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Topic: Glue For Foam
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 6, 2008 05:55PM)
I am needing to glue some pieces of foam together. Some of the pieces will not have much surface area to glue, so I need something that will hold well. I was thinking of using an epoxy, or maybe the 3M Super 77 Fabric Glue. I have never tried to glue foam, so I am hoping someone can tell me which would work best, or if there is a better glue for foam.


Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 6, 2008 10:23PM)
Well, it depends on what type of foam you're using. Is it foam rubber or a hard sheet foam?

For foam rubber, good ol' Elmer's, or any white glue, works fine. This is a porous material, so the glue can soak into it and make a bond. If the joint needs to be flexible, try Sobo glue, which is just that -- a flexible glue used on fabrics. Craft stores and fabric shops usually have it.

Florist's foam (the green stuff) and real Styrofoam (the blue stuff), which also have porous surfaces, can also be glued with white glue.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is the white beady stuff (like what so-called Styrofoam cups are made out of), is not a porous material, so white glue just sits on the surface and laughs at you. For this, the 3M Spray 77 or Super 77 work really well. The 3M product also works really well on ethafoam, which is the gray stuff that pipe insulation tubes are made out of.

Hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 7, 2008 08:30AM)
Thanks George. I should have specified, but I am needing the glue for foam rubber.
Message: Posted by: owln_1 (Jan 8, 2008 12:12PM)
For Styrofoam You can use "West Systems" Get it at boat repair and supplies it's a 2 part fiberglass epoxy system that will not eat your foam. Owln_1
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 9, 2008 07:15AM)
Thanks, Alan. Although I am not glueing styrofoam, my concern that the glue might damage the faom was my main reason for this post. I am needing to glue foam rubber, like the charcoal-gray type that is used to line camera cases, etc. I have melted styrofoam before with paint, and I was afraid that foam rubber may react in a similar manner to certain paints and/or glues. I wanted to make sure I had the right type before I ruined it!

I had considered using a two-part epoxy, but I didn't know if it would work on the damage the foam rubber. Also, because it is so very pourous I wasn't sure how well it would hold. I need something that will hold well. George suggested Elmer's, and if that will create a strong enough bond I will be happy! I guess I assumed Elmer's would soak in too much and not hold well enough. Sometimes it's easy for me to overlook the simplest solutions! I guess I will try the Elmer's unless someone offers a better choice.


Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Jan 9, 2008 09:36AM)
Advice for all-

When in doubt, test on scrap.

This isn't just for foam, it's for all materials. Better to lose the leftover plexiglass cuttings than have your Crystal Casket permanently fogged up because you used the wrong epoxy.
Message: Posted by: jsilk7 (Jan 9, 2008 05:38PM)
I would use the 3M glue. I have used it in the past and it works great.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 9, 2008 09:32PM)
Some spray adhesives will work great on foam... initially. Then it may break down, losing its bond and leaving you with a gooey mess.

3M Foam Fast 74 is a spray adhesive made specifically for foam. I have purchased it at Hancock Fabrics. If you Google 3M Foam Fast 74, you'll find several sources. You may be able to convert the type of places into a local source (fabric store, automotive upholstery, etc.)
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 10, 2008 10:51AM)
Thanks everyone! Michael, the 3M Fast 74 sounds promising!

Message: Posted by: rhiro (Jan 10, 2008 02:10PM)
I've used contact cement in the past with success, applied with a brush. The foam rubber drinks up the initial application of contact cement, so I typically apply at least two coats. Allow each coat to fully dry before applying the next.

Definitely test on scrap material first. Different vintages of the same brand of adhesive can sometimes have different properties.

Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 10, 2008 04:02PM)
I don't own stock in Elmer's or anything :) , but I'll say that I have some foam rubber padding that's been glued to ply for well over 20 years and it's still right where I put it. Funny thing... sometimes the foam itself will break down before the adhesive.

I'll keep that Foam Fast 74 in mind for future projects; sounds interesting.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 10, 2008 06:11PM)
I've used contact cement in the past to build a foam structure as part of a giant costume. It worked pretty good, but you have to watch it if you have some of the stuff soak in. When you press the parts together, even the internally glued areas will compress, and bond.

The Elmer's glue is probably chaeper than anything else. I suppose whatever needs to be used is going to depend on what the foam is going to be glued to.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 11, 2008 11:04AM)
Well, in my case, some of the foam will be glued to itself, and some to cardboard. I'm afraid glueing foam to foam might pose some problems.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 11, 2008 11:57AM)
Try George's suggestion with some scrap first. We know Elmer's will work on cardboard (unless it has some funky coating). If it works well (foam on foam), which it probably should, you can proceed with the actual project. It will be cheaper than the other stuff, but it won't be an instant bond, so make sure it is securely in place while it dries.

The nice thing is you can be more accurate with a bottle of Elmer's (maybe aided with a small brush). You won't have to mask for spraying if there are areas you don't want the adhesive on.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Jan 12, 2008 10:14AM)
Thanks Michael! I think I will do exactly as you suggested.....so thanks to you too George! I already have the Elmer's and when my foam gets to me I will test it on a small area.