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What plastic is the Nikon Coolpix camera body made up of (why did glue melt it?)

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jeanette Guire, Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. Do you know what plastic the Nikon Coolpix 3100 camera body is made up of?

    The reason I ask is that I had the same problem as all other Nikon Coolpix
    owners did - namely the tiny plastic loop on the camera body breaks off so
    the battery door won't latch so I superglued and epoxied a paperclip in
    place. This worked but everywhere inside the battery compartment was fogged
    and pitted with tiny holes from the Locktite cyanoacrylate superglue and
    everywhere the Locktite Quick Set 5-minute Epoxy was wet, the camera body

    Obviously I used the wrong glues and epoxy but nowhere in the reference
    articles on how to fix the common flaw in the Nikon Coolpix cameras did it
    say WHICH epoxy and glue were used!!!!

    Here is a photo of the Nikon Coolpix camera body BEFORE it breaks

    Here is a photo of Nikon Coolpix camera body ultimately broken

    Here a user fixed the Nikon Coolpix camera body with a paperclip

    Here a user fix the Nikon Coolpix camera with a tripod

    Here is how I fixed the Nikon Coolpix 3100 camera with epoxy

    Here is a photo of how Nikon fixed the flaw themselves

    Since the crazy glue fogged and pitted the body and since the epoxy melted
    the body where it touched and stayed wet, I must have used the wrong glues.
    The epoxy says not to use on polyethylene or polypropylene - but what is
    the Nikon Coolpix 2100/3100 camera body made up of?
  2. JR North

    JR North Guest

    Don't know, but the minute amount of CA req to attach the repair part in
    that location should not cause a fogging problem. Prolly you used *way*
    too much. Also, there are less energetic CA formulas, like slow/thick
    gap-filling, which do not go off with the fumes and heat that super-thin
    CA does. Once more, a little dab'l do ya.
    Dweller in te cellar

    Home Page:
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  3. KGB

    KGB Guest


    You can buy CA glue which is safe to use on plastics - try a model
    aircraft hobby store.

    Whether or not it is safe to use on your particular plastic is of
    course a matter for experiment - but it's probably worth trying.

  4. They recommend against PE and PP plastics because epoxy just won't adhere
    to them -- both are _extremely_ resistant to solvents, and probably
    wouldn't soften in the presence of any chemical you could obtain at

    The CA "fogging" is because CA cements sublime at room temperatures, and
    recondense on adjacent surfaces -- where they ultimately cure in the form
    of a white film.

    The only two plastics of which I'm aware that might be affected by the
    plasticizers in some epoxies would be polystyrene and perhaps acetate.

    Most likely, the plastic is a styrene/polybutadiene copolymer, which is
    sensitive to acetone, xylene, toluene, naptha, and PVC plasticizers, and
    which is one of the two most common injection-moulding plastics in use.

    The problem must be with the specific epoxy you used. I'm not familiar
    with which plasticizers are present in which brands, but would suggest
    you use one with different properties. For instance, if you used a clear
    5-minute epoxy (which tends to the soft side when cured), try using a
    pigmented slow-cure type that cures hard, and try an entirely different
    brand, as well.

  5. I should have mentioned this: If the plastic _remains_ soft, then the
    plasticizer is probably PVC or an adipate (organic oil). Dioctyl adipate
    is often used to soften rubbers and styrenes, and its effect is
    permanent. You won't get the plastic to re-harden after "drying" for a
    spell. IF the plasticizer was PVC, you can expect it to re-harden in a
    few weeks.

  6. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Polystyrene garbage. A step from even rotten polycarbonate.
  7. That must be what happened. The entire inside of the battery compartment
    turned a milky white and changed from a smooth surface to a slightly
    rougher surface. Even the yellow plastic sticker showing which way to put
    the batteries seemed to get fogged up. Wierd.

    I thank you for your help because I have only one camera to fix but there
    are tens of thousands of others out there who will benefit from choosing
    the RIGHT glue to fix the engineering flaw in the Nikon Coolpix series of

    This is good to know for the next person who does this repair
    I used the Locktite 5-minute quick-set two ingredient epoxy as shown at

    For the record, the next person who tries the Nikon Coolpix camera repair
    should use pigmented 30-minute expoxy.

    Thanks for helping all of us!
  8. The plastic seemed to only "melt" where the epoxy was liquid. I only fixed
    the Nikon Coolpix 3100 camera yesterday so I don't know if the plastic will
    re-harden but it seems OK now.

    It was just anywhere there were drops of two-part epoxy, the body melted a
    bit so I was worried the whole body would collapse.

    I wish Nikon actually made good cameras or that the reviewers would
    actually test the cameras ... if that were the case, this problem wouldn't
    exist for the hundreds of us who have this problem.

    It wasn't a cheap camera either. I fault the reviewers at dpreview and
    Steve's DigiCam for very faulty reporting.
  9. That begs the question of which is the best substance to glue a paperclip
    onto the camera body to fix the infamous Nikon Coolpix camera flaws?
  10. Jeanette Guire wrote:

    (snipped because it's good for all mankind!)

    Just a SWAG, but it could be that the plastic seems to melt
    due to the reaction heat of the epoxy. ie: it DID melt.

    Not that it's all that hot in the absolute sense, but the
    location is very concentrated.

    Thin thermo forming plastic don't take much to deform.

    If it has stabilized, it's going to be ok.

    BTW, the paper clip latch (Metal work, guys!) was a stroke
    of pure genius.

    I filed that one - just in case...

  11. Even weirder, this "feature" is used in developing fingerprints in
    criminal investigations.

  12. Hey, you know, this might be the answer! Thanks. It did seem to only happen
    in the beginning, while the epoxy mix was still wet. I think this is what
    happened. At least it makes sense. Thanks!
  13. PVC? PVC is the plastic, not the plasticizer?
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Guest

    Why in the world didn't you just send it back to Nikon. They would have
    probably chucked that one and sent you another. And another. And another.

  15. plastic is clearly too weak for that loop.

    I'd repair it with paperclip wire melted into place. zig zag the wire
    for better grip on the plastic, then glue. GC Bond (used in electronics
    repair) would be fine and doesn't hurt most plastics.
  16. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    No, it doesm't. It _raises_ the question, it _demands_ the
    question, it _prompts_ the question, but it does _NOT_ "beg"
    the question:

    Rich Grise, self-appointed chief,
    Internet Grammar Police.
  17. PVC is often used as a plasticizer in other more brittle plastics. It's
    most of what's in plastic fishing worms, and what made them dissolve
    tackle boxes until the makers hit on using polypropylene instead of

  18. If it's styrene for sure, then ordinary Testor's Model Cement is the
    ideal fix.

  19. HIPS is pretty good these days (and not much different in price from
    good ABS or polycarbonate). It also molds very nicely, being a
    crystalline rather an amorphous plastic. A lot of IR remotes are
    molded from HIPS. It's not your father's polystyrene.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
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