Acetone and Welding Plastics
Date: November 2005
What type of plastic can be "welded" with acetone?
The "welding" that you speak of is really just the action of dissolving
some of the plastic and allowing the pieces to recrystallize or reform
across pieces - forming a physical bond. Actually quite a few commercial
plastics are soluble (or at the very least swollen) by acetone.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to say exactly what plastics can weld since
formulations and manufacturing processes applied to the plastic can impart
a wide range of properties on the plastic part. In general, most
polystyrene formulations can be dissolved by acetone (you can easily test
this by applying just a little bit of acetone onto polystyrene foam packaging or
on the clear plastic windows of envelopes).
Thermoplastic acrylic plastics (Plexiglas) can be "welded" with acetone,
but that is not the solvent of choice because it is too volatile. There
are solvent blends available at hobby, art, and/or glass stores that work
better -- forming a stronger bond.
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Update: June 2012