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How to make liquid ABS plastic?

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  • How to make liquid ABS plastic?

    Ok....this maybe a retarded question but I herd that if you take little pieces of ABS plastic and put them in a glass jar with acetone that it would form a glue-iesupstance that dried like ABS??? How is this done.....what are the steps to making the liquid ABS? Thanks!

  • #2
    when i did mine i used MEK, since i had that lying around and no other good use for it. Acetone also works.

    you need to make sure your plastic really is abs. i purchased a sheet of it from a local plastic supply store, 2'x4'x1/8" i used about 1 square foot of this material, maybe a bit more.

    the smaller the pieces of abs the better, i cut mine into half inch square chunks. really the ideal size is shavings, but i didnt have the time or tools to achieve that. i put the pieces into a jar, and filled it with some MEK. didnt really measure, i just used quite a bit, about 1/4 of the jar. you can always let it evaporate out later. then i let it sit for a few days, came back and found that most of the plastic had clumped to the bottom. i got a wooden chopstick and mixed it around, and did this about every half hour for an entire day. it finally became a nice, but very runny liquid. i then let alot of the MEK evaporate by leaving the lid off for a while. then closing it and shaking, and stirring and repeat. i should have used less MEK and been more patient, but it was my first time.

    i went to walmart and found PE containers for stuff like dressings and condiments. they are clear and have a little cap. i poured my mix in there and then used that to squirt my desired amount in the desired place.
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    • #3
      I went the acetone route. Chopped up some ABS. didn't matter the size but the smaller the faster. Poured into a jar and let it do it's thing. Sometimes I make it thicker or thinner by adding abs or adding acetone. It's really so easy, I was surprised. I've just finished making my case out of ABS. I also fixed an ABS spoiler with it and now am planning on what other things I can do with it.

      Just make sure to use safety precautions. A mask, Acetone stinks to high hell and some gloves, it's annoying to get it all over your fingers.

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      • #4
        thats awesome man......so this liquid abs has a good shelf life? like It should last a few months right?

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        • #5
          If you've got any construx or legos lying around-they work awesome! But not duplos...

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          • #6
            dunno about the shelf life, I've had that jar around for about a month and it's still liquidy. But eventually i think it'll harden.

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            • #7
              my thick stuff is now even thicker after a month, which for me is good, but just an fyi
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              • #8
                i used some of this stuff:

                http://www.oatey.com/apps/catalog/sh...&prodgrpid=167



                (Found at home depot, it was somewhat hidden, and if you ask you have to ask for abs pipe cement, otherwise you may have a blank stare returned.)

                I had a sheet of abs plastic cut to the right dimensions and used this to "glue" it to the existing radio bezel. When I actually get my screen, hopefully the bezel is abs (as most are) then I will use this to glue the bezel to it. Also, my DVD Slim enclosure is abs, and this will be glued with the ABS cement.

                This way it's all one chemically bonded piece, so it will expand and contract together and bend and flex as one, rather than two glued pieces.

                I didn't even bother with letting existing abs melt in the MEK or acetone, this product has already done this.

                The shelf life according to the website is 3 years from date of manufacture.

                Be aware that this has MEK in it, which will dissolve the existing ABS. That's how it bonds. So make sure that whatever this is being used on that the faces that will be seen are left alone, unless you want to sand and sand and sand everything later.

                Also, the MEK in this has strong fumes, and you will need a mask/breather and really well ventilated work space when using it.

                Lastly, not sure if this (or the homemade version) would be suitable for larger pieces, since anytime the ABS is dissolved, it breaks down and sets back up, so this may alter the original physical properties of the ABS. So if it's just being used to fill in some small spots, and such, it's fine, otherwise a piece of ABS sheet is more suitable.
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                • #9
                  i filled in very large areas with it, and it is as strong as ever. i even did some tests with it and the abs sheet i had failed before the reconstituted abs did.
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                  • #10
                    That's good to know. I think I am going to try and re-do my homelink "pod" with this stuff, and see how it goes. Right now it's made of fiberglass, and works, (except the velcro glue keeps melting off the velcro tabs, and the thing falls down.) but I want to redesign it, and make it slimmer.

                    I just thought that something that was broken down and built back up may not be as strong as the original. (Maybe this is true after multiple breakdown cycles, but who is ever going to build something, break it down, and re-build it again?) Also, I found it easier to manipulate the sheet of abs for flat areas. For more curvaceous spots, the magic mix would work. Thermoforming is another option for large spots, make a mold, heat abs over mold, allow to cool, done.

                    anyone else use this oatey brand stuff on larger pieces?
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                    • #11
                      for me, when i tested, i glued 2 pieces of 1/8 inch thick sheet at a right angle. when i pulled it apart, the sheet bent and subsequently failed before the joint did. however the joint was probably a total of 1/4 inch thick.

                      i doubt strength is going to be a problem here. if you ar eputting that much force on any of these parts... you have larger concerns.
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                      • #12
                        That's true. I think it would be fairly hard to do a large piece though. A sheet of abs is already flat and has the hair cell or smooth sides, whereas the magic mix is going to need sanding, and there are usually bubbles to worry about etc. Tomorrow I'll actually get to play around a little more with it and see what I come up with.
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                        • #13
                          Do you guys know how to make a mold for pouring the liquid ABS into, like the type of materials need to make it ?

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                          • #14
                            This kind of cement mix, as well as the ABS/MEK mix will create a bond that is stronger than the surrounding ABS sheeting. If you test it, you will find that the sheeing around the "weld" will break before the weld itself.

                            What this is doing is similar to arc welding with steel, it melts and mixes the filler and the surrounding plastic, but the joint is much stronger than the cast plastic on either side.

                            You shouldn't have any issues with it, but as said, avoid getting it on the visible side of existing bezels, as it can take a lot of work to make it completely invisible if it runs too much!

                            For a mould, you can knock up the mould in plaster, latex, anything that will hold shape, as it doesnt have to withstand high heat in this process. Just make sure you use a release agent, or you will end up with parts of the mould stuck to the part when you pull it out. Not sure which release agent to use with ABS, give google a shot, that should give some pointers.

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                            • #15
                              would a sand/clay mix work often used when casting alluminum parts, or do you think plaster would be better ?

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