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Fabrication Sanity Check - Aluminuim and plastics

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  • Fabrication Sanity Check - Aluminuim and plastics

    Hi All,

    I have a Xenarc 800TSV that I'm looking to fab back into my dash to give it a cleaner look. The idea is to cut down the edges of the aluminum screen bezel so that it is the same size as the opening for the now long gone radio.

    You can see the current set up and how it sits out proud of the dash.

    Following down the indented lines of the plastic from top to bottom I should be able to cut back the aluminum bezel so that it is the same size as the opening. From here I want to use some sort of epoxy to join the aluminum and the plastic. You cant see it in the photo but in the opening for the radio there is a small lip that should provide a good surface to epoxy on to.

    Question 1 - What should I be looking at to join the aluminum and plastic trim? Doing some reading JB weld seems to be a good option? The reason for retaining the aluminum is that it seats the touch panel and makes the whole project much easier without having to remount buttons etc etc.

    I imagine the aluminum bezel will sit out a few millimeters from the plastic trim, which is fine I expect this. So to smooth this edge out back towards the outside of the plastic trim I think I need some sort of putty.

    Question 2 - Any recommendations for what would be a good putty given that most of the structural responsibility will be handled by the epoxy? It would need to adhere to the aluminum and the trim. Would something like Knead it work? -

    It doesn't really matter how it looks as I am going to cover the whole piece of trim in 3M carbon fiber look wrap, which also means I wont have to paint.

    Would really appreciate any help, cheers.
    Deathstar Worklog

  • #2
    Personally I'd secure the alloy in using bracing and screws/bolts then use an epoxy which is designed for both plastics and metals (in the UK we have Devcon Plastic Weld and Unibond Plastic Repair which both bond to metal without any problems).

    But as you are securing it physically before using the epoxy theres less risk of stress cracks etc later on due to the dis-similar materials.

    But I'm a strong believer in working with similar materials when it comes to bonding things chemically.


    • #3
      Thanks Guv, I'll do my best to make it secure with some sort of bracing / bolts before going in with the epoxy.

      I terms of risking cracking with the the putty/filler around the outside, do you think anything that adheres to plastic should be fine as there shouldn't be too much movement and it will be covered with the vinyl wrap anyway which should hide any cracks?

      Deathstar Worklog


      • #4
        Just rough up each bonded surface and use a good quality epoxy. Make sure you know what type of plastic your bezel is made out of (usually ABS) and ensure the epoxy has that listed as a bonded material.