Aluminum is known for its strength and capability to withstand heat, but sometimes there may be breakage in the aluminum product. It may seem that such wear and tear, or any breakage may cause the device to be less useful. Nevertheless, there may be a way to remedy the situation using epoxies and salvage the aluminum from the waste bin.
The best epoxies for aluminum are those that have strong adhesive qualities, durability, and quick drying time. Epoxies that are temperature and water-resistant are also preferable. J-B Weld 8281 and Mastercool 90934 Alum Bond are some of the best epoxies available in the market today.
It can be a bit tricky to get the right epoxy as the market is inundated with options. In this article, we will look at some of the best epoxies available for aluminum and also include a buying guide towards the end that will help steer your epoxy buying decisions in the right direction.
11 Best Epoxies for Aluminum (2021)
1. J-B Weld 8281
J-B Weld 8281 is a two-part epoxy that allows two or more metal pieces to bond by facilitating a strong adhesion. It is great for gluing metal components together and does not need to be welded by a blow torch. This has a high tensile strength of 5020 PSI and can withstand very hot temperatures, up to 550°F (287.7°C).
It is also very easy to use and requires you to squeeze out equal amounts of the products on a disposable surface and mix it thoroughly. Once mixed, apply it on the broken surface and give it five to six hours to set.
This putty takes up to 24 hours to cure and dry out completely. The epoxy is now firmly glued to the surfaces it has been applied to. You can paint on the putty or sand it down or even run a drill through it after it has fully cured.
J-B Weld is waterproof and resistant to acid, and petroleum makes it an incredibly strong and durable adhesive for repair and restorative work on aluminum and other materials such as fiberglass and concrete.
Lastly, the product comes in resealable tubes to ration out just the amount you need for the present job and save any leftover product by capping the tubes for later use.
2. Mastercool 90934 Alum Bond
The Mastercool 90934 Alum Bond is again a two-component epoxy formula with a high concentration of aluminum particles that aids when this epoxy is being used to bond aluminum parts together. It has a tensile strength of 3500 PSI and a compression strength of 8600 PSI. It comes in 0.32 ounces (9.07 grams).
The aluminum agents have been carefully selected from pure aluminum particles and modified by curing the agents and introducing special and high-quality additives to provide an ease of application along with maximum strength and durability.
It is a superior quality epoxy that provides maximum adhesion and high endurance against rough weather and harsh conditions. It is easy to apply and has been specially crafted to use for repairing valves, radiators, pumps, condenser coils, and other such parts where a rust-resistant aluminum finish is required.
3. Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy
Gorilla epoxy is used for both households as well as automotive repair. It has high water resistance making it durable. The epoxy comes neatly packaged in a syringe. It is quite easy to use. The syringe keeps the epoxy resin and the hardener separate so that the two do not combine and harden over time. This gives the epoxy a longer shelf life.
You are required to push the amount of product you need at a time from the syringe and then mix and apply it on the surface of the broken aluminum that needs to be fixed. It is a very tough epoxy largely used to bond other materials apart from aluminum, such as steel, glass, plastic, ceramic, and wood. It gives a clear finish and makes the use of a blow torch to weld the broken pieces together redundant.
It is one of the quickest setting epoxies as it takes all of five minutes to apply and just another 30 minutes to set. After that, allow another 24 hours for the epoxy to set.
4. J-B Weld 8277
The J-B WaterWeld epoxy is a water-resistant putty. This very trait makes the WaterWeld very strong adhesive for bonding aluminum parts together. It has a tensile strength of 1300 PSI and can withstand temperatures up to 300°F (148.8°C).
The WaterWeld is packaged in a stick. It’s not the same compared to the previous products we have discussed in this article where the epoxy comes in tubes and syringes. To use this epoxy, take out the putty from the tube, cut off as much as you might need for your current repair project, and save the rest.
