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Old 05-11-2004
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Alternative to screws?

I am trying to add hardware to a rotomolded polyethylene boat (Escape Mambo). Does anybody have a suggestion for alternatives to self-tapping screws?
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Alternative to screws?

Sorry to say, I know of nothing that will stick to Polyethylene (bonding, bedding, or sealant).
If anyone does know of something, I''d be VERY interested.
Gord
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Alternative to screws?

GordMay:

I tend to get the poly--plastics mixed up so it may not have been polyethylene but hot melt glue made a four-year repair on the bottom of a "Sportyak" plastic dingy. After application with the heat gun I carefully but thoroughly fused and smoothed the patch to the parent material with a heated (soldering temperature) 2# soldering copper. I say carefully as it is very easy to melt all the way through.

Regards, George
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Alternative to screws?

Go to a (snow) ski shop and purchase some "P-tex" candles. These are used in repair of polyethylene ski bottoms. There is a ''trick'' in using them to avoid soot by working fast and not allowing a large flame to develop. You ''light'' them with a match and dribble the molten polyethylene into the repair. If you are not close to ''ski country'', do a websearch for "montana + Ptex".
There is also a ''welding'' grade available (1/8" dia.) that requires a heat gun.
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Old 05-12-2004
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Alternative to screws?

As the original question implies; screws are not recommended hardware fasteners in for Poly’ applications.

I’ve used Blind Rivets and Gaskets, with moderate success. If you have access to the “blind” side of the hull/deck, you would be better off using Nuts & Bolts (in lieu of rivets).

Drill out the hull for a slightly snug fit (rivet or bolt diameter).
Clean the area to be covered by the hardware (footprint) with alcohol.
Apply a plastic gasket (ie: Silicone Sealant, or other) to both the hull (hardware footprint) & the hardware.
Fit the hardware to the hull while gasket is still pliable; hold in place (the challenge) until gasket sets. Do not squeeze out the gasket. The Silicone gasket will not adhere to the Poly’ - it’s just a flexible gasket that will “seal” the holes due to mechanical clamping (compression) pressure.
Apply the rivet(s) through the hardware (mounting holes) and the hull (holes). The efficacy of this method relies on a continuous compressible gasket, and the clamping pressure of the rivet or nut/bolt.

You might finish the mounting by applying (Hot-Melt) a bead of RichH’s “P-Tex” (or Polyethylene “Welding Rod”) along the edge of the harware and hull junction.



Some reference reading:

GUIDE TO ROTOMOLDED KAYAK & CANOE REPAIR:
http://www.voyageur-gear.com/downloads/care&repair/Polyethylene_Repair_Guide.pdf

Linear Polyethylene: Repair using heat
http://www.polyprocessing.com/pdf/technical/RepairRotomoldedPolyethyleneParts.pdf

Good luck,
Gord
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Old 05-12-2004
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Alternative to screws?

I had not thought of bonding. I had a polyethylene sailboard ~20 years ago and happened to work in a place that had plastics engineers. The official way to bond included mixing two chemicals (both of which were labeled toxic and non-shippable) for 8 hours! I have used p-tex to repair skis but I did not think it would bond a metal part to a deck strong enough to resist pulling apart. Having said all that, I''ll check out the links. I also asked the manufacturer. I''ll update what they say.
thanks
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