Tag Archives: thermoforming

Corian® Solid Surface for DIYers

Oh the Things We Can Do!

For all you DIYers out there whose springtime juices are flowing, here are some things you probably didn’t know you could do with acrylic solid surface material such as Corian®, Avonite®, LG Hi-Macs® and many other brands. Simple woodworking tools are all you need to get started.

What is Corian® (a/k/a Solid Surface)?

Solid surface is a manufactured material most commonly used for seamless countertop installations. It is frequently referred to as Corian®, a product developed by DuPont™ in 1964.

Corian solid surface bathroom vanity tops look like marble.

It can be readily cut, routed and sanded like wood and formed into countertops, shower walls, external cladding for buildings, signage, and furniture where non-porosity and infrequent maintenance are highly valued.  These are just a few of the man applications.

Solid surface is made of acrylic resin, polyester resin or a combination of the two that is then combined with filler, color pigments, and acrylic chips. This composition is most frequently extruded or poured as ½” thick sheets that are 30” x 144” and are the same color throughout their thickness.

In addition to being workable like hardwood, it can be heated and thermoformed into curved and molded shapes. It can also be printed on, using dye-sublimation techniques that deposit the ink just below the surface so the image becomes permanent.

What can be done with it?

Thermoform It

Thermoforming (the process of heating and shaping synthetic material) is an increasingly popular way to utilize solid surface to create 3D curves and rounded shapes. This is a realm Continue reading

Fabricator Spotlight: ASST – Fabricating Unique Destinations with Thermoformed Corian® Solid Surface

Featured Project: Terminal F, Philadelphia International Airport

By Andrew Dreves, ASID

Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal F

Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal F

With airport security and travel being about as much fun as a root canal, airport terminals today are striving to become unique destinations people want to visit.  With a reputation for creating visionary environments, Daroff Design, based in Philadelphia had an adventurous solid surface thermoforming project at Philadelphia Airport’s Terminal F and they knew who could help.

ASST had worked with Daroff Design previously on the Baltimore Convention Center and the design firm is well known internationally for high-end public and signature hospitality environments.

ASST (pronounced ASSIST), since its founding in 1998, has become an industry leader in commercial architectural fabrications establishing a reputation for taking on project challenges other solid surface fabricators might avoid.

With a passion for excellence and an impressive portfolio of successfully completed projects both nationally and internationally, ASST’s in-depth portfolio ranges from curved Corian® benches for the White House Visitor’s Center in Washington DC to an enormous curved solid surface Krion® staircase for a corporate building atrium in Boston. Continue reading

Corian® Represents Solid Surface at Super Bowl 2016

Corian® Solid Surface

Featuring 11 unique gallery and exhibit spaces, the 49ers Museum presented by Sony is a 20,000 sq. ft. facility dedicated to the 49ers past, present and future.

The curved, seamless walls of the new Levi’s® Stadium Museum in Santa Clara, CA, create a clean, uniform look that highlights why DuPont™ Corian® is the obvious choice for designers who want to make a bold statement with a durable solid surface.

The museum’s tall, translucent Corian® panels help capture the feeling and energy of the 49ers’ images projected on them. But they also are durable, which is necessary for an area with high volumes of visitor traffic.

“It is not surprising that Corian® would be featured so prominently in the Levi’s® Stadium Museum,” said John Richard, Global Business Director for DuPont Surfaces. “This type of impressive, large-scale design lends itself to Corian® both because of the surface’s aesthetic beauty and the ability to form it into virtually any shape or design.” Continue reading

Furniture Created Out of LG Hausys’ HI-MACS® Adds Streamlined Function & Cutting Edge Design to Beaugrenelle Commercial Center in Paris

Take a minute to imagine the perfect shopping setting…a center that offers hundreds of product options in one place, while also offering high-tech interactive information centers and (to top it off!) unparalleled comfort to make your experience more enjoyable and relaxing.

Answering this need, Brandimage, a global consultancy of brand-equity architects and designers, stepped in to design key pieces of “screen furniture” to make the ‘enjoyable and relaxing’ vision of Beaugrenelle Commercial Center in Paris, France, a reality. Continue reading

5 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With Corian® or Solid Surface

Bend It, Curve It, Twist It, Round It, Shape It…

Need a curved backsplash or solid surface countertop, a rounded shower stall, or a tub with a recessed soap dish or shampoo holder? Have you come against a situation where you need to bend solid surface materials around an odd corner or curved wall? Or perhaps you want to set your creative juices to work on a flowing design that includes free-form waves or columns? …No problem. Thermoforming is your answer!

What’s Thermoforming?

In the simplest terms, thermoforming is a process of heat-shaping synthetic material. And one of the greatest advantages of many solid surface materials is their ability to be heat-shaped in relatively few steps.

Innovative solid surface materials like Corian®,  LG HI-MACS®, Samsung Staron®, Wilsonart™ Solid Surface, Formica™ Solid Surface, Hanwha Hanex®, Avonite®, Meganite, and Mystera (to name a few) now offer the greatest flexibility (excuse the pun!) to make your creative vision come to life. What was once a complicated and time-consuming process through the carving, chiseling, or steaming and bending of materials like stone, granite or wood, is now made easier. Flexible when heated, these solid surface materials can be thermoformed into many shapes. With the proper heating elements and molds—dictated by the size and outcome of the project you are attempting—you can now bend, curve, twist, round-out and shape many solid surface materials into the desired contour within minutes.

People Prefer Curved Contours…

Incorporating curved features into your designs can even result in a boost in the desirability of your product.  As it turns out, flowing curves are just as aesthetically pleasing and desirable in man made designs as they are in our natural environment… and science has proven it. In a study conducted at Harvard Medical School1, it was discovered that people gave visual preference to items with curved contours over sharp-angled contours.

What does this mean for you? Introducing curved contours into your work and surrounding environment can directly influence the preferences, first impressions, or overall comfort of anyone who sets eyes upon it!

Ready to start bending, curving, twisting, rounding, or shaping?

Check out the details of how to get it done and read more about the technical application of thermoforming in our “Working With Solid Surface Guide – How to Thermoform Solid Surface”.   Pay particular attention to the one-of-kind thermoforming table contained within—the only resource of its kind where you can find comprehensive specifications for nearly every kind of solid surface material that exists at this time.

We look forward to hearing about your curved creations and experiences in the comment section below.

References

1 Bar, M., & Neta, M. (2006). Humans prefer curved visual objects. Psychological Science, 17(8), 645-648.