Corian in Design
Unless you have the time to go through every designer’s social media accounts, reading up every industry mag’s “Top Design Trends of the Century”, and stalking key design and retail influencers on LinkedIn, there is little you can do beyond sticking with your instincts (and hopefully using some talent too), when it comes to designing feel-good and functional spaces for the retail consumer.
As a material
for design, one product in particular offers the sort of
versatility which gives architects and designers the freedom to create spaces which are not only stylish and ‘on-trend’ but also ensures their designs are future-proof and memorable to boot.
What is Corian?
Du Pont™ Corian®, is probably best known as a surface design material used in domestic kitchen and bathroom applications. However, the features of Corian® mean that it is completely suited to commercial, retail and leisure design and applications too, as it is more versatile than other design materials, such as acrylic or aluminium.
A solid composite material made from a mix of natural minerals, (mainly aluminium) and pure acrylic polymer, Corian® is stone-hard and hard-wearing, yet can be thermoformed to almost any 2D or 3D shape or configuration. Architects and designers love the stuff as it has a versatility and durability like no other.
The surface of Corian® is non-porous, making it resilient to staining and mild dirt. Grime can easily be wiped away – in a retail environment where there is high footfall, easy-clean materials can make all the difference. But this laboratory-tested non-toxic material is also ideal for designing healthcare and hospital environments where hygienic design is priority.
Fabricating Corian as a Material for Design
Corian® is so versatile that it can be used to design a chair or small desk, but can also be used as wall cladding for exterior applications on construction projects.
One of the first jobs Bolton Sign ever completed with Corian® was for Liverpool FC’s Melwood Training Centre. Using our CNC router, we carved the Liverpool FC crest into 30mm deep white Corian® sheet. Although illumination wasn’t chosen for this project, the Corian® sheet could have been backlit with LEDs to enhance the logo and make the pattern more defined.
Bolton Sign has recently been testing light transmission through curved thermoformed Corian® panels, as samples for an upcoming project, where Corian® would be used as an exterior wall cladding material. So far tests have proven successful and our client is already asking about the different embossing and lighting options to further enhance the identity of the brand they are working with.
As more and more of our clients began to ask about our capabilities in manufacturing Corian®, we decided to look into a regular supply. Following a day’s intensive training with our time-served fabricating team, Bolton Sign became fully certified to process Corian® products. As a material for manufacture, it responds very much like a hardwood and can be worked using tools similar to those in the carpentry trade.
The applications for Corian® are limited only by the imagination. Bolton Sign isn’t really qualified to help you with that but we can give you a whole list of other reasons why it’s fast becoming the designer and architects design material of choice:
- Durable – Corian® cannot delaminate and is extremely durable, even in high traffic areas where scratches, bumps, cuts and other defects can appear in materials such as woods or plastics.
- Hygienic – Being non-porous means that the surface does not support the growth of bacteria or fungi, making it perfect for healthcare design applications.
- Low Maintenance – Corian® surfaces are renewable, meaning they can be fully restored with normal domestic abrasive cleaners, usually on site, without needing to be fully replaced.
- Variety & Versatility – Corian® is available in 91 colours, some of which have superior translucency and potential for lighting effects. Corian® can be used as inlays, accents or as a compliment to other materials such as wood, metal, stone or glass. It can be used to make furniture or clad entire buildings.
- Clean Lines – Corian® sheets can be glued together to give a seamless look: for example, long counters can be installed in sections without joins showing. Edges can also be built up to appear thicker.
- Thermoformable – Under controlled temperatures, Corian® can be thermoformed in wooden or metal moulds to create various 2D and 3D design objects and textures.
- Environmentally friendly – Corian® is manufactured with Zero Landfill status and in compliance with strict standards to limit waste and energy consumption.