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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Comrades-

Could someone please let me know what type of plastic is used for molding Scalextric track? I have a 4-lane digital layout and I need to permanently attach two straightaways next to each other. I have used the Scalextric track clips and then a variety of different glues (Devcon Plastic Welder, hot glue gun, E6000, Plastruct, Cynoacrylate) to permanently keep the track clips on the two pieces. On the particular pieces in question, I then solder my power taps to the track tabs and run the wiring through holes that I have made in my table. I will never need to take the two pieces apart, so I am looking for a permanent adhesive.

When the track "flexes", every other type of glue that I have tried pops off or loses it's initial bond. Sometimes, plastic is marked/coded to tell the consumer what particular type of plastic it is, but I do not see any applicable markings on the bottom of my track pieces.

Perhaps if I knew what type of plastic this was, then I could research and find the proper industrial adhesive.

Thank you, in advance.

Chris
 

Prof I T
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Hi

there's not a lot that will stick it together, so I'm going to have a guess from 9 years toolmaking experience in the 80s that it's polypropylene, obviously things have moved on since those bygone days so newer formula matarials could well be around. ..
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The only person that can answer with certainty is the actual moulding shop..
 

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You might try roughing up the surfaces. My thought is it might be ABS, don't know that for a fact.
 

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Can you not weld them togeather, flip them over and melt the edges with a soldering iron and mix togeather.
 
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Circuit Owner
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Weld it with a soldering iron.

Or simply screw it together with size 0 or size 1 self tapping screws about 6mm long.

I used the screws myself in case I needed to replace a digital pit lane entry piece.

Clamp the edges, use a 1mm bit in a pin Chuck to make pilot holes then screw in the screws.
 

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If it is indeed polypropylene, that is difficult stuff to bond anything too, including paint. That said, I have been successful by first "open flame treating" pp:
Expose the surface to an open flame being careful to not melt the piece. The piece will become slick and "greasy" as the heat allows those chemicals that cause glues and paints to not adhere to pp to be released.

After that ca glues should work, or I believe there is a Loctite or 3M product made for such "slick" plastics.
 

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There is a sure fire way of determining if it is ABS or not; if you have a spare, scrap piece of track, use a razor knife to "backstroke" and shave the plastic so that you end up with a small pile of plastic slivers. Put these in a glass vessel and introduce enough Acetone to submerge them. If the plastic slivers dissolve, it's definitely ABS if not, it's HDPE or something similar. If you luck out and it is ABS, you can make liquid ABS "Goo" by introducing more of the plastic shavings (or purchase ABS plastic pellets) into the Acetone, allowing them to dissolve and keep adding more until you get a viscosity similar to thick pancake batter - this can be used as an adhesive/filler to bond the track sections together. If it's not ABS, Harbor Freight sells inexpensive plastic welders (much like a soldering iron) and different types of plastic welding rods that work very well, albeit with a little bit of practice. I have used both of these methods to bond and repair plastics and they work very well. One note on the ABS "Goo" - use caution & keep a close eye on it as it will soften the surrounding plastic while it is "curing" and the Acetone is gassing off out of it; unwanted distortion can occur.
 

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I would like to add, after remembering, that there is a CA glue manufacturer named PASCO that you'll want to Google. It's a German company. They developed a liquid product that could be sprayed or brushed onto HDPE/various types of polypropylene/Tupperware-type plastics that would chemically alter the composition of the plastic, without altering it's strength or integrity, and allow it to bond, using their CA, (called Pasco Fix - and it is excellent) extremely well with it and virtually any other type of material, let alone to itself. I saw it demonstrated by their rep at one of the Toledo "Weak Signals" shows and it was impressive stuff. I've only used their glues and fillers, but can vouch for the exceptional quality of their products. Good stuff. If they still make this HDPE converter stuff (or somebody else?) it might be worth a shot looking into if the track turns out to be HDPE -- which I'm kinda thinking it's probably going to be, or something similar to it. Good luck with this & please post whatever you may find out.

As a side note, I posed this very same question on another Forum about three years ago and one of the responses I received to my post was simply the word "Black." Kinda funny, but not. That Forum's now defunct. LOL Good responses on this one, guys. Good information all around. Cheers.

Mike
 

Rich Dumas
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When I was still working I could have used an FTIR spectrophotometer to determine for certain what sort of plastic Scalextric uses, however I am fairly certain that it is ABS, which is a type of styrene. Most 1/32nd scale RTR slot car bodies and chassis are ABS. The acetone test should tell the tale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for all of the advice and comments to my original question. I tried to melt the track pieces/shavings in acetone and they did not melt/liquify at all. Based on comments above by Oldrice, I would have to say the track can't be made of ABS. So, I purchased a plastic welding kit with an assortment of different plastic welding rods (PP, PE, ABS, and PVC). I decided to try the PP rods instead of the PE rods primarily based on Ade's comment above. Also, the PP rods were black (like the track) while the PE rods were white. The PP melted easily and adhered to the bottom of my track plus track clips perfectly. I really don't mind the smell of most adhesives/glues (never for recreational purposes, of course), but the smell of melting/smoking PP was terrible! I moved the welding operation to my garage after my wife "caught wind" of my basement operation on the first power tap. 30 minutes later....mission accomplished...all of my lane power taps are completed and ready to be wired for action.

I wouldn't hesitate to use the welding approach again if I ever need to permanently attach pieces of track together.

Appreciate the guidance.

Chris
 

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Good information and glad to hear that it worked out for you. Thanks for taking the time to figure this out & sharing it.
 

Kevs Racing Bits
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Sticks like sh*t clear all weather adhesive... sticks to owt
 
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