Styrene-to-Pink Foam: how glue?

Discussion in 'Z Scale' started by m.c. litton, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. m.c. litton

    m.c. litton TrainBoard Member

    Been trying to get some styrene squares down on my pink foam so I can mount caboose handthrows to them.
    I cut the foam about 1/8" down (so the handthrow is lowered & under the throwbar, thus reducing the profile of those "catapults").

    First I tried CA, which seemed to melt the foam a wee bit.
    (Chem is not my strong suit ;))

    Then I used some acryllic caulk, which has been the miracle adhesive everywhere else.
    But it doesn't quite seem to be taking.

    Any suggestions?

    Worse comes to worse, I'll cut out the rest of the 1 7/8" out of the 2" foam under the square, & attach a 1 3/4" - 1 7/8" piece of wood to the ply base, & mount the handthrow on top of that.

    Thanks for yr thoughts!
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    You might try Liquid Nails for Projects/Foam. It's available for $3-4 at Home Depot and/or Lowe's. It comes in a 14 oz. cartridge that is used with a caulking gun. It's best to remove the plastic film from the foam board and bond directly to the foam, or the bond will eventually come loose.
  3. pachyderm217

    pachyderm217 TrainBoard Member

    Latex caulk will do the trick, but it will take a while (days to weeks) to dry between styrene sheet and styrene foam. The foam is slightly porous whereas the sheet is impervious.

    If you need a quicker solution, check Lowe's/Menard's/Home Depot/etc. for foam adhesive. Comes in a caulk tube and is made for adhering styrene foam to wood substrates. If it's safe for styrene foam, it should be OK for styrene sheet as well.
  4. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

  5. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

    There are foam-friendly impact adhesives available (the type where you put a film on both parts, let it set a while, then push together) which will get round the slow drying of the caulks.
    I only have a UK catalogue and the names will probably be different over there, so I can't really help with an actual one to go look for.
  6. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    JET products makes a foam freindly adhesive in the lineup they make. I used it for my Micro-Trains Z-scale track to fasten it to the foam.
  7. Richard320

    Richard320 TrainBoard Member

    Gorilla Glue will work. Go sparingly - they aren't kidding when they say it will expand 3X. And wipe up anything that oozes out, it's hell to remove once it sets. Paint thinner works, so does charcoal starter, to get it off your hands if you're quick enough.

    Then again, water-based contact cement sounds like less grief.
  8. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

    Although the topic is about gluing styrene to foam; as modelers we also find the need to glue glass (mirrors), rubber, nylon, steel, brass, aluminum, pvc etc. Just wondering if any silicone or epoxy type glues are foam safe. Are they too difficult to cut through once they have cured?

  9. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    The easiest way I have found to tell if an adhesive will work with foam, is to look at the label and if you see the word: FLAMMABLE anywhere on the label, DON"T USE IT. I found out the hard way that some types of LIQUID NAILS will NOT work with foamboard. Makes one H*** of a mess and once the reaction starts, it's not going to stop until it wants to! PLEASE don't ask how I know this, the smell alone almost got me divorced!
    Look at the label. You are looking for NON-FLAMMABLE somewhere on the label, usually LATEX based and water wash up.
    I use adhesive-caulk for almost anything to do with bonding foam to almost anything else.
  10. bnsf_mp_30

    bnsf_mp_30 TrainBoard Member

    I've just started using Gorilla Glue and it seems to bond EVERYTHING. I even used it to glue new heels to a pair of shoes.

    True about the expansion but you can trim off any "overgrowth" with a sharp blade. (My son the attorney advises me to warn you to use due caution and I disclaim any liability for you slicing yourself open...)
  11. Phil Olmsted

    Phil Olmsted TrainBoard Member

  12. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Best advise right here folks!!:teeth:
  13. jdetray

    jdetray TrainBoard Member

    I've glued lots of different materials (plastic, wood, carbon fiber) to foam with 5-minute epoxy -- the 2-part stuff.

    - Jeff

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