CORIAN super-surfaces

Monday, July 4, 2011 at 5:57 PM

It is composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. Corian can be thermoformed by heating it to 300°F (150°C), allowing unique shapes to be created. Its primary use is in kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, and wall cladding in showers.
Due to its non-porous quality, Corian is approved for use in specialized environments, such as laboratories and hospitals. Corian's versatility allows it to be joined, shaped, and finished into a wide variety of products. It comes in more than 100 colors and patterns.

Recently Corian has been used by longboard skateboarders around the world to create makeshift slide gloves. The material is ideal because it has a low coefficient of friction and therefore slides well on asphalt.
Corian is manufactured in two thicknesses: 6 mm and 12 mm. Cross-section cuts show consistent color and particulate patterning evenly distributed throughout the material. Nicks and scratches can be buffed out with a Scotch-Brite pad or orbital sander. In the fabrication process, joints can be made invisible by joining the relevant pieces with Corian's own color-matched two-part acrylic epoxy. The pieces are clamped tightly together in order to express any excess adhesive. After the adhesive dries, the area is sanded and polished to create a seamless joint.

The Corian® Illumination Series can be fabricated in the same manner as Corian®. When there is no backlighting few changes in fabrication are required. When a light source is placed behind the sheet there are some additional considerations. This document provides guidance on fabrication techniques for the best appearance.
The increased translucency and use of backlighting allows the use of this material in new and unique applications requiring advanced fabrication and lighting techniques beyond the scope of this bulletin. It is important to work with customers, test samples to help demonstrate the design, and ensure customers are satisfied with the final product. The new Translucent White (TW) DuPont™ Joint Adhesive has been specially formulated to work with the Corian® Illumination Series. This adhesive is more translucent and will better match the appearance of the sheet when backlit. However, results will vary depending on fabrication/installation conditions.
It is important for backlit applications that all inspection and quality checks are done both with room lighting and with backlighting. Some fabrication defects will not be visible until the sample is backlit.


Seam quality is critical for appearance. Seams may be more visible when backlit than with typical room lighting. A higher quality mirror-cut tight seam will minimize the visibility of the seam. Make sure no interior voids are present in the adhesive as they will be visible when the seam is backlit. Place the seams where they are less likely to be noticed. This could include corners or locations where the light source or supports create a shadow.When removing the adhesive on the back side, the finish should be blended in with the surrounding finish as extreme differences in finish may be perceived as lighter or darker areas. After seaming, it is important to examine the seam with the type of backlighting to be used in the final installation. Lighting type, intensity, angle, etc. all may affect seam visibility. Examine the quality of the seam and ensure that adhesive removal did not create a visible change in appearance. Edge Buildups for Colors with Particulates To maximize the visual impact of the particulates while maintaining translucency the particulates are not uniformly distributed through the thickness. This will be most apparent with edge profiles fabricated by stacking. Alternative methods such as v-grooved or drop edges are recommended.


The Corian® Illumination Series can be formed using similar conditions and methods used for other Corian® colors except lower temperatures and heating times are recommended. While forming is the same, defects are more readily seen with backlighting and will appear differently when backlit. Slight color shifts may occur during the thermoforming heating process. Due to the increased translucency in these colors the color change may be more noticeable. The change is a function of both the time and temperature of heating. To minimize color shift use the minimum time and temperature necessary to achieve the desired shape. The maximum time and temperature recommended is 12 minutes at 160°C when using platen heaters. If the formed sheet needs to be seamed with unformed sheet and color match is an issue, the flat sheet should be heated under the same conditions. Any transfer of mold texture from the thermoforming mold to the sheet is more visible when backlit, particularly when the show side of the part is the side in contact with the mold. This can be eliminated by making the mold with a higher quality finish or by sanding the part after molding. As with other colors containing particulates, Illumination Series colors containing particulates may have a texture after forming. This may be slightly more prominent than in other colors. Sanding will be required to restore the desired finish and blend the finish in with the flat sections. It is important for backlit applications that all inspection and quality checks are done both with room lighting and with backlighting representative of the lighting used in the final installation. Some fabrication defects will not be visible until the sample is backlit.


The front surface finishing requirements do not change. If the application will have backlighting the back side may require some finishing. The appearance when backlit is relatively insensitive to backside sanding quality, scratches, etc., but the sanding level should be uniform. Damage to the back surface may show through as a shadow. Take care not to create extremely different finishes when finishing seams as the different finishes may show up as light or dark spots when viewed with backlighting. Always check with backlighting to ensure the area around the seam matches the rest of the sheet.


In backlit applications, if the application requires seam-reinforcing strips, the strips will be visible as shadows. Any perimeter or span supports will also be seen as shadows. Placing seams in conjunction with shadows caused by the supports will help hide the seam and reinforcing strips.
¼” Vertical Applications over Substrate
Applications of ¼” Illumination Series sheet over substrate may appear to have shadows if there are any color variations in the underlying wall. For the best appearance the underlying surface should be uniform in color and a clear adhesive should be used. Always check for shadows before beginning the installation by placing a sheet on the wall. Check for shadows from the adhesive as well.


Backlighting can be a key part of designs using the Corian® Illumination Series. Lighting technology, particularly LED lighting, is changing rapidly and each technology has its own design considerations. The preferred type of lighting will depend on the desired effect.

1 Responses to CORIAN super-surfaces

  1. Unknown Says:

    Beautiful!. New Technology Plastics have been raised into so much. Plastic Thermoforming and plastic fabricated are new in these days. Thanks for sharing.

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