01/10/2017 at 3:58 PM #4363
HOW TO REPAIR TPE DOLLS WOUNDS
This tutorial will teach you all you need to know to repair TPE Dolls. TPE is a thick material that is not easy to damage. Good care and maintenance will guarantee your doll to last for years. Keep in mind that most types of wounds can be invisibly fixed.
Anticipation is always key, and you should fix a wound right away if it ever appears, in order to prevent it to spread and extend (especially if it is on an area which is often being stretch during use).
Before starting reparation on your doll’s skin, it is advisable to make sure that the wound is cleaned up first of any dust for an optimal effect of the glue.
Our TPE glue is designed by WM Doll, our main manufacturer to repair thermoplastic elastomer. This glue acts by melting the TPE together into a blend.
In order to follow this tutorial you will need our TPE repair kit here.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This glue is only designed to repair wounds on TPE. Do not use this glue to fix your doll’s eyelashes as a result, it would melt her eyelids. For nails or eyelashes, use either SuperGlue or eyelash/nail glue.
HAZARD & SAFETY INFORMATION REGARDING TPE GLUE:
- Highly flammable liquid and vapors
- Keep away from heat/sparks/open flame/other sources of heat
- Apply in a well ventilated area or outdoor
- Do not inhale glue vapors this may cause drowsiness or dizziness
- Use gloves when manipulating the product
- Keep away from eyes, skin and clothing. May cause serious irritation
- Repeated use can cause skin dryness or cracking
- Keep out of reach of children
- Do not swallow
THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT IS ADVISED:
- Protective clothing
- Protective mask
- Safety goggles
- Wet cloth
- Protective gloves
TABLE OF CONTENT
I. TPE Repair Kit – What is included
Our TPE repair kit works on any form of abrasions, fractions, holes, open air bubbles and breakouts (with a hole in the skin for example). This kit includes the following:
- (*3) TPE Glues (10ml-0.33oz each)
- (*3) TPE Cream (10ml-0.33oz each)
- (*1) Pair of disposable silicone gloves
- (*1) Disposable 10ml syringe + cannula blunt head (0.33oz)
- (*1) Piece of TPE – To make TPE shreds
NEW! You can now also purchase the following items:
- (*1) Adjustable temperature heat gun + 8 Nozzles (+$49)
- (*1) Fumes protection mask (+$19)
- (*1) Laser thermometer (+$19)
These 3 new items are used by manufacturers to smooth TPE after repair. Heat guns are particularly adapted for scratches, small holes, and other superficial wounds.
Heat guns also greatly improves smoothing and finishing after repair. Please see below our to use a heat gun to smooth a scare on your TPE Doll skin.
II. Other items that you will need
- Shredded TPE material (needed to create a TPE paste or jelly)
This is obtained by shredding small pieces of the TPE sample piece included in your repair kit. Simply use scissors to cut thin pieces of TPE into a solvent resistant container.
Mixing this shredded TPE pieces with our special glue will give you a thick TPE piece that can be used pretty much like concrete on a hole.
This TPE paste is the base of most repairs. Only prepare the right amount that you need in order not to waste it!
- A pair of sharp small scissors (for fingernails)
- Mixing recipients and toothpicks (needed to mix the TPE shreds with the glue)
- Paper towels, towel, or napkins
- Mineral spirit solvent also known as mineral turpentine
- Acetone solvent also known as propanone
- A solvent resistant mixing recipient is also needed to prepare the TPE paste
*This tool is preferred but not mandatory. Syringes with blunt cannula allow you a better precision when pouring the liquid. As a result, you can directly inject it into less accessible areas.
Syringes are only needed for severe open wounds such as type #2, #3, #4 or #6 in our tutorial.
III. Example of application for all types of wounds
The below picture shows different types of damage on a large TPE test piece.
PREPARATION OF THE WOUND
First of all make sure to clean up the wound from any dust and asperities. Once the wound is clean, use the glue brush applicator to coat the area to repair repetitively with a thin layer of glue.
Coating the wound previously with TPE glue will allow a greater adhesive power with the TPE paste.
PREPARATION OF THE TPE PASTE
1- HOW TO REPAIR SUPERFICIAL ABRASION OR FRAYING
Abrasions or fraying can sometimes happen, just like on us humans when we rip our skin against a wall or another rash surface.
