How to Repair ABS Plastic

ABS plastic sheet is a common plastic found primarily in car parts and consumer products. Its chemical composition makes it a durable and inexpensive plastic that works well for injection-molded parts. Like the majority of plastics, ABS sheet can break when too much tension or pressure is applied. ABS responds well to solvent cements, so repairing this material is simple. Replacement parts made of ABS can be expensive. Using a few simple tools and techniques can make gluing ABS plastic sheet a painless experience.
Prepare the affected area. If the ABS was exposed to chemicals, such as motor oil, clean the broken piece's edges with rubbing alcohol. Use a small artist's paintbrush to apply the alcohol. After three minutes, wipe off the area with a rag. This removes any residual chemicals, allowing the solvent cement to penetrate the crack's surface. Do not use solvents, such as acetone, because they can prematurely melt the surface of the ABS.
Fit the pieces together to make sure that a clean glue joint will be formed. Often, plastic will slightly distort when it breaks. If the pieces do not fit together, use spring clamps to hold them in their original position until the glue dries. The key is to have a tight glue joint when the solvent cement is applied. If the gap between the pieces being glued is wider than a business or playing card, adhere a piece of thin ABS across the crack to strengthen it. ABS can be purchased at most plastics retailers. A thickness of 1/32 inch is sufficient for this purpose.