I have been guilty of purchasing and then trying to use a PDR glue stick that I had not pre-measured and learned about one of the most important factors for success with this type of adhesive – the strength and temperature range.
As a professional, I can say many times that this PDR glue stick guide can save countless hours and wasted products.
Table of Contents
What are PDR Glue sticks?
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) glue sticks are a type of contact cement traditionally used in the body shop industry. Today, they are used frequently by auto detailers. PDR Glue is a tough glue that can be used to bond an array of things, including automotive trim materials such as plastic and metal parts. PDR is very similar to regular white glue in texture and consistency.
PDR glue sticks work as a multipurpose material that is easily applied to the various surfaces of your vehicle. They are great for bonding metal and plastic to each other. The PDR glue stick can be easily used on a variety of surfaces, including the exterior and interior components, fuel systems, wheels, and much more. It is very versatile and can be used on almost any type of metal or plastic throughout the vehicle.
Why Do I Need to Know the Strength and Temperature Range?
Knowing your PDR glue stick’s strength and temperature range is very important. You will learn about this in a bit, but let me mention that it is based on how you are going to use the glue stick. If you are trying to bond acrylic plastic, I will use a PDR glue stick with less than 180 grams of adhesive per 8-ounce glue stick.
If you are trying to bond a metal to another metal, I will use a PDR glue stick with more than 180 grams of adhesive per 8 ounce glue stick. This is because the strength and temperature range change on both of these materials.
Metals, for the most part, get harder as the temperatures go up. The opposite is true with plastic. Acrylics and other types of plastic get softer as temperatures rise. In addition, acrylics can turn cloudy when they get hot or cold.
PDR Glue Stick Guide: Strength and Temperature Range
Here are the most important factors for success with PDR glue:
How Do I Apply a PDR Glue Stick?
Let’s look at each of these factors closely. The strength and temperature range of a PDR glue stick change based on how you use it and what type of materials you are gluing.
In general, there are three ways to use PDR glue sticks:
The first is to immediately apply the PDR directly on a substrate and let it dry. This is how many people use them at home.
The second way would be to immediately place the item you are bonding on your mounting surface and then apply the PDR glue stick across it and let it dry. Commercial models of this are available, so if you have access to one, maybe consider using this route.
The third way is to place the substrate onto the mounting surface, then apply a PDR glue stick to both objects and let them dry. This works best if you are working in a shop environment.
If you are going to use one of these methods, you need to know the strength and temperature range of your PDR glue stick. The strength and temperature range change when determining how much adhesive is needed based on the type of material being bonded.
Summary of the Strength and Temperature Range of PDR Glue Sticks:
PDR glue sticks will be strongest and can bond metal at temperatures between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 32 degrees Celsius).
A PDR glue stick that works well in a shop environment will be strong enough to connect two large pieces of metal together without being brittle.
If you need to bond plastic, use a PDR glue stick that is formulated for plastic bonding. The strength and temperature range for bonding acrylics is lower than for bonding metals.
What Will Happen If I Do Not Use the Correct Strength and Temperature Range?
If you do not have the correct temperature range of the glue stick, you will not get a strong bond. The glue will either be too soft or too brittle.
If you use a PDR glue stick that has too much strength and is too hot, it can ruin your paint. The adhesive can run down into the seams and crevices of your car.
If you use a PDR glue stick with too much flexibility, you can damage the surface of your car. The glue will not be able to hold the pieces together, and your paint will turn white.
Do you know: The cost to fix your car’s damaged bumper?!
PDR Glue Sticks Color Guide
Another PDR glue stick guide is based on the color. PDR glue sticks are available in various colors, each indicating different characteristics or properties. Here’s a general color guide for PDR glue sticks:
- Yellow: Standard glue stick for general dent repair on most surfaces.
- Black: High-temperature glue stick suitable for use in hot weather or on hotter panels.
- Green: Flexible and durable glue stick ideal for areas with contours or complex shapes.
- Red: Extra-strong adhesive for difficult-to-pull dents or heavy damage.
- Blue: Cold-weather glue stick designed for use in colder temperatures or on colder panels.
- Clear: Transparent glue stick commonly used for blending or finishing touches on repaired areas.
You can check out this video for more detail!
How Much Adhesive Do I Use?
You will need to know how much adhesive is needed when using a PDR glue stick on different surfaces. How much adhesive to use changes based on how strong you need the bond to be during its application process.
Here is a breakdown of how much adhesive you should use on different surfaces:
- If you are bonding a plastic, add more glue if necessary. PDR is tough and will bond most plastics with no compounding needed.
- If you are bonding to metal, the adhesive must be enough to fill any voids. The adhesive should be able to fill in any nooks and crannies that do not want to fully adhere. The glue will also need to be strong enough for your application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 What Type of Glue Sticks to Use on the Dent Puller?
There is a wide variety of PDR glue sticks on the market. Some are formulated for specific purposes, while others are just for general use.
If you have a dent puller and are looking to purchase one, a glass-filled universal PDR glue stick will be the best option. This type of PDR glue stick can be used with many different materials and is designed to bond metal or plastic to each other.
#2 Can I Use Regular Glue Sticks for PDR?
No, you cannot use regular glue sticks for PDR. The adhesive in regular glue sticks is not designed to flex and bend with the type of force that PDR uses. Regular glue sticks will not work properly for this application.
Another reason you cannot use regular glue sticks for PDR is that the adhesive will not have the strength to hold an object in place.
Check out this video to know when you should pull the glue out!
#3 What Is the Difference Between Hot And Cold Bonding?
There are a lot of misconceptions about the differences between hot and cold bonding when using a PDR glue stick. This question is an example of one such misconception.
Cold bonding is the process of bonding directly on a substrate. The directions for doing this are provided on the label of your PDR glue stick. You will need to follow these instructions to properly apply PDR glue to the area that you are working on with cold bonding.
Hot bonding takes place before you even start cold bonding. It is the process of prepping your surface for repair. You would apply PDR glue to the area that you are working on and then let it dry to create a bond.
With this type of bonding, you can use the PDR glue stick as much as necessary without damaging anything. This is because the adhesive will fully dry and hold well, no matter how much pressure is applied to it.
Using hot bonding, you do not need to worry about compounding your repairs. This will help avoid damage from occurring during your repair process.
#4 What Is the Difference Between Black and Yellow Glue Sticks?
Yellow glue sticks are generally harder. This makes them ideal for use when cold bonding because it is harder to bond two pieces together with this type of PDR glue stick.
Black glue sticks are softer than yellow ones. This helps them when hot bonding because the adhesive will be flexible and adaptable to the surface that you are working on. If you have difficulty using hot bonding, this is the best PDR glue stick to use for your repair process.
A PDR glue stick is a versatile material that auto detailers and enthusiasts alike can use. When picking one up at the local auto parts store, you should always look for one with the same strength and temperature range as those enthusiasts use.
Check out: Optimum no rinse – Usages and how to!
You can save money and avoid damaging your paint on a regular basis simply by knowing what you need to do before using a PDR glue stick.
Hi everyone, My name is Ollie Barker.
As a seasoned auto expert I have 25 years of experience working in repair and detailing shops. I love to share my tips & tricks to all car lovers, so that’s why I’m here at Automotive Gearz publishing my content, sharing my passion. Also, I’ve been giving my recommendations on which products are the best to have on the market. I always thought it was hard to pick the right part, so hopefully I can make that a bit easier for you.
Hope you enjoy your time on my little blog!