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Thread: Lexan lid. How well does silicone adhere to lexan (polycarbonate) Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-11-2013 04:38 PM
Chronados Silicone will adhere fine with Lexan if you rough up the surface a bit. I did an internship at a company that made a competing polycarbonate product and ended making a 12" cube that held water with regular silicone adhesive (not even the good stuff that professionals use) out of some leftovers.
08-11-2013 03:46 PM
Digs Unfortunately I do not have pictures of the building process. But basically I just cut the lexan sheet (1/8") to the shape of my aquariums using an acrylic scorer. My tank has curved edges on the front so I took my carving knife and roughly shaped the front corners and then sanded them to get a smooth curve. I cut the lid in half where I wanted to put the hinge, layed the two pieces together, taped them down and squeezed out a thick line of silicon over it. I then took my fingers and ran them over the edges of the silicone to spread it thin on either side of the cut to increase the surface area between the glue and lexan. Let dry for 48hrs and they were good to go.

To maintian the low profile look I decided against making a handle for the lid. If i'm working in the tank I take two suction cups tied together with fishing line to suction the front of the lid to the back of the lid if that makes sense. Works like a charm and I have plenty of room to access anywhere inside of the tank

Here is the adhesive I used
Attachment 189946
08-11-2013 03:28 PM
Digs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indychus View Post
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.
Hmm good point. The Lexan is a good bit thicker than the acrylic I was working with.
08-11-2013 01:47 PM
Indychus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digs View Post
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.
08-11-2013 01:39 PM
Indychus Yes, please post some details on the materials and process used.
08-11-2013 01:36 PM
Digs 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.
Attachment 189898


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.
Attachment 189906

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
06-15-2013 04:25 AM
flight50 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.
06-14-2013 08:07 PM
stealthypotatoes 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
06-14-2013 05:46 PM
mistergreen
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.
06-14-2013 03:36 AM
flight50
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.
06-12-2013 10:03 PM
lochaber 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).
06-12-2013 08:49 PM
AquaLady86 Whats going on? Update please.
04-04-2013 07:00 PM
Bubba Shrimp sounds like a good project post a finished pic if you can
04-04-2013 06:25 PM
Digs thanks ill give it a go
04-04-2013 06:02 PM
mistergreen It could work. Use fine grit and and clean with rubbing alcohol.
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