Once you have taken out the amount you need, knead the putty well and then apply it on the surface that needs repairing. This is a versatile epoxy and can be applied to various surfaces ranging from aluminum and stainless steel to plastic.
It can be applied to hard and wet surfaces; it will work exceedingly well in both. Once the product is cured, it will be resistant not just to water, but also acids and chemicals.
This is another fastest setting product taking around 25 minutes to set and about an hour to cure. WaterWeld is unique from most other epoxies because it can be used to repair both on dry surfaces and underwater.
5. J-B Weld 50176 KwikWeld Steel Reinforced Epoxy Syringe
KwikWeld is a quick setting epoxy that is packaged in a syringe. It is also very easy to use and requires you to take equal amounts of product from the syringe and mix them before applying it to the surface that needs to be repaired. This syringe has a resealable cap that stops the contents from hardening and allows multiple uses out of it.
KwikWeld takes about five to six minutes to set and another five to six hours to cure. With a tensile strength of 3127 PSI, KwikWeld provides a lasting and robust repair to aluminum surfaces and is used widely for other household and automotive repairs.
6. PC Products 72561 PC-Concrete Two-Part Epoxy Adhesive Paste for Anchoring and Crack Repair
This is also a two-part epoxy adhesive paste that can be used to repair aluminum products. Aside from aluminum, this epoxy is used to fill in cracks in concrete and repair unreinforced masonry.
The epoxy paste is a quick setting with 20 minutes to set and an additional four hours after that to cure. It can be used in vertical spaces, and since it is water-resistant, it can be applied in damp environments as well. It can withstand temperatures up to 115°F (46.1°C).
7. Marine-Tex Gluvit Epoxy Sealer
As the name suggests, Marine-Tex is an epoxy sealer mostly used for repairing things such as boats and tankers. So, if you have an aluminum boat that needs some repairs, this epoxy may be the best option.
The product not only seals cracks and fractures on the aluminum surface, but it also makes the surface stronger by reducing the chances of corrosion and protecting the surface from any possible leakage or water damage. This product can be applied to steel, fiberglass, and many other surfaces apart from aluminum.
This quart-sized epoxy will cover a large area if you need to repair one. Applying a thick coat will make it more durable and more resilient. This product needs about 48 hours to dry, and once this period is over, it is ready to be sanded and painted upon should you choose to do so.
8. Loctite Liquid Professional Super Glue
The Loctite Super Glue has incredible strength making it ideal for heavy-duty repairs. It is packaged with a pin-point nozzle, which allows for precise application without wasting any glue. The screw-on cap allows for multiple uses and stops the glue from prematurely hardening inside the tube.
It is an incredibly strong adhesive that is made of a fast setting formula that resists moisture, chemicals, and acids. It also is easy to work within extremely cold temperatures. It does not change to a grey or white color upon drying; rather, it remains transparent, making the repairs almost invisible.
9. 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200
Another great epoxy that can be used for marine equipment is this 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant. This epoxy can withstand water and does not break down or damage even if left underwater. It is commonly used for boats as well as RVs and other marine and land equipment and vehicles.
3M Marine adhesive resists weathering and saltwater and would not crack or peel under pressure. It is made of polyurethane polymer, and it can stretch and stay flexible and retain its strong bonds even during structural movements, or shock.
The only downside about the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant is that it requires almost five to seven days to cure fully. So, suppose you are in a rush. In that case, this may not be the best sealant to address the time constraints.
For any renovation or repair project, you will need to budget your time accordingly and allocate the hours after considering the long curing period that this sealant will take.
10. Star Brite 4oz Epoxy Putty Stick
If you want to make fast repairs to an aluminum surface, this epoxy putty stick is just the right product for you. It comes in a putty stick. It would be best if you took off as much of it as you will need and knead it with your hands for a minute before applying it to the surface that needs repairing. The putty has a five to seven-minute application time and takes another half hour after that to cure.
