevent the plastic from adhering to the surface. The surface doesn’t need to be completely dry as long as there is no oil.
If the surface is very smooth, it will help with adhesion if you can scuff it up a little bit with some sandpaper, but this is not always necessary.
2: Apply the liquid plastic with the applicator
Apply the plastic to the repair surface.
3: Use the included UV flashlight to harden the plastic
Once everything is in place, use the UV flashlight to harden the plastic. According to the manufacturer, the plastic will harden in a few seconds, however, this depends on the conditions, how much plastic you used, and even how much power is left in your flashlight.
To be safe, I recommend leaving the light on for at least 10 seconds. Hold the light about an inch away from the liquid plastic.
4: Use layers if you need to build up a larger volume of plastic
If you need to build up a large volume of plastic, use small layers of plastic, hardening each layer one at a time with the UV flashlight. If you apply too much at once and try to harden it in one go, the final plastic may harden abnormally, putting internal strain on the plastic and weakening the final product.
5: Store the plastic and the flashlight appropriately
Make sure the cap is sealed and store the plastic in a cupboard, where the sun can’t reach it.
The plastic will not dry out or harden on its own unless it’s left where the sun can reach it.
If you’re going to be storing the torch for a long time, consider removing the battery and storing it separately so as not to drain it.
What does Liquid Plastic work on?
The plastic is solid once it’s dry, just like any other hard plastic, therefore it’s ideal for fastening parts together such as repairing a broken arm on a pair of sunglasses, fixing a crack in a drainpipe, or affixing a broken part to a child’s toy.
The plastic has some adhesion, but it’s not anywhere near as strong as regular glue. The benefit of this product is the solid plastic it forms, allowing for mechanical fastening.
In situations where you need a flush finish, such as gluing together two large pieces of wood or repairing a broken plate, or the handle of a cup – you will be better off with a regular glue such as wood glue or CA glue.
Here are some situations RapidFix Liquid Plastic works well, and some situations you’d be better with something else:
Works well for:
- Repairing cracks in almost any material
- Repairing sunglasses
- Perfect for Plumbing repairs (Waterproof)
- Arts and Crafts
- Circuit boards (good insulator)
- Sealing window frames
- Adheres to PVC, Polystyrene and Styrofoam
- Good for cosmetic auto repair
- Outdoors and marine use
Not great for:
- Doesn’t bond with certain plastics
- High temperatures (don’t use in an engine!)
- Doesn’t adhere very well to wood
What are the ingredients?
According to the manufacturer, the active ingredients are N,N-dimethyl acrylamide, isobornyl acrylate, and 2-hydroxy-2-methylpropiophenone.
What color is it when it dries?
Although the packaging says it dries clear, it’s not 100% colorless. It has a very slight yellow color, but it’s so slight that it would only show up if you use it on a pure white surface.
Does it stick to plastic?
The plastic formed is sticky, but just like with most glue, there are a few specific plastics that are hard to adhere to. It should stick no problem to PVC, Polystyrene, and Styrofoam, but it might struggle to adhere to HDPE, LDPE, PET, Polypropylene, and PTFE plastics.
If you’re going to use it on plastic, scuff up the plastic a little bit if possible beforehand, so the surface isn’t perfectly smooth for better adhesion.
Can I buy it in bulk?
It’s not sold in bulk as far as I can see, although once you’re finished you can buy the refill packs which are cheaper since the UV flashlight is not included.
Is the flashlight useful for anything else?
Yes! The UV flashlight is a regular UV lamp, which can be used for all sorts of things like checking for counterfeit banknotes or checking for “bodily fluids” around your home or in hotel rooms.
The flashlight provided isn’t very powerful, since it’s only designed to cure the glue, but it does the job and you can use it for other things that require a UV lamp.
How long does it take to dry?
The benefit of liquid plastic is it doesn’t dry out on its own. After you apply the UV, it hardens in a few seconds, depending on how much you used and the conditions you’re working with.
Once it’s hardened it won’t ever go back to liquid.
Can I use it with high temperatures?
No, it’s unsuitable for high temperatures. It has a flashpoint of only 70 °C (158 °F) so it’s not safe to use near open flames, and even once it’s hardened, it’s plastic so it will melt easily if you place it too near a heat source. You would be better off with a special heat-resistant adhesive if your project involves high temperatures.
Luckily, the only limiting factor for shelf life is exposure to UV.
As long as you store the liquid plastic away from any sunlight, it will last for years without drying out.
According to the manufacturer, RapidFix Liquid Plastic should be stored in its original container, in a cool, dry place shielded from any exposure to sunlight, and with plenty of ventilation.
Safety Data Sheet
Also known as SDS, or REACH compliance in the EU. Every manufacturer and distributor of hazardous chemicals has to provide a copy.
If you need the datasheet for RapidFix Liquid Plastic, here’s a link to it: