Corian

Note: this is a trademark of Du Pont, the official website for this material is here: corian.com.

Material properties:

Density kg/m3 1730 to 1760
Hardness (surface) 2 to 3 Mohs

Note: These properties should be used for indication only as material properties vary from sample to sample.

So why use it? Well, the range of colours is fabulous and if you select the colour carefully can look like ceramic – so great for making items for dolls houses.

corian-001

These are some small 50mm square samples that are 12.5mm thick.

The first thing I did was sand a surface of each piece, apply a thin layer of superglue ensuring it covered the whole surface and then clamped the two pieces together and left then for 24 hours.

You could apply the glue in the same way that you apply the heat transfer paste to a cpu – ie put a single drop of glue in the middle of the two parts and then push them together – this avoids getting air inclusions where areas of glue meet.

This shows the finished machined part, an idea for a flywheel.

corian-002I turned this in a normal metal lathe using tools I would normally use for machining steel.

I turned this at 1000rpm and was careful to take small cuts.

I finished the surface with some very fine wet and dry paper and then finally finished with very fine wire wool.

To keep the temperature down and get a great finish I used NeatCut – a cutting fluid that is sold by Warco and is a fine mineral oil.

I washed the oil off using some soap.

The finish is not bad. I need to practise glueing these together as you can still see the join, I note that some say the joint is invisible if you use superglue…well mineā€²s not.corian-kitchen-sink-001

Where do you get Corian – well, samples tend to be free, but if you need more then best to find a friendly kitchen fitter as this is mostly used for worktops.

Some more samples of corian, this time the smaller sample is “Bone” colour and the larger sample looks like polished stone.

These samples were to be used to make a kitchen sink for a 1/12th scale dolls house. I roughed up the surfaces of the two before sticking them together with instant glue – one surface was coated in glue and the other surface I made slightly damp, the moisture with help the instant glue set.corian-kitchen-sink-002

The permanent marker was used to mark a rough area for where the bowl of the sink was to be. The bowl was where the second smaller piece of corian was glued under the larger piece.

I used an 8mm slot drill and a rotational speed of around 1500rpm to machine out the sink, going through the upper stone corian and into the bone coloured corian underneath.

Use a light touch and speed, although not too high a speed as the corian will start to melt and stick to the cutting tool.

corian-kitchen-sink-003Finally machining the grooves for the draining board with a 3mm diameter bull-nosed end mill. Wind the speed up and small cuts to get a really good finish.

Corian is easy to machine and finished really well with fine sandpaper. You can polish it to a high finish, just be careful not to burn the surface.

 

About Nigel 117 Articles
Have been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.

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