The above picture shows how to create TPE shreds with a pair of scissors and tweezers.
STEP 1: Using the scissors cut small TPE pieces from the sample piece and collect them with the tweezers. These protruding TPE pieces.
STEP 2: Pour a small quantity of TPE glue and mix it with the shredded TPE pieces into a solvent resistant recipient. The shredded TPE will melt with the glue to create a TPE paste.
STEP 3: Still using the glue applicator brush, apply the TPE paste on the wound. Repeat the operation until there is enough TPE paste to cover the fraying.
STEP 4: Make sure to burst any small air bubble that would form into the liquid with a toothpick. If you leave it dry it would as a result create a hole (kind of like on a cake). You can now let it dry for around 2 hours.
STEP 5: Upon drying time, the TPE paste will lower down slightly. This is because of the fusion and evaporation of the solvent.
That’s it for now, we will get rid of that ugly scar later on below.
2- HOW TO REPAIR SMALL HOLES
These small holes can be caused by a sharp object having pierced through your doll’s skin by accident. This type of wound is also very easy to fix with a bit of TPE paste.
Go through steps 1 to 5 as per above section #1. Simply dip a toothpick or applicator into the liquid TPE paste and dispense drops on the holes. Let it dry for an hour.
These are the most common types of wounds,which are easy to repair invisibly.
3- HOW TO REPAIR AIR BUBBLES DEEP HOLES
Open air bubbles can unfortunately be due to small imperfections within the TPE blend during the moulding process of the doll, leaving small air bubbles that can potentially blow especially if near the surface of the skin, leaving a small hole.
For this type of wound you will need the syringe included with your repair kit, as well as the same paste as above, created with TPE shreds and glue.
STEP 1: Inject the liquid paste into the air bubble hole using the syringe. If you do not have a syringe at disposal, place the shredded TPE into the hole first with the tweezers, then use a toothpick to add the glue within the hole.
STEP: Let the wound dry for 2 hours. If you observe a small volume loss due to solvent evaporation of the solvent, top up the area with a bit more TPE paste to even up the surface of the skin, and it dry again for another hour.
The above pictures show an open air bubble wound during reparation with TPE paste.
4- HOW TO REPAIR TPE OUTBREAKS
Here again your TPE paste created from the glue and the TPE shreds is needed. As for the first type of damage reparation example, pour the liquid paste into the wound.
At the end of the process, a curvature with TPE paste will form above the outbreak or eruption.
Because there is a volume loss by evaporation of the solvent, this curvature will even up with the surrounding surface by itself. Let it dry for 3 hours.
5- HOW TO REPAIR OPEN WOUNDS (TO THE SKELETON)
Breakthroughs to the skeleton are heavy damages that might require several surgical intervention in order to fully fix your doll. Depending on the depth and width of the hole, you will need more or less TPE material and paste to fill in the missing area(s).
In order to close the breakthrough, we must first insert a plug with TPE material at the bottom of the breakthrough. Here again you will need the TPE paste from step #1.
First, we use the toothpick to extract some TPE glue from the container and place it in the mixing vessel. Then we add some shredded TPE material with the tweezers. Finally mix the TPE glue and the TPE shreds together, until you obtain a thick TPE jelly texture.
Using the tweezers, to insert the TPE paste into the hole. You can pull the breakthrough slightly apart with your fingers for ease of access.
At the end of this repair, a curvature will form, with the TPE paste above the eruption. Because there is some volume loss with the evaporation of the solvent, this curvature will even out with the surrounding surface. Allow to dry for about four hours.
6- HOW TO REPAIR A CUT ON TPE
STEP 1: Use a metal stick (such as a metal ear curette for example) and simply add glue into the wound. You do not need TPE paste or shreds for this surgery intervention.
STEP 2: Keep both parts of the damaged area tight together to keep the wound closed for at least 3 minutes. Ideally apply a tourniquet or another system to maintain the wound closed for a longer period of time for an optimal TPE Doll repair.
4.1. TPE DOLLS REPAIR – SMOOTHING & FINISHING
Using the example of our TPE material, let’s now smoothen up the wounds we fixed previously:
4.1.1. SMOOTHING USING TPE GLUE OR ACETONE
Only leave a very small amount of glue or acetone onto the applicator brush using too much solvent would eat through the TPE, creating a new wound again, and you do not need that!
