When Salt Lake City–based manufacturer 3form first developed its Chroma resin in 2005, it was responding to customer requests for a colorful translucent material with a monolithic appearance, something solid and blocky for work surfaces and bar tops. But the second generation of Chroma, released in December, uses a new technology to create a product with superior color that is easily renewable—a development that may alter the way the company does business.
The technology, called Aura, is the result of a two-year collaboration between 3form and Bayer MaterialScience and involves infusing sheets of clear resin with a thin surface layer of color. “The color is integral—it cannot be scratched off—and it has this beautiful jewel-like quality,” says Talley Goodson, 3form’s president and chief environmental officer. “But at the same time the technology allows us, at the end of its life, to take those sheets back and reprocess them.”
Indeed the layer of color can be removed—essentially shaved off—and new colors applied in its place many times over. This makes Chroma a natural fit for 3form’s existing reclaiming efforts, but it has also spurred the company to develop a new leasing program, in which clients can use the material for a defined period (about three to five years) and then return it. “It’s a bit of a leap of faith because no one in the industry is really doing this,” Goodson says. “But to us it just makes sense, and it fits well with the paradigm for this product.”
One- or two-inch-thick polymer resin panels infused with a .25-millimeter surface layer of color
Durable, renewable, and nontoxic, with low VOCs
A variety of interior installations, including work surfaces, bars, and countertops
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