What Are the Best Tips for Gluing Rubber?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 07 January 2016
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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.

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.

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 wet before the adhesive is applied. Once the rubber is wet, some soap can be added on the wet surface. A rag can now be used to create a lather on the surface of the rubber. This surface must then be rinsed thoroughly to remove the remains of the soap.

The rubber's surface must be completely free of moisture before gluing. If the glue is added to a wet surface, it will not set correctly and cannot provide the strength it does when applied to a dry area. The part of the rubber to be glued should not be smooth. Sand paper should 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.


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Post 1

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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