Solid Surface is broadly defined as solid Acrylic Castings that can be fabricated to meet a particular need. Among those needs are counter tops, partitions, tub and shower enclosures and utilitarian type furniture such as conference tables, office desktops, plaques and picture frames.
While the first entries into the Solid Surface marketplace were White and Off-Whites, it became readily apparent that the general public desired and demanded more colors from which to choose. This desire has spawned an industry that now offers product lines with seemingly unlimited colors and patterns. With the initial white palette the need for pigment dispersions was minimal, but a quality supplier of FDA and NSF Colorant Packages is now crucial to this industry.
Penn Color filled the gap for colorant systems and the technological requirements associated with this market with the implementation of both reactive and non-reactive colorant systems. Through the technological efforts of Penn Color, Solid Surface manufacturers could produce material that was being held to the tightest color tolerances, so that color difference between seamed panels was indistinguishable. Penn Color’s ability to produce stable pigment dispersions with mean particle sizes of less than one micron meant that separation and settling were no longer an issue, and color matching on site was easier to accomplish.
As the market continues to evolve and newer Acrylate Systems are developed, Penn Color is again a pioneer in the preparation of pigmented systems that will optimize the desired characteristics of these unique systems. The ability of Penn Color to tailor the energies needed to disperse various pigments allows for the designers of Solid Surface materials to include translucency or pearlescents and micas as decorative components. Our experience in the surfactant sciences is paramount in obtaining the stability needed for the wide variety of pigmented systems offered. This, coupled with a myriad of manufacturing capabilities, assures Penn Color’s Solid Surface customers that they will receive finely divided pigment dispersions with exceptional stability and shelf life.
Latest developments are “Manufactured Stone” systems using catalyzed acrylic binders to hold together quartz particles, affording a more natural stone look as well as the almost indestructible properties of natural quartz. Colorant usage is limited in these applications, but Penn Color remains involved in the development of decorative and functional additives that will provide additional benefit to this relatively new market concept.