Charting Corian’s History of Design Innovation

The solid surface material has steadily evolved from its original niche in kitchen and interior design to countless uses outside the home.

What do Nylon, Kevlar and Corian all have in common? Besides being some of the most innovative inventions of the 20th Century, they were all developed by DuPont. And the youngest of the three polymers, Corian, has steadily evolved from its original niche in kitchen and interior design to countless uses outside the home.

Developed in 1967 as an alternative to laminates and granite, DuPont scientists soon realized they had something much more on their hands than a typical polymer sheet. DuPont Corian, a tough material made of acrylic and natural materials, could be colored, molded, and machine-shaped in ways similar to wood and plastic but exceedingly more durable, non-porous, and easier to clean.

Classic Corian

Photos courtesy DuPont™ Corian®

Four years later, DuPont’s solid surface material made its debut in Houston, Texas at the National Association of Homebuilder’s International Builder’s Show—the nation’s largest annual housing construction trade event. In its initial years, Corian’s product offerings were limited. Home applications included kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, and shower wall cladding in shades of white, white, and—you guessed it—white. The company has since expanded beyond monochrome to include more than 100 richly colored hues in a variety of textures and veining.

Beyond a bolstered color line, Corian’s applications have become diversified. The homogenous, stain-and-scratch resistant material has found new applications in object and architectural design, whether used in the facade of a building or shaped into furniture and jewelry.

DeepColor technology enhances Dupont Corian solid surface, making available true, deep colors to designers.

Corian has also accomplished a number of industry milestones, from creating a network of certified fabricators and installers in the 80s to bringing the first veined solid surface material offering to market with its Private Collection in 2003—all the while using a time-tested formulation that hasn’t changed in more than four decades. That is, until last year.

In 2013, Corian launched the DeepColor technology line—the material’s first formulation change since its original launch in the Lone Star State. DeepColor boasts richer, deeper saturated pigments while allowing designers to incorporate these qualities into countertops, furnishings, and other objects for the first time. In addition, the newly improved solid surface material is 50 percent more scratch resistant and is easier to fabricate.

This past April, Dupont Corian tested out its integrated wireless charging technology in Milan, where it caused something of an uproar.

Corian recently teamed up with the Power Matters Alliance to integrate wireless charging technology into its solid surface countertops giving users—at home or in public spaces—the ability to re-charge smartphones and tablets on the go via this cordless solution. Tech-age innovations like this is just one of the many reasons why Corian’s versatility makes it the perfect muse for 21st Century innovations in industrial and building design.

How will you shape the future with Corian? Test your creative powers and enter the Shape the Future competition for a chance to win $10,000 and have your design realized.

Categories: Industrial Design, Sponsored