Pellets for ABS repairs


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Corkster52
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Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:19 am



I am curious more than anything, since I continue to find (or create) more ABS cracks/holes than I ever thought I would. has anyone used ABS pellets (along with ABS glue) for gouged out cracks in their fairing?

Something like these https://www.google.com/search?q=ABS+bla ... ZFuECRoYM:


Last edited by Corkster52 on Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:26 am

I've used these ABS pellets and ABS cement/MEK to make slurry - the smaller the better (you want lots of surface area, so they melt quickly). I then use that to do any fill/repairs I'm working on. It works great.

https://www.amazon.com/Polly-Plastics-P ... B01MYFNGIL

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:12 pm

Thanks Scott. I've got them ordered. I was going to make shavings as you have mentioned making and using in the past, but I was hoping there was a less time-consuming way. I still wish there was a way to make the final ABS surface smoother. I don't remember it having all the bubbles years ago when we were sharing back and forth. I'm assuming that it's from the MEK vaporizing. Do you have the same issues?

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm

Corkster52 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:12 pm
Thanks Scott. I've got them ordered. I was going to make shavings as you have mentioned making and using in the past, but I was hoping there was a less time-consuming way. I still wish there was a way to make the final ABS surface smoother. I don't remember it having all the bubbles years ago when we were sharing back and forth. I'm assuming that it's from the MEK vaporizing. Do you have the same issues?
I've never had an issue with bubbles. I always would just put a big drill bit in my drill press and drill holes in flattened ABS pipe. The bits of drilled out plastic are very thin and melt very quickly.

I use Oatey ABS glue, and add a bit of MEK to thin it out slightly. I start with the shavings in a jar, add the glue, stir, and then add more glue or shavings as needed to get the required consistency.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Rambozo » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:02 pm

Another handy source is you can use bits of ABS filament from your 3D printer. Some even have carbon fiber reinforcement pre-blended in.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:36 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm

I've never had an issue with bubbles. I always would just put a big drill bit in my drill press and drill holes in flattened ABS pipe. The bits of drilled out plastic are very thin and melt very quickly.
Hmmm...no problem with bubbles. I'm wondering if something has gone bad with my Oatey glue. I have like 3 cans around. I just add some MEK when it starts to get lumpy. I think you did make mention some time ago about shaking it will make bubbles, but I only stir mine.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:53 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm
I've never had an issue with bubbles.


Here is what I am talking about.



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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:56 pm

Took my Dremel and ground them all out again, but am reluctant to put more ABS glue back in until I find out what the heck is going on. I did receive the tiny ABS pellets yesterday.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by extremeodd » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:21 am

I would be careful with those 'abs' pellets as they are likely not ABS or are a blend of plastics.

ABS requires about 221f to reach its glass transition point where it goes from a relatively brittle "glassy" state to a more rubbery state. Whereas those pellets hit their transition point around 150f and once in that state will maintain it into the low 100s.

The biggest selling point of those 'polymorph' plastics is that you can simply put them in hot water to create a soft, workable plastic putty that will harden once cool and is infinitely reusable. One huge downside is the really low melting temperature, there are many places on a motorcycle that will occasionally experience temperatures in that range.

You can get a larger tub of the base plastic those black pellets are meant to be used with at the link below. That little bag of black pellets is enough to dye most if not all of this tub.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1HWJQI/?tag=goldwingdocs-20
Sorry to nerd out, just got a GW yesterday and just after making an account I saw this thread. Figured I could chime in as I've worked with this polymorph stuff more than any reasonable person should.
Last edited by extremeodd on Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:13 am

extremeodd wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:21 am
I would be careful with those 'abs' pellets as they are likely not ABS or are a blend of plastics.
Very interesting, but if it will bond to the ABS trunk material, and get rid of the bubbling issue I am having, I'm willing to use it. I went to the polyplastics.com website and, without becoming a member, I can't drill down to the exact composition of the stuff I received. Will the Polyshape Polymorph hand moldable plastic 16oz tub [plastimake, thermoplastic] that is referenced in the link you attached make a strong bond to ABS?

I have picked WingAdmin's brain over the years as I have worked more than I really should have had to in making ABS repairs on my bikes and his recommendations, which I am sure has been after many successful applications, have worked every time.

I also went to Oatey's website and sent them an email describing what might be going on with my most recent failures at repairing cracks.

I also kept looking and I wonder if this stuff might do the trick? https://www.techkits.com/products/resin-absblk/

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by extremeodd » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:00 pm

I've never tried to use it in a slurry but if the fairings on the 85 'wings are ABS, I'll test on mine real quick to see if the basic 'molten' form of this polymorph will adhere to it. If wingadmin has had luck using an MEK slurry, I'd stick with that technique as it probably allows the plastic you are it applying to to melt some which would allow for excellent adhesion.

I know whatever the black plastic that my bicycle seat is made out of has no luck with having the polymorph adhere to it even after melting both surfaces beforehand with heat. I'll update this post in 5-10 mins after a quick test.

EDIT: On my 85, there are 2 holes that were drilled to the right of the right pocket. The black plastic (probably abs?). I melted some of the polymorph to a sillyputty consistency and with the ABS cold, there was no adhesion whatsoever. However, when I took my propane torch (heat gun would be better) and on a low setting I flashed it across the hole a couple times to make the surface molten and when I pressed then smeared the glob across (like I was using a wood filler pencil) the polymorph stuck like crazy to the molten spot. Before it cooled I half-assed used my finger to mostly smooth out the surface then I grabbed an icecube to finish hardening everything quickly. After it was cold and hard, I was unable to get ANY of the polymorph to budge and no bubbling appeared because nothing had to evaporate.

When you do this you have several mins to adjust how the polymorph looks and later on you can always heat it up with a lighter or a heat gun to readjust, press a textured pattern into it, etc.
Last edited by extremeodd on Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:03 pm

Maybe we are not talking apples and apples. For the glue I am using, to completely harden, it
takes up to 24 hours.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by extremeodd » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:16 pm

I've edited my previous post with my findings.

I'm not talking about any kind of adhesive or solvents, I was simply talking only about the pellets you purchased and the product they are intended to be melted into which is a low temperature meltable plastic.

After a quick test, I'd be willing to use the polymorph in it's standard 'molten' state (heated above 150f) to repair any cracks/small holes in the fairing since if you melt the abs you are trying to repair (quick flash of the torch) it adheres extremely well. It also remains somewhat flexible (never soft, but it will never shatter) which would help with any stress crack prone areas in my opinion.

Any large gaps over 1in I wouldn't trust it as if it EVER experiences heat over 150f, it will soften and shift. With small holes and cracks that shouldn't be an issue but if it's spanning any form of a gap there is chance of it sagging when heated. Considering you can repair, sand, and paint within 10-20 mins if you use some ice to speed up the cooling process, it's kind of a neat product.

With that said, it's properties probably change somewhat when melted into a MEK slurry with ABS added and anything I've said isn't valid in that situation.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by DenverWinger » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:59 am

I've been following this thread with interest.... Not to hijack it, but rather to add to it. This follows right along with bubbles in the ABS!

I've been working on "repairing" the trunk lid on my 1500. The previous owner had mounted a luggage rack to the lid with no particular "underside support" resulting in the mount points toward the rear if the lid being "depressed" downward by about 1/8" and cracks in the ABS. On removing the rack, the depressions remained.

So I've been following the steps in this "how to" post below with some added steps of my own in an attempt to "repair" the depressions.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=690

Rather than using ABS pipe I have some 12x24 ABS sheets from Amazon, one 1/16" thick and the other 1/4" thick.

For the initial repairs I used a heat gun on the trunk lid in the depressed areas to soften the ABS and then pressed the depression outward using a shop rag against a backing of a piece of wood with several layers of shop rags on it. Took a few attempts but I finally got the depressions worked out pretty flat. This left the ABS brittle and crumbly in the areas of the mount holes so I cut out a 4" Square patch from the 1/16" ABS sheet. Using the Oatey ABS/MEK cement I glued down this patch and left it for a few days. Before I made this patch I noted a certain amount of paint overspray on the inside of the trunk lid so I used one of those round wire brush things chucked into electric drill to remove the paint and rough up the inside of the lid some.

Returning to the project a couple days later I cut two appropriate sized support pieces (roughly 12" x 6") from the 1/4" ABS sheet. These pieces were heated in 300 degree oven (don't tell GF) until they were nice and flexible, laying on a sheet of pegboard so I could carry them back to the garage without "wilting". Laid them on the underside of the trunk lid and formed them into shape, allowed to cool.

I drilled numerous holes in another piece of the 1/4" ABS sheet, collected the drill shavings and broke them into little pieces to make slurry with the Oatey cement. Mixed this up to a fairly thick consistency with an acid brush and moving quickly because it was already starting to dry I slathered the slurry onto the pre-formed ABS sheet and on the underside of the trunk lid, then put the sheet into place, laid a few shop rags on it and weighted down with a brick. Left it overnight.

To my utter dismay the next day I find a huge blister in the paint on the outside surface of the lid about the size of a nickel, midway between the mount points of the luggage rack and away from the previously placed 4x4 patch, away from the areas previously heated to flatten them. I poked a tiny hole in the blister with a pin, hoping it would go back flat. It didn't, and pushing down on the paint blister, it feels like there's a "void" in the trunk lid there.

