Solid surface concept
- A homogeneous composition along the entire surface. It has no “skin” on the outside (gel coat), or fibers inside. It is a homogeneous piece made based on the same material.
- repairable. Possibility to recover the original finish at all times.
- non-porous material
Advantages of using solid surface products
- Because it is an inert material, they are resistant to the proliferation of both bacteria and fungi.
- By not having pores and producing limiting the number of joints, it is a totally hygienic material. Stain-Resistant.
- Highly impact-resistant.They are compact, non-porous polymer composites. This ensures a very high durability.
- As they are a homogeneous material which can be repaired. We can at any time recover the original finish of the product.
- It is a mass-pigmented material that offers infinite design possibilities. Both at the level of colors, textures and shapes.
Composition of solid surface and other polymeric composites materials
Solid surface parts are usually produced with polyester resins. Our experience in the field of polymeric composites, leads us to recommend for this type of production the use of ISO NPG resins. If you want to know the reasons why we recommend this type of polyester resins, we recommend you to read our post about and to click here.
It is also possible to produce solid surface parts by using acrylic resin. It should be remembered that polymer composites made of acrylic resins offer a higher degree of thermoformability, which allows to obtain certain shapes from plates.
The use of mineral fillers in the production of solid surfaces has basically two objectives:
- provide the physical-mechanical properties required for the final product
- lower the cost of the mixture as fillers are in most cases cheaper than the resin itself
The mineral filler most used in the production of solid surface parts are the alumina trihydrates (ATH). However, with the proliferation of new polymer composites for multiple applications, the possibilities and combinations of mineral fillers has become a science.
If you want to know more about the choice of mineral fillers for a particular project, we recommend you to read this post.
As we wrote above, the solid surface is defined as a homogeneous mass. Before being injected into the mold, the mixture is pigmented during the mixing process. Pigment pastes are essential for achieving a high quality solid surface. It is very important that they easily integrate into the mixture to ensure a perfect color homogeneity.
If you want to know more about how to choose the most appropriate pigment paste for your project, we highly recommend you reading here.
Catalysts and promoters
Solid surface parts manufacturing process
The increase in the offer of polymeric composites is largely due to the proliferation of new producers. It is a technology that does not require a large initial investment. This fact has attracted many companies that have seen the potential of the sector and, on the other hand, has seen the rapid growth of the consolidated producers.
The production process of polymeric composites is based on the mixture of resins, mineral fillers and pigment pastes to obtain a properly pigmented homogeneous mass. After the correct mixing of these components, we proceed to the degassing of the mixture in order to avoid the appearance of pores on the molded part surface. At the end of the process, we will proceed to the injection of the mixture into the mold and the corresponding application of the catalyst responsible for curing the final material.
If you want to know much more about the equipment necessary for the manufacture of polymer composites as solid surface, we recommend you reading here. We also explain on that post all the aspects to be taken into account when producing solid surfaces.