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How to glue silicone seals

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself - DIY' started by swimlikethefish, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
    As promised, I have found a way to reliably glue silicone seals. After using many different adhesives and primers this is what I have found works.

    Warning* this bond is not as strong as gluing latex. But, is strong enough to hold up to an exerted pressure. You just can't have a tug of war with it.

    See pictures below...


    As you see in the picture this is a silflex silicone wrist seal. Attached to a portion of an older dui clx450 trilam drysuit sleeve.



    This is just one layer or adhesive on the trilam and one layer on the seal. I found it best not to allow a drying period. Just attach them together immediately. The key to all of it is pressure on the bond for 18 to 24 hours. At that point a second coating around the overlap of the two and an additional cure time of 24 hrs is best.

    I am still working on a combination of adhesives to attach a silicone seal to a zip ring for a dui system. As for now, this is a reliable method to attach silicone to your trilam. I am waiting for my next torn wrist seal then I will do it on my own suit.

    These results were made using the following:

    2 epoxy brushes
    1 Oz of Methyl ethyl ketone
    1 roll of blue painters tape
    1 cardboard tube
    1 sleeve portion of a dui clx450
    1 donated silicone seal ( donated by @mmerriman)

    1/3 Oz sil-poxy silicone adhesive

    Things I attempted that failed:
    Drysuit glue
    Neoprene cement
    Heat tape
    Silicone caulk
    3m marine grade silicone adhesive
    3m medical grade silicone

    Additional adhesives to try:
    I have found a primer activator for non elastomeric substrates. That should work. It took forever to find a supplier. But I should have it in the mail this week. I will post an update when I am done testing it. Let me know what questions you have.
    northernone likes this.
  2. JohnN

    JohnN Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oar--eee---gun
    Why don't Si Tech glove rings work for you? With your system, if you tear a seal, you're still out of the water for at least two days?
  3. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
    I find them too stiff. I use the dui zip system. So I started this saga to figure out how to glue silicone, as everyone said it was impossible. I am just out to prove you can do it. And ultimately be able to glue silicone to zip rings.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    northernone likes this.
  4. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
    After some serious time and multiple headaches. I have found the answer. I have been able to successfully glue silicone to a zip ring. So well that the two are inseparable unless you sand the silicone off with a dremel. You can pull as hard as you want and the silicone seal will not seperate from a zip ring. I have ordered a new set of silicone wrist seals, when they come in I will glue on a fresh set and post the pictures. As for now I had to make due with the seals I had, so I cut them into 3 inch strips for testing. See pictures below.

    20180419_190508.jpg 20180419_190204.jpg 20180419_190409.jpg

    I used the following steps:

    1. Remove all old sealant and seal from zip ring.
    2. Clean zip ring with MEK.
    3. Apply 3m AC79 primer to seal and ring.
    4. Allow to dry for 15 seconds.
    5. Apply 3m SF100 glue to zip ring.
    6. Attach seal to zip ring.
    7. Compress the two tightly.
    8. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
    9. Attach ring to suit.
    10. Go diving.

    * Wear gloves. This stuff is nasty. *
    I have yet to dive them, once I have the new seals I will pressure test the suit and spray soapy water to verify I have no leaks. I am just really ecstatic that all of my time and energy was not wasted.

    Here is a picture of the primer and glue for anyone interested. Primer costs $18.97 and the glue was $5.45.

  5. tmassey

    tmassey Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shelby Township, MI USA
    Congratulations! I have been following this with great interest. I have a G1 DUI suit. I have a silicone neck seal and would love silicone wrist seals. I have 2 sets of latex right now. I now know what I’m doing when I rip one... :)
  6. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
    I have not attempted to directly glue the silicone seal to trilam with the new 2 part 3m glue. But I would imagine it would bond. As for gluing the seal to a zip ring, I promise you they are not ever coming apart. It is an impressive bond.
    northernone likes this.
  7. fnog

    fnog Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: europe
    I am considering whether to use an orust to replace my latex (my neck irritates on both latex and even to some extent on neoprene. I use an Apollo bioseal, which degrades latex fast).

    After almost 6 months, it would be nice to hear if this bonding solution could hold in the field. Do you have feedback ?
  8. swimlikethefish

    swimlikethefish Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: East Coast
    It has held for me, approx 87 dives so far. That is on the wrists only. I have yet to do a neck seal. However, as an update. Dui has drastically reduced the price of their silicone seals. If I were to have to replace anything in the future. I would rather convert over to dui zip rings and just purchase their pre-made silicone seals. It is not worth my time doing it since the price has come down so much.
  9. spoolin01

    spoolin01 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area, CA
    Where did you buy the SF100 and primer? Searching online doesn't turn it up very many places.
  10. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
    One of the many nice things about 3M is that you can find their product support number, toll-free, on the back of every product. And they get answers. Give 'em a call, they'll be able to tell you the authorized resellers for the product in your area. Worldwide.

    And, their tech support folks also can usually tell you exactly what products will glue exactly what stuff. They're not just clerks reading from binders, they're pros.
    swimlikethefish likes this.

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