I am at a loss as to what could have caused this, I am certain I used the correct cement, the Oatey can specifically states MEK and ABS plastic are the primary contents. I know I painted the already-drying slurry on kinda thick but I never imagined it would dissolve completely thru the trunk lid in just that point and create a big gas bubble in the paint layer! The slurry was spread fairly evenly, there were no big globs of it on either the support piece or the inside of the trunk lid. I am certain I didn't wire brush anywhere on the inside of the trunk lid enough to decrease its thickness....

So understandably I am very hesitant to add the support piece to the other side, I'm going to wind up with a trunk lid looking worse than it did before I started this project!

Ideas - thoughts?
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♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Rambozo » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:53 am

My guess is the MEK fumes got through something and lifted the paint.

I had the same trunk/rack issue. I knew I wasn't going to do any paint for some time, so after removing the rack, I used some stainless carriage bolts through the top of the trunk, then backed that up with large fender washers to help push everything back into place, and finally some acorn nuts just so so sharp edges. After a few months the trunk looks pretty straight and the cracks are not really noticeable. What I do notice is the sun fading shadows from the rack bars. :(

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by raven41951 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:18 am

I've been out of the Plastics Industry for about 15 years but I do remember a few things and offer some to help you all understand what is happening with the ABS.

ABS is a blend of Acrylonitrile (for strength), Butadiene (Rubber for flexibility and impact resistance) and Styrene (to reduce cost). It has a softening point of about 220F and a melting point around 375F and a glass transition point of about -10F. It is a thermoplastic material, meaning it can be heated and formed repeatedly (unlike a thermoset which once "heat-cured" retains that shape forever). Its most common use is for refrigerator liners but my exposure to it was in the single use area, mainly for dairy packaging where stress crack resistance was a prime requisite (sour cream does a number on styrene). Its also very nasty (and toxic) when ignited.

In order to be formed it needs to be heated to about 350F, formed then quickly quenched to retain its shape. When used in a slurry like discussed here, all the MEK (most common agent) must evaporate until the ABS will retain its shape. In other words, it needs to be held in position until dry.

I would recommend using pellets rather than shavings, but shavings will suffice for small jobs. The reason being that it is a polymer (many parts). An ABS chain will have a molecular weight of 300,000-400,000, that number being the length of chain rather than the actual weight of the combined molecules. Every time it is processed by melting, grinding or just drilling the chain length is decreased with a corresponding decrease in physical properties.

The pellets you buy are probably reprocessed from a previously use. That doesn't make them bad, just used and not as strong as fresh (we call it virgin) material.

So what's the best method, All those discussed here (MEK slurry and or heat). Trial and error will make you more proficient. If you plan to use heat be careful of using it with a slurry, an open flame will yield disasterous results usually involving a trip to the hospital or clinic. When using heat, as noted, heat BOTH parts for optimal results and remember to keep the part supported until cooled down below 150F.

Hope this helps in some way.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by extremeodd » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:33 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylonit ... ne_styrene
wikipedia wrote: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8)x·​(C4H6)y·​(C3H3N)z) is a common thermoplastic polymer. Its glass transition temperature is approximately 105 °C (221 °F).[2] ABS is amorphous and therefore has no true melting point.
Your numbers are on point but you have the terms slightly confused.

I should clarify since my posts weren't super clear: The plastic that I was talking about is NOT ABS, it is Polycaprolactone

It was an attempt to help inform Corkster52 and WingAdmin that by using those pellets as ABS could cause problems, as it's properties, have some drastic differences compared to ABS.
wikipedia wrote: Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a biodegradable polyester with a low melting point of around 60 °C and a glass transition temperature of about −60 °C.

PCL has many applications in the hobbyist market where it is known as Plastimake, NiftyFix, Protoplastic, InstaMorph, Polymorph, Shapelock, ReMoldables, Plastdude or TechTack. It has physical properties of a very tough, nylon-like plastic that softens to a putty-like consistency at only 60 °C, easily achieved by immersing in hot water.[7] PCL's specific heat and conductivity are low enough that it is not hard to handle by hand at this temperature. This makes it ideal for small-scale modeling, part fabrication, repair of plastic objects, and rapid prototyping where heat resistance is not needed. Though softened PCL readily sticks to many other plastics when at higher temperature, if the surface is cooled, the stickiness can be minimized while still leaving the mass pliable.
When I describe using a torch to heat the repair spot, this is in the context of using PCL and honestly, I did that for a quick test. Never use a torch of any sort to do ABS repairs, while it will get the surface gooey enough to do a repair with PCL, it'll also burn the plastic some while doing so which degrades it and produces very toxic fumes. Not to mention that molten plastic can be a terrible burn hazard since it tends to stick quite viciously.

