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post #9 of Old 04-03-2012
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Re: glueing teflon

Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
That's true. Some of these letter-soup plastics probably had not been formulated in the mid 1970's. I assume nylon would also be a PITA.
Teflon is polytetrafluoroethylene. If memory serves, it was discovered by accident in the late 30's and was first marketed by Dupont in the 40s. Chemically, it is a long polymer with a carbon core surrounded by Fluorine atoms (the component elements of the polymer are all CF2=CF2). The Fluorine makes it strongly hydrophobic and oleophobic (repels water and fatty organic compounds) and has a relatively low coefficient of friction. The strong double bond between the carbons combines with the regular arrangement of the Fluorine atoms to cancel the dipole forces, so Teflon is almost inert. Those properties, combined with its high density and long chain length, makes it ideal for a wide range of applications, including sliding surfaces.

Now, having gotten through all the chemical gobbledegook, it is important to point out that while Teflon repels water and organic materials and is almost inert, it is not completely inert and can be glued with special glues that bond nicely with it. Someone already mentioned the Reltek brand, which works. I'll also mention that there are some formulations of Cyanoacrylate glues that also work and are much easier to find. One example of a Cyanoacrylate glue is Superglue. Note that Cyanoacrylate glues are very brittle and are not appropriate for applications that require some flexing. Likewise, they are not waterproof. If you think the slides are going to get soaked, it is not the right thing to use. However, whether soaking or not happens depends on the design of the hatch.

If you decide to try a Cyanoacrylate glue, look for a version that says it bonds "all plastics." Rough up both surfaces before applying and clean the dust off with denatured alcohol. Let the alcohol evaporate completely, then apply. Press in place and hold for 1 minute. It is completely cured in 5 minutes, typically.


T. P. Donnelly
S/V Tranquility Base
1984 Islander 30 Bahama
Pasadena, MD
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