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Fabricator Spotlight: ASST - Fabricating Unique Destinations with Thermoformed Corian® Solid Surface

Featured Project: Terminal F, Philadelphia International Airport

By Andrew Dreves, ASID

Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal F Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal F

With airport security and travel being about as much fun as a root canal, airport terminals today are striving to become unique destinations people want to visit.  With a reputation for creating visionary environments, Daroff Design, based in Philadelphia had an adventurous solid surface thermoforming project at Philadelphia Airport’s Terminal F and they knew who could help.

ASST had worked with Daroff Design previously on the Baltimore Convention Center and the design firm is well known internationally for high-end public and signature hospitality environments.

ASST (pronounced ASSIST), since its founding in 1998, has become an industry leader in commercial architectural fabrications establishing a reputation for taking on project challenges other solid surface fabricators might avoid.

With a passion for excellence and an impressive portfolio of successfully completed projects both nationally and internationally, ASST’s in-depth portfolio ranges from curved Corian® benches for the White House Visitor’s Center in Washington DC to an enormous curved solid surface Krion® staircase for a corporate building atrium in Boston.

ASST Undertakes Fabrication Challenges

ASST thermoformed Corian® pieces (Fig. 1) ASST thermoformed Corian® pieces (Fig. 1)

The company provides surfacing solutions coordinating a wide variety of materials in the market sectors of healthcare, education, retail and corporate/public space. The company’s headquarters in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, encompasses 52,000 sq. ft. and includes both offices and fabrication facilities, including a very large thermoforming workshop.

Among the equipment at the disposal of the 33 employees of the company are three thermoforming ovens and two vacuum tables, as well as a 60-ton proprietary press and a vacuum press related to patented ASST technologies.

ASST fastened the Corian® to the understructure (Fig. 2) ASST fastened the Corian® to the understructure (Fig. 2)

It also has three CNC machines: one 5-axis KOMO CNC machine, one 3-axis KOMO CNC machine and one 3-axis Heian CNC machine. For cutting parts, the company also has a Schelling panel saw. The shop is set up into typical “line work” areas for more common flat fabrication work, but also has various open workshop areas for custom projects such as this one.

Thermoforming Corian®

The Terminal F project scope involved a thermoformed “egg shaped” information desk, dramatic curved gate entrances and wi-fi stand-up counters, all fabricated with both DuPont™ Corian® and 3form®.

Starting with Daroff Design’s drawings, molds were CNC machined with medium density fiberboard (MDF). After sanding, the molds were placed in the vacuum table and a heated sheet of ½” thick “glacier white” Corian® solid surface was draped over the molds and vacuumed to the desired shape. (Fig. 1)  

The Corian® sections were then joined to the ribbed plywood understructure and fastened in place. (Figs. 2 & 3) 

ASST's Corian® desk before glue-up and sanding (Fig. 3) ASST's Corian® desk before glue-up and sanding (Fig. 3)

The desk was made in segments with the final glue-up and sanding to be done later on-site. (Fig.4)

The curved 3form® Chroma transaction ledge was thermoformed to the radius of the desk and featured LED lighting allowing the desk to glow like a beacon. (Fig. 5) 3form® Chroma was utilized elsewhere with CNC signage and backlit panels on the stand-up counters.

(Fig. 6, 7 & 8) The next time you fly into Philadelphia International Terminal F be sure not to miss this unique destination!

About the Author

ASST desk after glue-up and sanding Corian® segments (Fig. 4) ASST desk after glue-up and sanding Corian® segments (Fig. 4)

Andrew Dreves, ASID, is the Director of Marketing /Products Workshop for ASST, 350 South St., McSherrystown, PA 17344; www.asst.com. He is responsible for strategic business development, marketing, branding and product design initiatives for the company and can be reached by email at andrewdreves@asst.com or by phone at (717) 630-1251 ext. 305.

ASST's curved 3form® Chroma transaction ledge (Fig. 5) ASST's curved 3form® Chroma transaction ledge (Fig. 5)
ASST's 3form® Chroma CNC Signage (Fig. 6) ASST's 3form® Chroma CNC Signage (Fig. 6)
ASST's completed Terminal F Project, Philadelphia International Airport (Fig. 7) ASST's completed Terminal F Project, Philadelphia International Airport (Fig. 7)
ASST's backlit solid surface panels (Fig. 8) ASST's backlit solid surface panels (Fig. 8)
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