If you check out the link below you can see the two materials compared by their various properties. ABS is the top value in each comparison.
https://www.makeitfrom.com/compare/Acry ... actone-PCL

With all of this said, Polymorph, Polly Plastic, etc have their uses for small repairs like the one mentioned in this thread. For gouges, surface cracks, and screwholes, this material, in my opinion, would beat out ABS nearly every single time. There are no dangerous solvents or toxic adhesives that are needed to use it and you could patch, sand, prime, and paint a repair in 20 mins VS minimum 24 hours for ABS slurry to dry.

1: Toss a handful of pellets into a cup of near-boiling water (along with any dye pellets. Its always cheaper to use the 'white' base with some coloring pellets, a little color goes a long way. Carbon can also be used to dye the plastic black along with basically any other powdered dye/colorant)
2: Use a heat gun to melt the surface of the area you want to repair NOTE: Having the surface of the ABS melted/gooey is key. Polymorph WILL NOT stick to cold ABS EVER.
3: Remove the now melted polymorph from the water. It will start out extremely soft like hot silly putty but as it cools it will become stiffer, try to apply it before it cools down too much. If it does cool down too much, simply reheat it. It can be reheated/reused an infinite number of times.
3.5: Ensure the ABS you are about to repair has it's surface melted/gooey
4: Press/smear the polymorph into the crack/hole you are trying to repair ensuring you get it in as deeply as possible.
5: Remove any excess material once you are confident the spot is filled in and smooth out the repair with your finger (or any object that has been warmed up to about 100f, otherwise it'll harden on contact)r as it cools (be mindful of the hot ABS, it WILL hurt).
6: Once fully cooled go ahead and sand/paint to your hearts content.

If you need to adjust the filler at all, just hit it with a heat gun (not for as long as the ABS, you should be able to manipulate it with your bare hands).

Again, PCL would only be good for fairly small repairs. It would never be good for stuff like reenforcing luggage racks or spanning large gaps (unless used very thick) because it is not as strong as ABS and compared to ABS is far more flexible. It'll stretch up to 300% before breaking where ABS only stretch up to 50%.

If you decide to use PCL in a slurry with ABS, take heed that the resulting product will more than likely behave somewhat differently compared to a pure ABS/MEK slurry.

This doesn't invalidate ANYTHING said by raven41951, I just wanted to add to the discussion and clarify a few things about PCL plastics.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by saganaga » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:41 am

I didn't use ABS pellets, but I used an ABS sheet of plastic from Amazon (cheapest I found), mixed with MEK. Shaved it into slivers and threw it into a jar from the recycling bin (with lid), mixed with some ABS paste.

Took a few days to dissolve, but the result was good for ABS repair.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:30 pm

I was hoping this topic would draw a few (what I fondly refer to as) atom-splitters. Very interesting feedback, but I am still able to resolve the "bubbles" issue...but I did make some headway. I mixed up an old pill bottle with Oatey glue, MEK and some of the pellets that I had received. While doing so I did recall that the thickness of the glue that I was putting on in the past was pretty thick and the surface would "skin over" within less than 30 minutes. I was wondering if maybe, because of the skinning, the MEK was not allowed to evaporate like it should, so I made the mixture pretty runny. As WingAdmin mentioned earlier, the smaller the pellets the better and boy was that a true statement! I really didn't care how pretty it was initially as I have gotten pretty darned handy with my Dremel and an assortment of 100 or so bits. Attached are a few photos. As I ground off the bumps there were still some bubbles but very tiny by comparison.


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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by raven41951 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:01 am

That's what I get for making an assumption (that it was ABS). I should have realized a different material was involved. Guess the older age is slowing me down.

When using dissimilar materials its common to use a third, usually a rubber (butadiene), as a bonding agent, blended in. We developed such a material many moons ago but it has no practical use in this case. It was to enhance the heat distortion properties of polystyrene for use in higher temperature situations and was successful, but limited in applications.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by JohnUSA » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:09 am

Corkster52 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:53 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:33 pm
I've never had an issue with bubbles.


Here is what I am talking about.

48887693367_e174c34216_k.jpg
Why couldn't you just squeegee some ABS glue into those holes? Like, a little bit on your finger tip and wipe it in.

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Re: Pellets for ABS repairs

Post by Corkster52 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:14 am

JohnUSA wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:09 am


Why couldn' you just squeegee some ABS glue into those holes? Like, a little bit on your finger tip and wipe it in.
It's not so much about filling the holes as much as assuming that the bubbles, whether they are on the surface or throughout the depth of the glue, offer no strength to the repaired crack. Believing the trunk lid flexes a bit, where it be during the opening and closing or as I ride, I want the bond between the new glue and the and the trunk's ABS to be as strong as possible.



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