Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Year Gear and Tool Review: Bonding with Bondic

If you go to a modern dentist, you are probably already familiar with UV-cured adhesives.  I have never seen them available for the consumer market.  But Brian over at Dock Six (in Canada...) has...
"Now you oughta make it stick together..."
                                   -Wilbert Harrison

As you know, Constant Readers, I basically have three modes- building stuff, breaking stuff, and sailing.

(No, Smartass Reader, "drinking and eating" is NOT a mode.  It is an integral part of the Three Modes.)

Intrinsic to successful functioning in any mode is the necessity to keep things from falling apart all around, you...

  .... and putting them back together when they inevitably do.

Thus, I am always looking for better, faster, easier, stronger ways to build what is needed and fix what is busted.

Which is why I have an assortment of tubes and vials and bottles of various adhesives, of varying efficacy,  taking up real estate on my workbench and locker space aboard.  By and large, my go-to solution for most bonding jobs is epoxy of some sort, but one challenge with epoxy is that it has a LONG cure time, which makes it unsuitable for quick, clamp-free fixes.  Even quick curing epoxy isn't all that quick.

Cyanoacrylate, the Krazy Glue-type stuff, IS instant, but that presents it's own brand of problems, because once two objects are stuck together they are stuck, like, NOW.  No repositioning, no time to get your fingers out of the way, or your sleeve, or to remember that you're working on a freshly refinished uncovered table...

What if there was an epoxy that had the fast cure time of cyanocrylate, but only when you wanted it?

Enter Bondic.

The  folks at Bondic describe it as "the world’s FIRST liquid plastic welder."  There's all sorts of super-secret proprietary sciency stuff involved that makes it unique  but basically it is an ultraviolet cured adhesive.  What really makes it unique is how it works.

The Bondic kit consists of an adhesive cartridge and a 6 volt UV light..... packed in a cigar sized shiny case.

packed in a cigar sized shiny case.

It's as foolproof as an adhesive can get- clean the objects to be bonded, and sand shiny surfaces- this stuff likes a little "tooth, just like glue....

apply a bead of Bondic to one surface, by gently squeezing the cartridge, just like glue...

Then, here's where things get different. Shine the UV light on your work for 4-8 seconds...

BOOM!  Cured, like a true believer at a tent revival.

Because of the fast cure time, Bondic can also be used as an effective filler for small jobs, applied in layers, curing each layer.  Busted the corner of your cell phone case?  Sand,  apply Bondic, cure, sand, apply Bondic, cure, sand, apply Bondic, cure, etc.  as needed.


Because of the application system and UV light size, Bondic is best for SMALL jobs.

And not many of them.  This review almost exhausted the cartridge.

Tensile and shear strength is not Bondic's, er, strong point.  I bonded two scrap pine battens...

Then pulled them apart...  easily.

I then tried again, thinking that a thicker layered "fillet" might be more effective...

... it is...but not much.  The battens still came apart easily.

Bondic IS waterproof, but, just like epoxy, it is sunlight sensitive- outdoor applications will need to be topcoated

It's not a great structural fastening adhesive, but it has potential for effective, quick small repairs aboard- broken sunglasses, cracked vhf radio housing,  broken tangs on light lenses,  that sorta stuff.

Cost?  The kit cost about $20, refill adhesive cartridges are about $12, a replacement UV light about $7.

Not cheap, but cheaper than a new Otterbox for your iProduct.

Bondic likely won't be the first adhesive you reach for, but it might just be what you try when nothing else will work.

Talk the Dock!

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