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How to Glue Ceramic to Metal

There are several scenarios in which the need arises for gluing ceramic material to metal. But when this is needed, what should be considered? Furthermore, if you are trying to determine how to glue ceramic to metal, is there a glue or group of glue products that is more effective than others? in this short article we will answer those questions.

The Need for Ceramic to Metal Glue

Often times construction professionals find themselves face-to-face with a task that requires the bonding of two specific materials that are nothing alike. This is where the professional sees a need for ceramic to metal adhesive. For more on bonding metal, check out the article entitled: Gluing Metal Surfaces to Other Materials. Here though, we will consider a couple of points that relate to gluing ceramic materials to metal (or gluing metal to ceramic) surfaces.

When Would You Need to Bond Ceramic and Metal?

The obvious answer to the question, "when would I need to glue ceramic to a metal surface?" is pretty simple really. It becomes necessary anytime the horizontal or vertical surface is made of a metal material and you want to overlay it with tile made of ceramic material. There are adhesives made for both orientations so you need not worry about trying to hunt down the right adhesive for bonding metal and ceramic surfaces. There are many glues that will join these materials, but they are not all the same when it comes to performance.

What Kind of Adhesive Bonds Metal and Ceramic Tiles?

There are many kinds of glue that will create a bond. But not all of them are made for the same use. Factors such as the strength, environment, and flexibility will influence the decision you make regarding a ceramic-metal bonding agent. Because of this, you will want to research the various adhesives available and select the appropriate product for the task.

Bonding Ceramic Tiles to Metal Step-by-Step

When you are gluing ceramic material (such as tiles) to a metal surface, the procedure is not complicated, but following it closely is important for getting the best bond. Here are the steps:

  • Clean the metal surface to ensure that it is free of any dirt and/or grease that may be on the surface which could inhibit the bonding action of the adhesive.
  • Using an abrasive tool or method for "scrabbling" (scarifying, roughing, sanding, etc.) treat the metal surface so as to increase the surface area of the metal.
  • If the surface is vertical, use a bonding adhesive that is a consistency compatible with the orientation; something such as knife grade.
  • For horizontal surfaces, you could use either flowing or knife grade consistency adhesive.
  • Spread the glue evenly over the surface of the metal material following the guidelines set forth in the manufacturer's instructions for application.
  • Place tiles on the metal surface and position and press each so that it is level and evenly spaced in relation to the other tiles on the surface.
  • Allow time for the adhesive to cure. This time will be included in the instructions for the specific glue you are using.

After the ceramic tiles have been completely installed and the adhesive is cured, you may need to remove residual adhesive from areas of the surface you did not intent on.

In conclusion then, there are specific times when bonding ceramic to metal is a requirement. There a number of adhesives that could be used, but not all perform the same. Furthermore, there glues that are made for bonding ceramic to metal and when used correctly according to instructions, the results are the best possible.