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A good glue to stick aluminized Mylar to PET Answered

We are making a parabolic solar hot water heater and have been working on it for several years now.  We have been searching for a better glue to stick the 8' x 4' sheet of aluminized Mylar to the PET backing. 

We have tried everything from axel grease to double-sided tape but really need something that we can roll on with a paint roller, that won't eat the Mylar (which is basically plastic) and which will allow us at least 5 minutes to place the Mylar and to move it around a little until it is in position - and then harden.

The most recent type of glue we were looking at was something like the glue that comes in a small stick that kids use for making things with paper - a glue stick i think it's called.  However this is not liquid enough to be able to be applied with a roller (i suspect we need a roller in order to get it on fast before it sets).

Anyway, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Have a super morning!  :)


Have you tried contact cement for countertop laminates? You roll it on the base, let dry to evaporate the nasty solvents and there is a sticky surface left. You've got one chance to place the parts together though. Other than that, experiment with those new roof repair coatings. One I've used is latex based and will stick to anything. You might have to put some pinholes in the mylar sheet for it to breathe to dry but looks isn't everything and you wouldn't sacrifice too much reflection with a couple of small blobs peeking through. Good luck.

Thanks for this reply - it was very interesting. It had very different suggestions for "other" glues. Lol - roof repair coatings. Uf - i'm thinking tar - hot tar. i've worked a litlle (very little) with the contact cement for countertop laminates. i appreciate the suggestion, but as you mentioned, you basically get just one shot at getting it right - and it's really, really, sticky. It has to be in order to hold something as hard and heavy as the laminate in place.

We're using someting like .002" Mylar - it's thinner than paper. It doesn't tear very easily but is a little difficult to work with on a windy day so i'm still thinking about something that will just keep it down - a little tacky! (that's the word!) - but not too much so that we can still move it about a bit in order to make sure it's smooth and there's no bubbles (if there were), and then seal the ends so the wind can't get in under it. The suggestion below sounds interesting: vacuum pump oil... Will await Toga's friend's comments...

What's the difference between the latex and the silicone glues?

Not really sure but latex stuff is probably more water based so they need to dry exposed to air. Silicones cure and give off that vinegary smell. Maybe just lay down beads or lines of silicone caulk to stick it and squeegee flat.

I'm not that versed in solar heating but I remember seeing somewhere that a full white surface may be even better than a mirror like coating and the collector tube should be black for more efficiency.

vacuum pump oil. Works for friiends who do this in 3rd world for steam engines. Think they may put clips, or tape ariound the edges. Will contact em to ask.

Thanks, Downunder35m! We'll have to give it a try!

Have a super evening! :)

How about just using something like some sort of silicone spread out first so that the Mylar can be laid and then just taping (we have some nice metalized tape that is really strong) the edges? We have seen that using small strips of double-sided tape doesn't work because we can't cover the whole sheet and although when there is no wind, it looks good (nice and smooth), when we have the slightest breeze, the Mylar ripples. If we could just use something like silicone to basically hold it down until we can get the edges taped - this might be enough for it to stay in place after taping.

We think that once we get it taped down, that even a pretty strong wind would be unable to lift it off of the parabola since the wind wouldn't be able to get under the Mylar... ??

Oh, thanks a lot for replying!

Do the old window tinting trick ;)
Use some water with a drop of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle and wet all surface completly.
With the tape and the Mylar wet you can move it around until satisfied.
Once once squeeze the water out the stuf stick together and a nice dry day later it is fixed as the water evaporates.

Nothing really sticks good to Mylar and even less to PET.
To make it more complicated you also need it to be weather- and semi-heat proof.
You might need a two stage process, first paint or seal the PET with somthing that really sticks to it and then use this surface to glue the sheet on.