Gluing steel is not a normal procedure but, if steel cannot be welded or fused with heat, then glue can work, though gluing the metal together will be different than gluing other materials. Choosing a strong adhesive normally is required, because steel does not glue very well. Before gluing steel, the surfaces of the parts to be glued should be cleaned and sanded. After the adhesive is applied, the steel should be clamped until the glue dries. If appearance is important, then glue that is the color of steel may be the best option.
Regular glue typically will not work when gluing steel, because the nonporous nature of steel makes it difficult for glue to bond to the surface. This means that only very strong glues, or glues that state they adhere to metal, should be used. If not, then the glue may be unable to keep the steel together and it may fall apart if any stress is applied.
When gluing most materials, it usually is best if the surface is cleaned first. This keeps any of the debris on the steel, such as dust or small shavings, from getting into the glue and weakening the bond. To assist the glue’s bonding strength, the steel’s surface should be sanded. By making small edges and digs in the steel, the glue will have something to hold and the bond’s longevity and durability may be increased.
A clamp should be applied after gluing steel together. If the glue is left to dry without a clamp, there is a good chance that the bond will be weak and the steel will fall apart. The clamp does not need to be tight; it just needs to apply enough force to hold the steel together. Clamping the steel will help the glue adhere to the steel and it should increase the bond’s strength. The clamp should be kept in place until the glue dries according to the instructions.
Most glues, whether they are for use on steel or another material, usually are white, yellow or clear. If the steel’s appearance is important, then gluing steel with a proper color may keep the adhesive from standing out to people. Clear glue can be used but, if it touches the steel’s outside surface, people may instantly see it because it likely will reflect light differently than steel. Using steel- or another metal-colored glue may help accomplish this by mimicking the color and consistency of steel.