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fer_mayrl
08-16-2007, 12:06 PM
Hello Guys, have any of you tried vacuum forming solid surface such as corian.
I would think it is a different process since Corian doesnt get as bendy as other materials.

For those of you who dont know, Corian is a material mostly used for kitchen couter tops. It is made of Acrylic, and mineral filler. It is quite a rigid material but once heated (320ºF) it forms well. It comes in 0.25" and 0.50" thickness

The material is mostly heated on an oven, pretty similar from the ones you guys use, except heat comes from both sides. The better ovens use platen heaters, aluminum plates heated from below and the material comes in intimate contact with the heat from both sides.

When heated the material then is hand placed on wooden molds, sometimes male, sometimes male and female, sometimes just female and held together until it cools.

Better methods use membrane presses to hold the piece inside the mold.

Here is a video of the process.
http://www.airpress.uk.com/videos/membrane_press.WMV

Anyone here has insights as what kind of shapes can be formed? minimum radiuses, corners etc?

Regards
Fernando

ger21
08-16-2007, 09:26 PM
We've bent some small parts at work with a makeshift setup. Corian bends like a wet noodle when heated, but it can be easy to get cracks if bent too tightly. Get some small scraps and try it. The hardest part is picking it up, if you'rs using large pieces.

fer_mayrl
08-20-2007, 12:28 PM
Thanks Ger,
Since my last post we have bent corian, small pieces inside a toaster oven and then put it in a male female mold. I know that some manuals state 1" inside radius minimum, others state 3".
Simple stuff really, i was wondering of more intricate forming, maybe two axes deformation; or using vacum to draw vanity bowls together with the vanity top.

Regards
Fernando

Boots
08-20-2007, 01:13 PM
We use a Male mold to make the Corian sinks. We cut the Corian oversize, heat to about 350 deg., then put it on the mold and cover it with gum rubber and put the vacume to it. The gum rubber is strong enough not to tear and brings the corian to the shape of our molds. It's easy to make sinks, plates, trays etc. using this method.

fer_mayrl
08-21-2007, 11:12 AM
Hey Boots,
WHat about tight radiuses and vertical walls? I have a big proyect in which i have to fabricate a lot of vanity tops with a fabricated sink, the sin is anout 6"deep, and it has the following shape:


|____/

That is a side cross sectional view not to scale ovbiously and the slope is not that steep, but the back and the side walls are vertical. I need to make about 400 pulls. I was thinkning vac with male assist.

Thanks
Fernando

Boots
08-21-2007, 11:27 AM
Well you will have to experiment like we did. Tight Radii and vertical side walls will be a problem but you may have to make those in 2 parts. The back as a seperate part. The folks that sell you the Corian can also provide you with color match glue for bonding the parts together. That's not a very deep sink and I would think it would be simpler than what we are doing.

fer_mayrl
08-21-2007, 07:15 PM
Yes, we will give it a go, once we finish our oven (heating press).

We might even try to make a preassure molding setup.
Ill let you know hoe it turns out.

Thanks to you all.
Regards
Fernando