What are the best adhesives for bonding polyurethane?

Polyurethane, also known as PU is a polymer made from combining an organic compound unit with carbamate (urethane).

PU is available in different forms; rigid solid, foam or soft elastomer, making it an extremely versatile material for a range of end-user applications.

Some uses include roof insulation, insulated panels, windows and doors in construction (rigid foam), thermoplastic polyurethane in medical devices to coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers for the automotive industry.

When selecting the right adhesive, it is important to consider the type of PU being bonded.

Adhesives for bonding polyurethane

Cyanoacrylate adhesives tend to bond well to PU, however grades such as the Permabond 731 are best suited for elastomeric PU.

For bonding flexible PU, we recommend the Permabond Flex CA Range which maintains the softness and flexibility of the bonded substrates compared to standard cyanoacrylates.

For bonding foam PU, you may need to use an activator such as Permabond CSA-NF, that will accelerate the cure rate and enable the cyanoacrylate adhesive to bond porous surfaces.

SMP Merbenit IA45 is a flexible adhesive when bonding foam PU to many substrates.

For bonding rigid PU, we recommend using polyurethane adhesives such as Araldite 2018 and Araldite 2028-1 and structural acrylics; Permabond TA4204.

For bonding PUR substrates in Automotive and Transportation, we have a range of polyurethane adhesives suited to these applications from the Dow Betaseal portfolio.

Surface preparation for bonding polyurethane 

It is important to ensure surfaces are clean, dry and free from contamination before using the adhesives. To clean the surface, you can use isopropanol or an impregnated wipe like Wipemaster Wipe 9 IPA Wet Wipes to clean the surface

For tips on best practice, read our post on: Surface Preparation for Adhesive Bonding

Contact us for specific product recommendations on a suitable adhesive for bonding PU 

Looking for tips on bonding other plastics, read: What you need to know on bonding plastics

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