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Gluing Metal Surfaces to Other Materials

Construction brings with it a plethora of situations that often times present very specific challenges to the one performing the work. Additionally, because of the need for quick work, it can be tempting to just get the work finished as fast as possible. When this occurs, the results usually are sub-par; even though it might not be readily noticeable. After all, some flaws take time to reveal themselves. In this article we will examine some specific things to keep in mind when gluing metal surfaces to other materials. As we do, we will mention some possible solutions to these challenges.

Why Metal Gets Bonded to Other Materials

Depending on the profession, very specific occasions arise that create the need for bonding metal materials to other types of surfaces. In fact it is not uncommon for metal to be affixed to several natural and man made materials. Some of the bonding pairs that you will find include the following:

  • Bonding Granite and Metal
  • Adhering Marble and Metal
  • Gluing Metal and Wood
  • Gluing Metal and Quartzite
  • Adhering Limestone and Metal
  • Bonding Metal and Onyx
  • Gluing Sandstone and Metal
  • Adhering Metal and Plastics
  • Bonding Metal and Slate
  • Gluing Sintered Stone and Metal
  • Adhering Glass and Ceramic

That list is not all-inclusive, but you get the idea. Stone materials and metal materials often time need to be joined using an adhesive. So when that is the need, what must be considered? Well, it is not just a matter of grabbing glue and sticking the two surfaces together. There are some things to keep in mind when gluing metal surfaces to other materials, such as the ones in the above list.

Considering Chemistry When Bonding Metal to Other Materials

It may sound like something that is complex and requires a great deal of knowledge. In reality though, unless you are making adhesives, you don't really have to completely understand the ins and outs of chemistry that makes gluing metal to other materials possible. However, it is important that you understand that there are different kinds of adhesives. And which adhesive to use, will be affected by the task and the application.

Selecting the Proper Glue

Knowing that not all bonding agents are formulated the same way means that you will most likely need to put some thought into selecting which glue you want to use depending on the materials you are trying to join. For example, if you are gluing metal flashing to a stone surface and you prefer to use glue cartridges, you would no doubt give thought to using a cartridge glue for bonding metal to stone. On the other hand, you may want to browse throug a selection of metal-friendly stone and concrete glue and find another option that would work for your particular application. The idea here is that you should select the proper glue for the task at hand.

Preparing the Surfaces Being Glued

Once you have chosen which adhesive you will use to bond the metal, you will need to take the time to prepare the surface properly so that the bond will be as strong as possible. Surface preparation is always a consideration when affixing materials to one another. To prepare your metal surface for gluing you will want to take some basic steps.

First, you want to be sure that the surface is completely dry and free from any dirt, grease or dust. This will ensure that no foreign substances interfere with the process. Then, scarify (a.k.a scrabble) the metal surface properly to give the adhesive more surface area with which to bond. Once the preparation of the metal surface is complete, you are ready to apply the adhesive.

Applying the Adhesive

Although it seems relatively easy, applying the adhesive too has some things to keep in mind as well. For example, if you are gluing two pieces of large, flat material, then the coverage will matter and you want to be sure that the adhesive you are gluing with takes up the appropriate amount of surface area. This way your two materials will have the best contact.

When applying the glue, take care to minimize excess so that the clean up process is not more complicated and time consuming than it needs to be. And finally, be sure you are familiar with the clean up and storage instruction provided with the adhesive you use if there is any left over. Chemicals have very specific directions regarding storage, temperature, and shelf life.

As we have seen in this article, there are some basic things to be mindful of when gluing materials with metal surfaces. Knowing a little bit about the materials themselves, including the chemistry, which adhesive to choose, and how to prepare and apply the glue you are using will contribute to a good outcome.