Composite Bonding with Plexus® MMA Adhesives

Bonded composite material image


In the world of advanced materials, composite structures have emerged as game-changers, offering superior strength, lightweight properties, and endless design possibilities. From wind blades and automotive to marine and construction sectors, composites, especially carbon fiber, have revolutionized the way we design and build structures. One crucial aspect of working with composites is how to join or add components to them. This is where Plexus MMA adhesives (methyl methacrylate or acrylic) emerge as a leading bonding solution. This blog will delve into the exceptional qualities of Plexus MMA acrylic adhesives and their role in creating durable, high performance bonds between composite materials, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

What is Composite Bonding?

Composite bonding is the process of joining two or more composite materials, such as fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs), composites that require a mold release, or carbon fiber to create a unified structure. FRPs are widely used, and Plexus MMA adhesives have been trusted for structural composite bonding for decades. Often times composites will utilize mold release to help with processing. This mold release can be either incorporated within the composite (internal) or used on the surface (external). For many adhesives this presents an insurmountable issue – but not for Plexus.

For composites with internal or external mold release, minimal to no preparation is required before bonding. For optimal results, a simple abrasion or solvent wipe is sufficient. However, Plexus methacrylate adhesives are designed to bond to the most difficult composite surfaces with little to no preparation or primers. Carbon fiber composites are widely regarded as one of the strongest and lightweight materials available. Carbon fiber bonding requires adhesives that can withstand high stress levels, temperature variations, and dynamic loads. Plexus MMA adhesives are an excellent choice in carbon fiber bonding applications, delivering robust and durable bonds.

Bonding Composite to Metal

Combining dissimilar materials, such as aluminum and carbon fiber, presents unique challenges. Plexus MMA adhesives excel in this area, serving as the ideal adhesive solution for composite to metal bonding. These adhesives possess excellent adhesion properties to both carbon fiber and aluminum surfaces, resulting in robust, lightweight, and corrosion resistant bonds. Whether it’s marine or automotive applications, the versatility of Plexus MMA adhesives enables the creation of high-performance structures that bridge the gap between materials.

Designed for Real World Applications

There are many other advantages to utilizing Plexus MMA adhesives for composite bonding. One of the most important benefits is that these adhesives distribute stress evenly across the bonded area, reducing stress concentrations that can lead to structural failures. Another is the elimination of mechanical fasteners reducing weight, improving weight, and aerodynamics, making them ideal for applications where weight reduction is critical. Additionally, composite adhesive bonding provides excellent fatigue and environmental resistance, thermal insulation, vibration damping properties, ease of use, and rapid curing, further enhancing the performance and longevity of the composite structure. Plexus MMA adhesives also have a large variety of open times best suited to many different applications.

One common question that arises when considering composite bonding is, “How long does the bond last?” The longevity of a bonded composite structure depends on various factors, such as adhesive selection, surface preparation, environmental conditions, and proper application techniques. Plexus MMA adhesives are known for their outstanding durability, providing long-term stability and resistance to extreme environmental factors, including temperature fluctuations, moisture, and chemical exposure. When applied correctly, the bond created by Plexus MMA adhesives can withstand the test of time and will typically be stronger than the composite itself.


Plexus MMA adhesives have cemented their position as the go-to choice for composite bonding. With their exceptional strength, durability, and versatility, they enable engineers and manufacturers to unlock the full potential of composite materials. Whether bonding standard composites, bonding aluminum to carbon fiber, or joining composites to other metals, Plexus adhesives provide a reliable and permanent solution. Trust in their reliability and witness the transformation of your projects into outstanding, high-performance creations.

For more information on Plexus adhesives, take a look at our North America or EMEA selector charts. Contact our Technical Services Department for more information on which Plexus composite bonding adhesive is best suited for your application.

View all our Technical Data Sheets and Safety Data Sheets.

Further reading: Thixotropy, Viscosity and Rheology … Oh my!, What is fixture time anyway?, and Is it strong enough?.  

For more stories like this, follow ITW Performance Polymers on LinkedIn and sign up for enewsletter in our website footer.  

ITW Performance Polymers is an international leader in structural adhesivesgrouting and chocking compounds, and wear-resistant coatings and repair products. Contact us to learn more about these products and their applications.