Lexan lid. How well does silicone adhere to lexan (polycarbonate) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Lexan lid. How well does silicone adhere to lexan (polycarbonate)

Hey,

I have a lexan lid over my small (12" x 12") tank. I would like to give it a hinge so that the front part of it could be opened. I have seen people use silicone on glass lids to make a nice hinge. Could I apply this same technique to lexan? Does anyone have experience with silicone and lexan? I'm wondering how well it will adhere together. Or if you have any other ideas as far as what I could use to make a hinge that would be great.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 05:35 PM
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Try it out but generally, silicone will eventually peel away from plastics. It's too smooth like teflon.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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so would roughing the lexan up a bit with sandpaper where the silicone will be help this?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 06:02 PM
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It could work. Use fine grit and and clean with rubbing alcohol.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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thanks ill give it a go
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 07:00 PM
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sounds like a good project post a finished pic if you can

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 08:49 PM
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Whats going on? Update please.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 10:03 PM
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maybe check with some of the online retailers, or a plastics supplier, and get one of those strip hinges. I've also seen regular and piano style hinges made out of acrylic, you may be able to solvent weld something like that on.

Also, check the areas near where they sell acrylic, etc. in the hardware store, sometimes they have sealants/caulks stocked there that will adhere to acrylic (but I've got no idea how suitable they are for a tank).
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Try it out but generally, silicone will eventually peel away from plastics. It's too smooth like teflon.
Glass is just as smooth. Glass needs silicone as acrylic need solvents. I doubt if roughing up acrylic would do much. Silicone will stick to acrylic but it won't be a strong bond my any means. One of two things will happen. It will eventually fail or it can be easily pulled apart, which ever happens first.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flight50 View Post
Glass is just as smooth. Glass needs silicone as acrylic need solvents. I doubt if roughing up acrylic would do much. Silicone will stick to acrylic but it won't be a strong bond my any means. One of two things will happen. It will eventually fail or it can be easily pulled apart, which ever happens first.
you would think glass is smooth.
This is what it looks like under the microscope. The OP does not want a bonded box to hold water. He/she wants a hinged lid.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 08:07 PM
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I wouldn't use silicone as a hinge. its probably going to just make a mold out of the lexan
I would find some hinge and just superglue it.
Or like what lochaber said with the acrylic hinges
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=24343
Theres a link to it
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 04:25 AM
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It doesn't matter whether its a box to hold water or a 2 part lid, silicone won't hold to plastic, it just doesn't adhere well. With the naked eye no one can see or feel the difference between glass vs acrylic but its a cool pic nevertheless.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for he replies everybody. Sorry I haven't posted back on this thread in a while. I went ahead with the build despite my hesitations about the silicon sticking to the lexan. It ended up turning out great! I have been using these lids for 4 months now and the silicone is holding very strong.

Here is a picture to show the joint I made on the lids. Normally the light sits right behind the hinge and you can't see it at all.. I just moved it back for the picture.
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I love these lids they are very low profile and IMO don't detract from the rimless look one bit. Also the lexan dosen't bow like acrylic does which is nice. No more worrying about top offs or jumping fish.
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If anyone is interested in building these let me know and I can show you the exact silicon I used. It does say that it is 100% silicon meant for lexan
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 01:39 PM
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Yes, please post some details on the materials and process used.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
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Also the lexan dosen't bow like acrylic does which is nice.
Lexan has a lower flexural strength than acrylic, meaning it is more susceptible to bowing or bending. I'm guessing yours not bowing is due to the thickness of the lid and not the material.

http://www.hydrosight.com/technology...vs_acrylic.php

On the upswing, your lid is probably bulletproof and looks fantastic.

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