Stuck on 3M 4200 Vs. 5200? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered like super glue on skin.
When I first started slapping glue on everything as a kid, “permanent” meant about 5 minutes before I pried apart my sticky masterpieces. Little did I know there was industrial-strength stuff out there literally bonding boats together.
Like millennial fans of 90’s bands, I wasn’t even born when these adhesives first hit the scene. But decades later, 4200 and 5200 remain boatyard staples. Turns out the maritime crowd takes their glue seriously.
3M 4200 Vs. 5200: What’s The difference?
The key difference between 3M 4200 Vs. 5200 is:
3M 4200 is considered semi-permanent, meaning it can be removed in the future if needed. However, for a skylight on a flexing surface, 3M 5200 is a better permanent option.
3M 4200 is a faster-curing multi-purpose epoxy suitable for small repairs on various materials including fiberglass, wood, tile, and metal. It can be disassembled after bonding. 3M 5200 is a slower-curing epoxy designed specifically for high strength permanent bonding of wood, fiberglass, and metal components. It has over 3X higher tensile strength but cannot be disassembled after cure.
📝 My Hands-on Test of 3M Marine Adhesive 4200
I have also used this sealant to seal joints in an old wooden boat I was refinishing. It does work as advertised, but it doesn’t play nice with most paints and primers. I had to apply it and wait a couple of days before starting to apply primer. It wasn’t until I noticed my primer not adhering to the cured sealer that I realized there were vague references online to complaints about paints and primers.
If you need to paint over this product, use a shellac-based primer. It works great, but it’s essential to properly prep surfaces to be bonded for the best results. The sealant is placed over the Dicor tape, putting the sealant inside the metal corner piece and secured back in place with screws. The sealant will be pushed out the sides, and then you smooth it out.
I must say that this stuff worked great for boats. I used it to seal up some holes I needed to drill on my outboard motor bracket, and it worked wonders. It’s ideal for anything where you need strong adhesion and sealant, and it can be removed if necessary after curing. It doesn’t work on wet surfaces, though, so make sure your surfaces are clean and dry before applying.
One thing to note is that the tube of caulk did not come with a nozzle. Doing a return or refund was very inconvenient, especially when I purchased the caulk just in time to do a project. I had to start buying this kind of item elsewhere, which was frustrating.
💬 FAQ of 3M Marine Adhesive 4200
Q: Is it necessary to use 3M 4200 within 24 hours of removing the seal, or will it go bad?
A: If you reseal the product (remove and clean the nipple and put a nail or bolt in the tube opening), store it in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator, and take it out to reach room temperature before use, it can be used beyond 24 hours without going bad.
Q: Can 3M 4200 be used to fill in the grout between tiles in a shower, and is it waterproof?
A: This sealant is designed for use in marine and RV vehicles where there is movement and is not recommended for use in showers.
Q: Will 3M 4200 adhere to an (epmd) rubber pond liner and keep it flat?
A: This product should work as it remains flexible, but you may need to scuff up the surface for better adhesion. However, it may be better to consider an adhesive specifically made for epdm, which is used in roofing.
Q: Is it possible to get 3M 4200 in a clear color?
A: No, this product only comes in white.
Q: Can 3M 4200 be used to cover some 3M VHB tape to install solar panels on an RV, and will it be strong enough without being permanent?
A: While 3M 4200 can be used to cover 3M VHB tape, it may not be the best choice for a permanent bond. The fast cure version of 3M 5200 is a better option for a stronger and more permanent bond.
Q: Will 3M 4200 work underwater, and how quickly does it set up?
A: 3M 4200 and 5200 are the best products on the market for below the waterline applications and are commonly used by boat builders. The regular cure time is 24 hours, but there is also a fast cure option.
Q: Can I use 3M 4200 to seal nail holes in my pole barn roof, or is there a better alternative?
A: 3M 4200 may work, but it may not be the best choice. It may be better to use a roof sealer from a home improvement store. Also, be sure to check the freshness of the product and ensure that it comes with applicator tips.
Q: Will this product stick to polyethylene sheeting?
A: For transducer mounting boards, Transom Saver products are a better option than 3M 4200.
Q: Do I need to pull the tab on the bottom of the tube before putting this product into a caulk gun, and what is the purpose of the tab?
A: Yes, the tab helps keep the product fresh and air-free. Use a regular caulk gun to apply the product, which sets quickly.
Q: What type of dispenser is needed for this product, and is it smaller than a normal caulking tube?
A: A standard size caulking gun is suitable for this product, which is not smaller than other caulking tubes.
Q: What is the difference between the two 4200 products with different numbers?
A: One of the products may be the FC Fast Cure version, but both are essentially the same and great products.
Q: What is the temperature range of this product after it is cured, and can it be used on water-cooled transom exhaust tips?
A: 3M 4200 will work well on water-cooled exhaust tips, even above the waterline when running.
Q: What is used to apply 3M 4200, and what is the purpose of the pull tab on the bottom of the tube?
A: The pull tab helps keep the product fresh and air-free. A regular caulk gun can be used to apply the product, which sets quickly.
Q: Has anyone used 3M 4200 for solar panel installs on an RV, and is it permanent or semi-permanent?
A: 3M 4200 is considered semi-permanent, meaning it can be removed in the future if needed. However, for a skylight on a flexing surface, 3M 5200 is a better permanent option. Surface preparation is crucial, and a surface prep with Naphtha is recommended.
Q: Will 3M 4200 or 5200 bond to HDPE?
A: 3M 5200 was successfully used to bond aluminum to fiberglass on an RV, which suggests it may work on HDPE. However, if the HDPE is thin and flexible, a more flexible adhesive may be a better option.
Q: Should the adhesive area be sprayed with water when using 3M 4200 to glue lights under a truck, and will this improve cure time or durability?
