How to Glue Aluminum to Styrofoam

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A shiny piece of aluminum and the light, airy material of Styrofoam may go together for a variety of reasons. Whether you're creating a layer of metal paneling over foam insulation or adding parts to a craft project, the most important tip to remember when attaching these two materials is to use solvent-free glue. Solvents will eat through the Styrofoam causing a compromised structure.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool
  • Solvent-free metal epoxy
  • Glue tray
  • Glue roller

Clean the surface of the aluminum that will be touching the Styrofoam using either fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to remove any residual rust. Dust off the back when complete.

Pour a solvent-free metal epoxy into a glue tray and coat a glue roller. Use a hot-glue gun for a less, toxic alternative, although the bond won't be as strong.

Roll the glue roller over the back of the aluminum, covering the entire surface area.

Press the piece of aluminum gently onto the Styrofoam. Run your hand over the aluminum to make sure the metal has adequate contact with the foam. If the orientation of your project allows for it, place a heavy object such as a book, on top of the aluminum to provide added pressure while the glue dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • If using metal epoxy, perform this task in a well-ventilated area as the fumes are very strong.
  • Wear work gloves to protect your hands from the glue.

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