Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is an extremely versatile, thermoplastic polymer used in healthcare, electronics, transportation and construction.
PVC has a very high density and good tensile strength, making it a durable and long lasting material. Its relatively low cost and recyclable properties make it a popular choice for industrial applications.
In this post, we will explore the different types of PVC and recommend the best adhesive for bonding PVC plastic.
PVC is produced in different forms:
- Flexible PVC = PVC (plasticized PVC)
- Rigid PVC = RPVC or uPVC (unplasticized PVC)
Different types of PVC Plastic
Flexible PVC is softer than uPVC due to the addition of plasticizers such as phthalates. This type of PVC is easy to handle and can be easily formulated to introduce flame retardant and low smoke properties making it suitable for cable insulation and in flooring.
PVC has been proven to be safe, light and flexible and can be easily sterilised, making it ideal for medical devices such as tubing and blood bags.
Rigid PVC or uPVC has a strong chemical resilience and is more resistant to weathering and corrosion. It is commonly used for external building applications such as water and waste pipes, gutters, cladding and window frames. uPVC is also widely used in the automotive, aviation, marine and rail industries for body trims, door frames, window blind profiles and seat coverings.
The surface energy differs according to the type of PVC, for example, rigid PVC is 39 mJ/m² while flexible PVC can be as low as 33 mJ/m². The low surface energy can make it difficult for the adhesive to wet the surface.
Adhesives for bonding PVC Plastic
Flexible PVC = PVC (plasticized PVC)
The best adhesive for bonding PVC (plasticized) is Cyanoacrylates or UV Curable adhesives. Permabond offer flexible grades of cyanoacrylates such as Permabond 2050 and Permabond 731. These adhesives are ideal for bonds where the flexibility needs to be maintained.
Most UV curable adhesives will bond well to PVC however it is important to note that one of the substrates must transmit UV light. Flexible and medical grades of UV curable adhesives such as Permabond 4UV80 can be used to bond are available.
Rigid PVC = RPVC or uPVC
Cyanoacrylates or UV Curable adhesives can be used to bond Rigid PVC however, two component epoxy adhesives or structural acrylic adhesives will work.
Contact us for specific product recommendations on a suitable adhesive for bonding PVC plastic
Tips on surface preparation
- Ensure surfaces are clean, dry and free from contamination.
- Degrease the surface with isopropanol to remove any oil, dust and grease residue. Use Permabond Cleaner A or an impregnated wipe like Wipemaster Wipe 9 IPA Wet Wipes.
- For highly plasticized PVC – consider testing the longevity of the bond life.
Always refer to the product Technical Data Sheet for full instructions.
Looking for tips on bonding other plastics, read: What you need to know on bonding plastics
Looking for information on preparing adhesives, read: Surface Preparation for Adhesive Bonding