A: Surfaces to be bonded should be clean, dry, and free from contaminants. Abrading and cleaning the surface with solvent is recommended for best results. Spraying the area with water is not necessary.
Q: Can the 3M 4200 1/10 gallon cartridge be dispensed using a standard caulking gun, or do I need a special dispenser?
A: The 1/10 gallon cartridge of 3M 4200 can be dispensed using a standard caulking gun with a 1/10 gallon cartridge holder. Make sure to cut the tip of the cartridge to the desired size before loading it into the caulking gun.
📝 My Hands-on Test of 3M 5200
The only downside to the 3M Fast Cure 5200 is that it can be messy and not very reusable. Even the small tubes are expensive. However, if you cap it after using it, make sure you find a way to use the rest of the sealant in the not-too-distant future, as the cap will become difficult to remove, and the sealant will harden up near the cap. Despite that, 3M 5200 sticks to just about every type of material on the planet and is impenetrable to water.
Moreover, I’ve also used 3M Fast Cure 5200 to glue in my plexiglass rear window on the car conversion. It provided a strong bond, and I’m on my second tube now. If anything, it’s almost too good!
In my experience, I use 5200 for everything that needs a permanent bond. This stuff is truly amazing and well worth the price. Just make sure to clean the surface thoroughly before application and allow it to cure for a couple of days. Once it’s cured, you won’t have to worry about it coming free. I’ve used it on boats, and vehicles, and even repaired cracks in my shoes. I can’t say enough good things about it.
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Another great aspect of this sealant is its flexibility. I recently used it to repair and seal cracks on my muck-style snake-proof boots, which I wear daily for work in swamps. It worked perfectly, remaining flexible and providing excellent adhesion. It’s a versatile adhesive that goes beyond just marine applications.
While the 3M Fast Cure 5200 is a fantastic product, it’s important to note that it’s permanent in most cases. So, if you’re looking for a more practical and easier-to-use option, consider using ‘4200’. It can be just as effective and offers more flexibility for certain applications.
💬 FAQ of 3M 5200
Q: Can I use 3M 5200 to secure galvanized sheet metal to an aluminum boat?
A: The effectiveness depends on the load. If you remove the patina from both surfaces and ensure there is enough bonding area, it should work. Make sure to secure the joint until the adhesive is fully cured.
Q: Is this adhesive suitable for repairing a 2-inch PVC pipe coupling underwater?
A: If the coupling is submerged and cannot be moved or drained, this would be your best option for repair. Clean and steel wool the surface before applying the adhesive. While I can’t be certain if this will solve your specific situation, I have been impressed with 3M 05220. It was specifically designed to stick to the fiberglass hulls of boats while they are still in the water.
Q: Does this adhesive work on polyethylene used in kayaks?
A: Yes, once it sets, it cannot be removed.
Q: Can 3M 5200 be sanded?
A: Once fully cured, it can be sanded. Keep in mind it may clog the sandpaper slightly. The quality of surface preparation determines how well the adhesive sticks and how finely you can feather the product.
Q: Will 3M 5200 effectively glue a clear vinyl window to the soft top of a 1997 Mazda Miata?
A: It is possible, but I would recommend consulting a professional installer. Keep in mind that using this adhesive may limit future options.
Q: Can I use this tube with a typical caulk gun used for regular window caulk?
A: I had the same concern, but the tube has an internal plastic plunger cup that a traditional caulking gun presses against. It is similar to a traditional caulk tube. The additional metal seal helps prolong the storage of the adhesive sealant until you are ready to use it. However, once the seal is broken, there may not be much shelf life left.
Q: Will this adhesive bond metal to a porcelain shower tile?
A: I have only used it for pool tile, and it was not effective for that purpose.
Q: Would you recommend 3M 5200 for gluing a rubber pad to a fiberglass paddle board used in saltwater?
A: Yes, I recommend roughing up the fiberglass with at least 120-grit sandpaper and cleaning it thoroughly with acetone to ensure a clean surface. Apply the adhesive to both the fiberglass and the foam, then use a thick piece of plywood over the foam and clamp it down to provide even pressure during the curing process. Be aware that once cured, it will be extremely difficult to remove the foam. This adhesive is permanent.
Q: Can this adhesive be applied underwater, similar to the regular-cure 5200?
A: Yes, I used it underwater, and it has held up well.
Q: Can 3M 5200 be used to fill a 1/4-inch hole below the water line?
A: For plugging a 1/4-inch hole, I suggest using a 1/4-inch machine screw in bronze or stainless steel. Coat both the screw and the hole with the 5200 adhesive, then secure the nut on the screw. While it can be used as a sealant, it is best to plug the hole with the screw. Once cured, it will be nearly impossible to remove the nut or the screw from the hole. I have used it underwater to install fittings on scuba equipment below the waterline, and it works effectively.
Q: Will this adhesive work on lightweight fabric?
A: I assume so since this adhesive sticks to anything. Think of it as silicone.
Q: Can this adhesive
fix a leak in a hypalon inflatable?
A: No, it will not. It is specifically designed for bonding with fiberglass.
Q: Can 3M 5200 be used instead of grout for an in-ground pool?
A: They make sanded and unsanded caulk in colors that match grout, which would be a better option for your pool.
Q: Will 5200 fast cure adhere to gelcoat with a wax additive?
A: While 5200 sticks to most surfaces, I always sand the surface to provide better adhesion. I would not recommend applying it directly on top of a wax additive.
Q: Is this adhesive removable?
A: Removing it would be challenging; it is highly adhesive. If you want the option of removal in the future, consider using a different product. 5200 is meant for permanent applications, while providing a strong bond, it may not be the best choice if you anticipate needing to remove the adhesive later.