Author Topic: Laminating thin styrene sheet  (Read 2066 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Zox

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1120
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +2
    • Lord Zox's Home Page
Laminating thin styrene sheet
« on: June 30, 2013, 10:59:42 PM »
0
I'm going to be making some relatively large (on the order of 2x3 inches) wall panels, by laminating together multiple layers of 0.05" styrene. My preferred adhesive for styrene is Plastruct's Weldene, because (a) it only glue styrene to styrene and (b) it's nontoxic, which is nice for working in the basement.

My question is, what is the best way to apply the adhesive for a lamination job of this sort?

--The little brush in the bottle? I've had success on smaller panels, but it's difficult to get a "wet" surface across a large object before the adhesive evaporates, and the adhesive tends to puddle at the edges and melt them.

--A bigger brush? This avoids the timing issue, but would make the puddling issue worse.

--A spray bottle? Given the styrene-only nature of the adhesive, and the fact that it has a very water-like consistency, this seems possible, but suggestions on what sprayer to use would be welcomed.

--A sponge-on or stippling technique, for lighter and more uniform application? At the moment, this is the way I'm leaning.

--Something like a stamp pad, where I could "ink" the back of the piece at one go?

--Any other methods that people have tried?

Thanks for any info/suggestions.
Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
z o x @ v e r i z o n . n e t
http://lordzox.com/
It is said a Shaolin chef can wok through walls...

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20765
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1859
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 01:02:29 AM »
0
Interesting dilemma.  While I have some Weldene, I haven't used it for a while so I don't remember its properties (like evaporation time).  Your best bet will be with a cement which has slow evaporation rate. Something like MEK (or Testors liquid cement).

What worries me is that you are using very thin styrene. I have feeling that any liquid cement (styrene solvent) will quickly soften the entire sheet and possibly make it brittle (if you are bending it while it is being laminated).

--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

basementcalling

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2397
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +196
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 08:49:46 AM »
0
Is there a reason you cannot simply use 0.010 or 0.015 inch thick styrene instead of laminating multiple layers of the thin stuff?

If there is, what about just swiping the edges of the sheet with the solvent or placing the pieces together and brushing the edges. Capillary action won't suck the glue all the way to the center, but it should give enough of an edge bond that the pieces will be connected.
Peter Pfotenhauer

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11257
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1843
    • DKS Home
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 09:19:33 AM »
0
If it was me, I'd use double-sided tape. The surface area is such that it should provide more than adequate strength, without risking the styrene getting distorted by any solvent.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Zox

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1120
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +2
    • Lord Zox's Home Page
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 05:04:42 PM »
0
To clarify: I'm laminating thin sheets to make 3-D parts, much as I did for Lee Weldon's Cumberland station:



Those are built up from 4 layers of 0.005" styrene.

I was able to make those work with the "default" brush, but had the issues I mentioned above. Weldene evaporates reasonably slowly, but since I'm working with such thin material I'm trying to minimize the amount of adhesive. And of course, a minimal amount of adhesive will evaporate more quickly.

Since the panels I'll be doing for my Kankakee station will be larger (I'm doing entire walls, not just individual doors/windows), the issues will be magnified. I was just wondering if anyone had experimented with different methods of applying the glue.

I'll be using adhesive transfer tape for the outermost (printed brick) layer, as well as to adhere the styrene "sandwich filling" to the acetate window glass. But I wanted to make the styrene a single, fused unit if possible.
Rob M., a.k.a. Zox
z o x @ v e r i z o n . n e t
http://lordzox.com/
It is said a Shaolin chef can wok through walls...

Kisatchie

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4179
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +60
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 06:34:38 PM »
0
To clarify: I'm laminating thin sheets to make 3-D parts, much as I did for Lee Weldon's Cumberland station:



Those are built up from 4 layers of 0.005" styrene.

That's some really nice work. I wish I could do that!


Hmm... me too...

Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20765
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1859
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 08:40:17 PM »
0
If you insist in laminating 0.005" layers of a large structure, is there any way to split up the lower internal layers into smaller sections and apply them separately?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 09:09:23 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11257
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +1843
    • DKS Home
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 09:06:35 PM »
0
You may want to run a trial with spray adhesive.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +47
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 12:08:40 AM »
0
Zox,

I have had this exact question/problem when cutting out thin styrene with my Silhouette. I tried the Weldene on .010, and it left pockmarks. A little weathering and a made up story about the prototype, and it was fine. I have also used Tenex along the wall edge, but have trouble with delimitation. I have considered spray adhesive, but can be a bit of a mess. I have also thought about contact cement, but haven't tried that yet.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20765
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1859
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 12:32:47 AM »
0
I have also thought about contact cement, but haven't tried that yet.

Best wishes, Dave

Solvent based contact-cement will do more damage than styrene liquid cement. I once used Pliobond on styrene and the distortion did not show up until months later!  It seems that the stuff degases slowly and can cause latent damage..  But maybe water-based contact cement would be an alternative.

I'm also thinking of possibly using thin CA glue. Just cut some extra openings in the inside layers of the lamination (staggered on each layer), assemble 2 layers then flow the thin styrene in at the openings. The capillary action will wick the glue between the layers of styrene.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

Dave Schneider

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2377
  • Respect: +47
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 01:05:29 AM »
0
Peteski,

Good point about the solvent based contact cement. I was thinking about water based but didn't specify. I have also tried the idea with the staggered inner layers/framework so that it isn't cemented just at the outer edge. That worked okay.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

pnolan48

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1727
  • Respect: +57
    • N Scale Ships
Re: Laminating thin styrene sheet
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 03:13:19 PM »
0
In the past two years I've had lots of experience laminating large sheets of styrene together. Hull bottoms, for example, are up to 48" long by 6" wide, and made of two or three laminations of .020" styrene. In fact, almost everything is laminated. The superstructures usually have a .010" skin that allows for recesses around doors and portholes. I haven't tried the .005" styrene, as I find that index card, or cover stock, is more suitable for that thickness, and much easier to use without pockets or shadowing.

When laminating a larger piece, I do not try to do it all at once. Instead, I make sure that one end is perfectly aligned, and glue just a short section, keeping the two pieces apart by curving up the top part. After about twenty seconds, I glue a second section and release the top part down onto it. For the size you describe, that should do it. For large hulls, it may take five or six steps.

I do use a brush about the same size as those that come in commercial bottles. I use my own glue formulation of about 80% MEK and 20% toluol. The toluol slows down the evaporation rate and adds some tackiness. I brush it on very thinly and quickly, then put the pieces together quickly. I've never had any puckering with .010" styrene with this mixture--I have with Testor's liquid stuff.

I've found that I just can't laminate even fairly small pieces in one pass. My glue formulation grabs immediately--or not at all. Glues that give more time, it seems to me, lead to puckering.