Help! Styrene Glue Melting My Fibre Optics!

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Mark2000

New Member
I'm trying to get some .5mm fibre optics into a tight space that needs to be glued shut in close proximity on either side. Both times I've sealed up the model it appears that the styrene glue's fumes or plastic with the glue in it touched the fibres and melted and snapped them. The area is a tight fit that really needs a chemical bond to shut it, otherwise there with be ridiculous gaps, especially since there's a lot of scar tissue now from cutting the seam open twice. What can I do to protect the fibre? Or is there another glue I can use? CA seems to melt fibres too. Epoxy makes a mess, especially on such a small scale. White glue would never hold.
 

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Analyzer

Master Member
I normally use elmers white glue to secure fiber optics. I know it takes a while to harden. However that doesn;t seem to be an option here

Are you gluing the fibers themselves or trying to bond the plastic, and the fibers just happen to become a victim since the glue runs onto them?

If so, you could try coating the fibers with something like future floor wax (basically an acrylic gloss coating) or Vallejo acrylic clear Gloss, then glue the plastic pieces. The gloss coat might be enough to keep the fibers from getting ruined?

If trying to glue the fibers to the plastic, then you cannot use CA and will have to try epoxy or possibly something like E6000? I would test it on the fibers first
 

SirSandalot

Active Member
I'm not sure I understand. Pictures maybe?

Epoxy glue can be messy but not so much if applied with a toothpick... but you can't go too small with epoxy glue because it gets weaker the more you reduce its volume, but I think it should hold fiber optics just fine. Also, I have secured LEDs with two part epoxy putty to seal the hole before gluing it with epoxy glue, but that needs some space. Oh and you would be suprised what a bit of dense PVA glue (half dried) can do. That's what I use to glue the clear parts of my model plane/spaceships canopies/clear parts. No fumes! But I don't know if your fiber optics have any tensions.

Also, a bit of silicone with a drop of water to activate it could do the trick? Well I guess that's a bit of a mess.
 
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Mark2000

New Member
Are you gluing the fibers themselves or trying to bond the plastic, and the fibers just happen to become a victim since the glue runs onto them?
It’s the glue around it. I’m using dabs of hot glue to secure them which has worked well so far. I may try your future idea.

To everyone else, it’s not the gluing of the fiber that is the problem. It is the gluing of the styrene around the fibers that’s the problem. They can’t help but come in contact.
 

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SirSandalot

Active Member
Oh I see. So you want to seal the fibers so that they don't come in contact with the styrene in case the plastic glue on the styrene touches them, OR glue it all together with a glue that doesn't interfere with fiber optics.

I'd try epoxy glue to glue the styrene so that if some epoxy glue touches the fibers they won't be melted.

Or electrical tape around the fiber optics, then plastic glue to the styrene. Electrical tape is rubber so it shouldn't melt with plastic glue. Make tests before assembly.

Acrylic paints and acrylic floor wax are no protection for plastic glue by the way. It still can react through the paint.
 

SirSandalot

Active Member
I don't think so. I mean PVA glue is gonna require a lot of layers to build a rubber-ish coat around the fiber optics and it dries too slow. It's gonna take forever...

And I have never used Micro Kristal Klear, I'm not even sure what it does.


edit: I just tested gluing plastic to electrical tape and to my surprise, plastic glue does melt a tiny bit of the electrical tape. The damage is so tiny though, I'm not even sure if it's melted tape or melted plastic residue. Anyway the damage is so tiny, so insignificant, I think you are good to go with electrical tape. Tape the fibers twice as a precaution and as always, test on other pieces before.
 
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Mark2000

New Member
I don't think so. I mean PVA glue is gonna require a lot of layers to build a rubber-ish coat around the fiber optics and it dries too slow. It's gonna take forever...

And I have never used Micro Kristal Klear, I'm not even sure what it does.
MKK is a white glue that dries clear for filling windows and gluing clear parts with no hazing from CA or styrene glue. I takes awhile to dry, but it goes on thick. It has to to fill holes. I might work.
 

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tsenecal

Active Member
you might try some liquid electrical tape around the fiber optic lines to block them from getting hit by the glue... side benefit is that it is thick rubbery black paint that is a great light blocker
 

Jedi Dade

Master Member
I would hot glue or elmers glue the fibers in place then use epoxy... You can use very small amounts applied with a toothpick clamp the hell out of it, then deal with any gaps from the outside with liquid filler... there are several varieties and it depends on your preference which you use - all the way from elmers glue (tends to shrink) to Tulip... a kind of liquid fabric... I've also used several coats of paint carefully applied and allowed to throughly dry between applications (with a brush) to slowly fill holes. This works if the gaps are not too large, and is really an old auto body trick for small (but deep) scratches in the under paint... Fixing gaps is an art really...

Jedi Dade
 

Muzza

Sr Member
I use white glue in some places the expensive type not for craft. and clear Araldite.

9300697114792.jpg
 

star-art

Sr Member
Epoxy is the solution to your problem. Don't get "hot" glues like solvents anywhere near fiber optics. The same goes for CA glues. Even the fumes from an open CA bottle will ruin fiber optics.
 

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srspicer

Well-Known Member
Protect the fibres with thick paint (eg: Tulip t-shirt paint, often used for light-blocking) beforehand?

THIS. ^^^^^I just completed a custom SSD with hundreds of FO in it. Tulip paint is what I used to secure the fibers in place. It won't take that long to cure, but it dries very strong and you can build up layers if you need. No fumes, no heat, no chemical reaction. Tulip paint will seal the fiber from the glue.
Pictures would def. help!!!
 

srspicer

Well-Known Member
In this image, I used black Tulip paint to secure each fiber in place. It also acts as a light-blocker. Tulip is ideal in this case as it is also slightly flexible. allowing some 'give' when flexed and does not break the fiber.
SSD121.JPG
 

Mark2000

New Member
Thanks everyone. I got some liquid electrical tape as suggested and put a thin coat on the strands. That was still thin enough to fit where I needed it. I let it cure for a day and then sealed the part again with styrene glue. It’s been two days and everything’s still working. Here’s 1/350 Falcon I’m putting this in so you can see the tolerances I was dealing with.
F7C856CA-71E9-402F-AF22-C774EC5E80AC.jpeg
 

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