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Bonding to polypropylene composites?

  • 1.  Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-24-2018 16:57
    I had a question from someone today about what kind of materials and processes are used for bonding polypropylene composites to each other.  I'm out of my experience base on that one.  Does anyone have any recommendations on where to get additional information on this topic?

    Benjamin Dietsch
    NONA Composites LLC
    Miamisburg OH

  • 2.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-27-2018 12:41
    Hey Benjamin,
    Polypropylene is very hard to bond.  The best method I have heard for surface prep is plasma treatment.  You will have to consult one of the providers for advice.  Can you use other methods, such as welding or fasteners?


  • 3.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-28-2018 18:36
    Were you able to try any heat welding?
    How big of an area are you trying to adhere. I was going to say that there are adhesives that will bond to polypropylene composites. I would contact Ronald Habermas w/ Henkel 248-577-2165 and see what he can offer you. I met him at CAMX17 and he seemed to be very knowledgeable on this kind of thing.

    Matthew Kelly EIT
    Parker CO

  • 4.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-29-2018 08:33
    Ultrasonic welding can be used to join PP materials. If you need to bond the PP to something else, the advice to surface-treat (plasma, corona, flame) is good. 3M makes an adhesive that can be used to bond materials to PP. I've used it in the past to attach surfacing materials, but not for a structural bond, so I can't comment as its suitability for that type of application.

    Elizabeth Cates
    Innegra Technologies
    Greenville SC

  • 5.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-29-2018 13:07

    I work for Enercon based in the UK. I have successfully used plasma on polyprop for many applications. My colleagues in america would be happy to help if needed.


    William Quinn
    Plasma Engineering
    Enercon Industries LTD
    Buckinghamshire HP19 8UX

  • 6.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-29-2018 14:29
    There are a number of options for bonding PPcomposite.  The easiest and least reliable is flame ionization.  To flame ionize, cut down on the air input to a lit Bunsen burner until the flame becomes a wavy gas cloud.  It takes some trials to get the right cloud.  Second, try the famous FPL etch which is a combination of Sulfuric acid and Sodium Dichromate.  It was used to bond much of the aluminum structure of the Apollo Missions. Check with local regulations for disposing of Chromate solutions.  The most reliable method is the use of an ionizing machine, which requires capital outlay or an available service provider.
    Stan Peters

    Stanley Peters
    Gen Mgr
    Process Research
    Mountain View CA

  • 7.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-30-2018 03:56
    3M (8005 and 8010 from memory) and Henkel make PP adhesives (as well as some others who make methacrylates that could work).  Surface preparation as stated above will get you much better properties.

    We did an analysis on best adhesives for bonding of glass reinforced PP some years ago.  Lap shear properties though are quite a bit lower than (7-15MPa) for many other composites due to the low surface energy, non polar and the molecular structure of polyolefins working against you.

    Mat Turner

  • 8.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 08-31-2018 14:20

    Titanates and Zirconates bond to non-polar substrates such as PP:


    See attached Acoustic Emission Analysis tech paper written in 1993 from which the above graphic was taken.


    See attached Adhesion Promotion Chapter from 340-page Ken-React® Reference Manual written in 1985.


    See link:


    The coupling agent can be compounded into the PP or added to the adhesive as they are sold as liquids or 65% powder and 20% pellet masterbatches.


    Salvatore J. Monte

    P.E., B.C.E., M.S.-Polymeric Materials, Fellow (SPE)

    Board of Governors – Plastics Pioneers Assocoation


    Kenrich Petrochemicals, Inc.

    PO Box 32

    Bayonne, NJ 07002 USA

    Tel No. 201-823-9000

    Fax No. 201-823-0691



    Customer Support:


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  • 9.  RE: Bonding to polypropylene composites?

    Posted 09-03-2018 06:24

    Being a thermoplastic material, welding would be the preferred option. You can use (KVE's) induction welding process, or go for resistance welding, ultrasonoc welding or conductive welding.

    If you do need to bond, check out, they supply adhesion promotors for polyolefin-based resins.


    Maarten Labordus
    R&D Manager
    KVE Composites Group
    The Hague