Cleaning the surface before applying glue and ensuring that the individual has the correct glue are the most important tips for gluing polyethylene. The family of polyethylene-based plastics, including products marked UHMW, LDPE and HDPE, resists all solvent glues, as of 2015, so the right adhesive is a must.
Only one type of adhesive (IPS PPX5) works to bond polyethylene surfaces in industrial applications. When shopping for adhesives, it's important to check the labeling or to ask a customer service professional whether the adhesive works with polyethylene. If the adhesive is not suited to the surface, it wears away quickly or even causes damage to the pipe. In either case, leaks are a common problem.
Even with the right adhesive, cleaning the polyethylene surface before applying the glue is important. Using cloths to wipe away any residue and leave a dry surface behind best prepares the surface to take the adhesive. A rough surface is best for adhesion, so using sandpaper to rough up the surfaces that are due to receive glue, and then wiping away all of the residue, are the most effective steps to prepare the polyethylene. Double-sided tape and hot air welding are two alternate methods for joining polyethylene surfaces when glues do not work.