Gently brush the repaired wound with the applicator brush until the surface is smooth – Make sure to here again take all precautions and to use gloves and a solvent resistant recipient.
With circular motions, move the applicator brush onto the wound. Avoid applying solvent on the wrong area, this would damage the skin. Keep going until the solvent evaporated.
This is the most delicate part of the process, you will need time, patience and a steady hand.
4.1.2. REFRESHING THE WOUND WITH MINERAL SPIRIT
Mineral spirit has a high saturation and refreshing effect and is the final touch of this repair tutorial. Because of the amount of used solvents being used during the repair we have to make sure to saturate the TPE material with mineral oil.
STEP 1: Apply only a bit of mineral spirit liquid onto a tissue and gently apply it onto the wound.
STEP 2: Once the mineral spirit is soaking off from the TPE material, wash the surface with soft soap and water.
Afterwards do the powdering with your preferred powder. As a result the repairs have now almost completely disappeared. When you pass your finger on it, you should also no longer feel a difference. That’s it! This is how your repair TPE Dolls.
4.2. SMOOTHING USING A HEAT GUN + LASER THERMOMETER
Using our heat gun from above (available in our TPE Doll repair kit for $49). Please follow below steps to use our heat gun on thermoplastic elastomers.
STEP 1 – Setup the surgery table: Set up your surgery table. Choose ideally an outdoor area or a garage for example.
STEP 2 – Prepare your equipment: Using our fumes protection mask or a safety compliant one of your own, turn on the heat gun and wait until it warms up. Our heat gun has 2 temperatures you can choose from. Start with the lower one. Make sure to also turn on your laser thermometer.
STEP 3 – Prepare the wound: Prior to start, make sure that the area you are going to heat up is clean and saturated with oil. This will prevent TPE from heating up too quickly and burning or darkening.
STEP 4 – Unleash the heat: Starting from about (20cm | 7.9″), place the head of the heat gun onto the wound doing small circular motions. Get closer to the wound if the heat isn’t strong enough. Or switch to the higher temperature mode. What you are looking for is a mirror consistency, a glazing effect, this tells you when to stop heating the area.
Use the laser thermometer to determine the temperature of the spot. This is the melting temperature of your doll. This value slightly varies from a manufacturer to the other.
It is critical that you control the temperature range of the area that you are working onto. Do not overheat it which could cause more issues that at the start…
Once TPE starts melting, you need to work quickly to get it smoothed out. You only have a few seconds to work prior to the TPE to cool down after which, you will need to heat up the area to the right melting point again.
STEP 5 – Smooth it up: As soon as you see the TPE starting to melt (a bit of smoke should appear, the point at which the TPE starts glazing over), stop heating the area.
With gentle strokes, tap a clean wet cloth onto the area to smooth it up and soak up the oil excess. This will prevent the glazyness or a mirror finish for the TPE melting. Make sure that the cloth is CLEAN and MOIST. Rinse the cloth in prior to repeat if needed, to clean it.
Do not wipe the area with the cloth, simply dab the area up & down and do not rub it or wipe it sideways. Repeat steps 3 & 4 as many times as needed if the TPE cools down. You have 4 different nozzles included with your heat gun to help you smooth up an irregular area for example.
To finish and get a perfectly seamless skin, use 4000 paper grit previously soaked in oil (to make it less harsh)
STEP 6: All done! You can now powder up the area to get your doll skin back to a smooth and soft touch feeling! Checkout our natural alternative to baby powder here).
ABOUT SOLDER STATIONS (HEAT GUN + IRON)
TPE Doll manufacturers use solder stations during the finishing of a doll, in order to get rid of TPE bleedings from the molding process.
A soldering iron comes handy to get rid of these, but is not mandatory to DIY repairs as you can use the nozzles included with the heat gun to act like the soldering iron would
You can however acquire one if you prefer, instead of the heat gun. The TekMotion 898D station is a good example.
5. REPAIR TPE DOLLS – FINAL RESULT
5.1. STRETCHING TEST
You can see below the repaired TPE material piece in the stretched state as well as the repaired TPE material piece in the angled state, e.g. similar to the strain on a bent elbow or knee.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.