Once cured, this epoxy can also be sanded, drilled, and painted upon. It can also be used underwater and applied to boats to repair cracks and leakages.
Suppose you are looking to fix an aluminum part on a steel surface or attaching two weathered pieces of aluminum together. In that case, this epoxy with a tensile strength of 900 PSI will provide incredible adhesion in such cases. This epoxy can withstand up to 250°F (121.1°C) due to its high-density formula.
11. Amazing GOOP 5400040 Coat-It Waterproof Epoxy Sealer & Protector
This is very easy to use epoxy that only requires you to pour, stir, and apply the waterproof sealant on the surface that needs repair.
The waterproof nature of this epoxy makes it a great choice for repairing boats, RVs, and trucks. Any minor leak or crack can be sealed with a single coat. This 2lb (0.9 kg) sealer can cover up to 20 square feet (0.09 square meters). This epoxy dries within 10 to 12 hours. Once the coat is dried, you can sand and paint over it.
This sealant can be used over multiple surfaces, including fiberglass, aluminum, and other metals. It is an incredibly strong epoxy that protects the surface against damages.
Epoxy for Aluminum: Buying Guide
Epoxies that work well for one project may not yield the same results in a different project. It is important to understand their attributes to choose one that is best suited for your current needs.
This video gives a brief overview of the various epoxies that can be used to bond aluminum for different projects.
Here are a few factors that you can consider before choosing epoxy for repairing your aluminum surfaces.
Look for Temperature Resistance
Not all epoxies are resistant to high temperatures, and others cannot be used in low temperatures. First, it is important to understand the temperature in which you will be working when you apply the epoxy and the temperature that the surface will be exposed to on a day-to-day basis.
Suppose you think that the temperature will vary vastly, either because of the region where this epoxy is being used or perhaps because you are using an RV to travel across the US with varying temperatures and weather. In that case, look at the temperature range for which the epoxy is suitable and compare it with the hottest temperature that the surface will be exposed to.
Largely you will be fine as most of the epoxies are adaptable to relatively high temperatures. But this does become a critical factor that you need to look into if you are repairing a surface that comes in contact with extremely high temperatures.
Compare the Tensile Strength
As you may have seen in this article, most of the sealants and adhesives come with the details of their PSI strength. This number comes in handy when you are looking for something with higher tensile strength, such as in instances of heavy-duty projects.
It helps compare the PSI values, which is indicative of the strength in the adhesion bonds. You will need greater PSI strength for more heavy-duty projects.
Check for Water Resistance
Look for adhesives and sealants that are water-resistant, especially if you are doing the repair work on a surface that lives in water or is vulnerable to water damage. Using epoxies that are water-resistant will help avoid unnecessary damage to the surface, thereby extending the life of the aluminum surface.
Factor in Drying Time
If you have a lot of time in your hands, then perhaps the differences in drying time between the various epoxies will not matter so much. However, if you are on a tight timeframe, you will need to consider which epoxy will help get the job done quickly, and the drying time will play a crucial role in the process.
Knowing the drying time will help you get the job done and move on to a new project. On the other hand, if you are doing the epoxy work more as a hobbyist than a builder, it would not matter if it takes a little longer to cure.
Consider the Finished Product
If the aesthetics are just as important as the epoxy functionality, then you need to go for those that have a finish aligned to the end product you have in mind. For instance, some epoxies have a white finish, others grey, and still, others have a transparent finish.
You might also want to paint over the epoxy once it has cured, or drill through it to bring a home renovation project to fruition. Keep these end goals in mind and choose epoxies that make it possible to carry out these cosmetic changes.
It may be surprising that buying a simple epoxy or glue would have so much research, thought process, and considerations going into it. However, understanding these basic factors will help you make a more informed decision and better help you with your projects.
It is always good to invest some time in doing market research than choosing products in a rush that may not be helpful for your project. I hope you find this guide helpful in choosing the right epoxy for your project.