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Using Glue with Magnets
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Last Updated
4th of July, 2017

You'll need to consider the type of surface the magnet is being attached to when considering what type of adhesive to use. If the surface is uneven, an adhesive with plenty of "body" will be needed so that it conforms to the uneven surface.

General advice on gluing:

Our general advice is to use a two-part epoxy glue, such as Selley's Araldite (widely available at hardware stores and hobby shops), however no single adhesive is perfect, and you'll need to select one that is suited to your design.

ALWAYS:

  • ensure that the surfaces being bonded are clean (wipe surfaces with oil-free solvent such as acetone or isopropyl alcohol) and allowed to dry.
  • lightly sand or scratch the surface (see below).
  • move your magnets away from ferrous materials as the glue dries.

NEVER:

  • use hot glue guns; the extreme heat of the glue can demagnetize your magnets.

Roughen the surface:

Epoxy glues and other adhesives require a coarse surface.

You will need to roughen the smooth, shiny surface coating of the magnet in order to give the glue an abraded surface to adhere to.

You can use light grit sandpaper to roughen the surface of the magnet, or scratch with a sharp nail/screw.

Remember to clean the magnet after roughening!


Specific material surfaces:

Metal
A two-part epoxy glue, such as Araldite. It is especially important here to create a coarse/abraded surface for the glue to adhere to; use a key or nail to scratch the surface of the metal prior to gluing.

Plastic
Some plastics are easier to adhere to than others. For hard plastics such as ABS or PVC, you can use a two-part epoxy glue, such as Araldite. Flimsier plastic, such as Polypropylene or Polyethylene (commonly used in drink bottles and plastic bags) can generally not be adhered to. You might also have success using Loctite products, such as Loctite Plastix Bonder Epoxy. Do not use double-sided tape.

Paper/Cardboard
Super glue (cyanoacrylate), or "crazy glue". We also offer a range of self-adhesive rubber magnets.

Rubber
Use a two-part epoxy glue, such as Araldite, or a softer glue such as Liquid Nails. We also offer a range of self-adhesive rubber magnets.

Wood
A two-part epoxy glue, such as Araldite. Where possible, drill or bore a hole into the wood and sink the magnet in place.

Fabric/Material
It is difficult to adhere magnets to any form of cloth. Use a two-part epoxy glue, such as Araldite, however this is not guaranteed to work.

Alternatives to glue:

There are many ways to affix a magnet to your design.

For more information, refer to Attaching Magnets in Your Design.

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