Glues for drysuit gaskets

JohnAbercrombie

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I've used Aquaseal for gluing drysuit gaskets. It works well; I've never had a failure.

All the gasket work I've done has been at home, in my basement shop.
I generally leave the Aquaseal to cure overnight.

I've been thinking about my repair kit for kayak camping. It seemed to me that a quick-setting contact-type cement would be much easier for a 'field' repair.

Using some clean auto tube rubber, I did a few quick tests.
The rubber was washed well with detergent, cleaned with acetone, and sanded with 80 and 150 grit sandpaper, and wiped again with acetone.
mini-DSCN2749.JPG


The glues I tested:
Barge Cement - the recommendation of the salesman at Industrial Plastics in Victoria
Lepage 'Heavy Duty' Contact Cement - I use this (solvent-type) glue for gluing foam padding in kayaks; it works well.
Pliobond 25 - another product I found at Industrial Plastics.
Even when I store it in the freezer, I find that an opened tube of Aquaseal doesn't survive well. I was too cheap to open up a fresh tube of Aquaseal for this test. I know it works. (BTW, the Cotol catalyst/accelerator for Aquaseal is very liable to evaporate from the tiny and expensive bottle; I don't have any of that here.)

Shop temperature was 15C.

The instructions for each glue were followed exactly.
Barge Cement: Single coat on each surface, allowed to dry for 20 minutes
Lepage Contact Cement: Single coat on each surface, allowed to dry for 20 minutes
Pliobond: Two coats on each surface, each allowed to dry, then a 3rd coat allowed to dry till tacky.

The Barge Cement and Lepage Contact cement were similar consistency - thick, honey-like clear liquids.
The Pliobond is a milky liquid, with a less-viscous creamy consistency.

I spread the glues with the brushes included in the container (Lepage,Pliobond) or a 'Popsicle' stick (Barge Cement).

Results:
Barge cement is the clear winner. After 10 minutes, it completely bonded the rubber samples together; they couldn't be separated without a lot of force and small bits of the surface rubber were pulled away with the adhesive. This would definitely be a 'ready to use' bond after 10 minutes.

Pliobond 25 The Pliobond separated with some difficulty after 10 minutes, but re-attached when the rubber pieces were pressed together again. With increasing time (1 hour and 24 hours) it was more difficult to pull the pieces apart, but the adhesive was still not completely cured - there was still a strong solvent smell. This would be an adequate repair for a gasket, but the bottle of liquid would not be convenient in a repair kit.

Lepage Contact Cement- this was completely ineffective. It seemed to be bonding the rubber pieces, but they could be pulled apart easily, leaving a clean rubber surface.

Removal: Could an old gasket be removed and a fresh surface provided for a future repair?
There's not telling how these glue bonds will behave in a year from now, but after 24 hours:
Again Barge Cement was the winner. With heat (careful use of heat gun, or clothes iron with a cloth) the rubber pieces could be separated. The glue residue could be removed with acetone, or more easily with contact cement thinner/cleaner followed by acetone.
The Pliobond separated easily with heat, and with difficulty when cold. The residue was tougher to remove than with the Barge cement, but contact cement thinner and acetone did the job.

So, the Barge Cement tube goes into my repair kit along with the spare gaskets and the pieces of old gasket for patching purposes.
mini-DSCN2753.JPG
 

Astoriadave

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Revealing results, especially the Pliobond, which has been a successful contact adhesive for 50 years or so ... in the original formulation.

The "low VOC" variant John tested is a relative newcomer, and IMO should be ignored as a durable adhesive. I tried it a few times, and it failed about half the time. In contrast, I have used the red can version of Pliobond, which is "high VOC" by comparison, for many, many bonds, rubber to rubber, nylon fabric to epoxy coated wood, minicell to minicell, wood to wood ... the list goes on ... and I cannot recall a failure.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Revealing results, especially the Pliobond, which has been a successful contact adhesive for 50 years or so ... in the original formulation.

The "low VOC" variant John tested is a relative newcomer, and IMO should be ignored as a durable adhesive. I tried it a few times, and it failed about half the time. In contrast, I have used the red can version of Pliobond, which is "high VOC" by comparison, for many, many bonds, rubber to rubber, nylon fabric to epoxy coated wood, minicell to minicell, wood to wood ... the list goes on ... and I cannot recall a failure.
Thanks for those details, Dave.
The 'red can' Pliobond may be available here in Canada - or not. Often nowadays it seems that the 'better' solvent-containing products from the US aren't imported because of the HazMat shipping rules. Certainly, it's difficult to get stuff like that shipped across the border to a house address, in my experience.
I'll keep my eyes open for the 'real' Pliobond (red can version). I don't know if that's the same product that also came in tubes years ago ?
 

Astoriadave

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John, aging is a witch.

That "memory" of Pliobond is actually of red can Weldwood contact cement. Per this link. I can not say how similar it is to any version of Pliobond. There is no red can variant of Pliobond. If you Google Pliobond, you will see several versions, including a tubular one.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-Weldwood-32-fl-oz-Original-Contact-Cement-00272/100125525

Here is an authoritative comparison of the primary kinds of Weldwood contact cement, which is a "neoprene" contact cement. It is uncontaminated by "aging." Now where is that TV remote ... ah yes, in my shirt pocket ...

http://drentha.com/2015/07/17/tutorial-how-to-use-dap-contact-cement/ Note the author is a foamsmith.
 

Kayak Jim

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The high VOC Pliobond also came in a bottle virtually identical to the low VOC version. I had one up until a couple of years ago. My Dad swore by the stuff and it was his go-to adhesive for anything non wood. Given my age, he must have been one of the early adopters.

Here's a Canadian source that appears to be the high VOC.
https://www.aircraftspruce.ca/catalog/cspages/pliobond.php
 

Astoriadave

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That is a great link, Kayak Jim. Clicking on the Document tab leads to a Tech Data sheet comparing the two grades, low VOC-compliant, and the good stuff (not available many states in the US). In the Q and A tab, Pliobond states that the former uses acetone as the vehicle while the latter primarily uses methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).

Not clear what restrictions there might be on sales in Canada.
 

hommeliquide

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Apr 2, 2021
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Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Very useful thread thanks everyone for contributing! I found https://www.zelistore.com/ shipping barge cement in Canada. Aircraft Spruce has the Pliobond, but shipping is Purolator ground only - costly!. Cheapest seems to be buying from ZELIKOVITZ LEATHERS through the walmart.ca portal - if you can't find such stuff locally. Looking forward to rehabilitating my drysuit for the coming season! Happy paddling.
 
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