What Are the Best Tips for Gluing Rubber?

Patrick Lynch

Gluing rubber can be a difficult task if the wrong procedure is followed and an unsuitable glue is used. There should always be tension on the rubber when it is being glued together, and its surface must be washed with soap before being completely dried. The rubber's surface needs to be rough for the glue to properly set, and rubber cement is the best form of adhesive for the job.

A sheet of sand paper may be needed to glue rubber.
A sheet of sand paper may be needed to glue rubber.

One of the biggest problems with gluing rubber is the flexibility of rubber. Using inflexible glue on rubber simply will not work. All that is really needed to glue rubber is soap, some dry rags, a piece of cardboard, a sheet of sand paper and a little bit of rubber cement.

Soap may be needed to glue rubber.
Soap may be needed to glue rubber.

A basic mistake people make when gluing rubber is not ensuring that the rubber is under the same level of stress when it is being glued as it will be when being used. When rubber is used, it generally stretches. Therefore, the rubber must be stretched slightly when the glue is applied. Failure to do this will cause the rubber to fall apart when it comes under tension.

The part of the rubber which is to be glued must be cleaned and dried before the adhesive is applied. Lather the surface using a rag with some soap and water and then dry thoroughly. Make sure that all remains of soap is removed and that the surface is completely clean and dry before applying the glue. Many have also observed that the glue holds better when the part of the rubber to be glued is not smooth. Sand paper can be used to roughen the rubber's surface.

When gluing rubber, a substance called rubber cement is far more effective than regular glue. After putting the rubber cement on the rubber, cardboard can be used to remove any excess. The sides of the rubber should then be pressed together tightly. As there are different brands of rubber cement, it is important to read and follow the instructions that come with whatever brand is used. Any air bubbles that form can be squeezed out to ensure the rubber is properly glued.

Items needed to glue rubber may include dry rags.
Items needed to glue rubber may include dry rags.

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Discussion Comments


@anon995130-- They mean that the surface should first be cleaned with soap and water. And then you have to dry it. It has to be totally dry before applying the glue. So it's just telling the steps.


Is the rubber's surface supposed to be wet or dry before applying the glue? Which is it? Ridiculous...


What are good examples of times when rubber needs to be glued? Is it simply used as a repair technique, or does rubber require gluing when used in assorted industries? Does it have any craft uses as well?

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