Acrylic is a very distinct material. Projects that require gluing two or more acrylic sheets together can be very difficult, as acrylic should not be glued together with an adhesive. The best method of gluing acrylic sheets together involves a chemical solvent that must be used very carefully.
The process of gluing two acrylic sheets together is often called solvent welding. This is because acrylics cannot be glued together in the same manner as other materials. Most materials are glued together using an adhesive. Acrylic sheets, however, can be softened so that the two sheets reform and become one piece. Solvent welding will create a very strong and secure bond because the acrylic sheets are not glued together, but are welded together instead. However, this process can only be used with sheets that fit perfectly and have smooth edges. If your acrylic pieces are rough or do not fit perfectly, you can secure them together using viscous cement. This will glue the sheets together, but it not the best method.
A chemical solvent called acrylic cement must be used to glue two acrylic sheets together. When handling this chemical, you should always take proper precautions and wear gloves and safety goggles. For the acrylic cement to work properly, both acrylic sheets must have smooth surfaces on the sides that you plan to adhere together. You can achieve a smooth finish on your acrylic sheets by lightly sanding the side that you will be gluing down.
To glue two pieces of acrylic together, you must secure both sheets with a clamp, or have an assistant hold them together so that they fit perfectly while you apply the solvent. Use a needle-nose application bottle to apply the acrylic cement to the acrylic sheets. The cement will begin to dissolve the acrylic and form a strong bond immediately. Take care not to spill any of the solvent, as this will mar the acrylic sheets. If you do spill the solvent, do not wipe it up. Allow it to evaporate instead.
Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.