Dupont Corian® is a very popular material for kitchen countertops because it’s very easy to work with, strong and any scratches can be sanded out just like wood. It’s made out of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate (ATH), a material derived from bauxite ore. I met with a customer today who had some scraps lying around so I took advantage of the situation and tried my hand at seeing how well this material reacts to both a fiber and a CO2 laser source.
The fun part of engraving the world on materials for testing is that there are both large and small details which does take longer but the results are far more conclusive than just a small square for testing.
The fiber laser just changed the color to white but it was only at the surface so in this case, I’d recommend using CO2 and engraving right into the material then applying a surface coating to protect it as leaving it open like this would make it tough to clean. I was very happy with the results, they came out even better than what you get out of MDF which was a surprise! This slab of scrap was rather thick so I didn’t bother cutting through it so I made cut lines so it could be easily cut accurately by a power tool later.
If you are wondering what the process looks like, check out the video below filmed at CNCROi.com HQ.
What I especially like about this material is how consistent it is, you don’t have knots like are present in wood, very thin-film like in metal that can discolour and the vapor is almost nill, it’s a far better material to work with than MDF with its glues and dramatically stronger in most conditions. Now I know why kitchen cabinet makers love this material for countertops!
We test a lot of materials here as part of our job quoting process, the results are always interesting and unpredictable which is why it’s so vital to have a machine that produces consistent results even if the material being tested is anything but.