CAST MOULDING: A TECHNOLOGY CONCEIVED FOR DESIGNERS
The production technology of Cristalplant® is based on cast moulding or, in other words, moulding performed at low pressure. A scale prototype is created based on a 3D drawing and then used for constructing the corresponding mould. The mould in composite material can be manufactured according to the common method (positive and negative) or with a system including moving inserts and hydraulic pistons.
The moulding process of Cristalplant® may therefore be compared to that of injection moulding: a point is first defined from which the material enters the mould to fill its cavity to then catalyse and solidify. Unlike in the traditional process of plastic injection, some even considerable variations may occur here in thickness of the objects manufactured, although in not visible recessions in the area of the internal ribs. The only care that should be taken is to avoid too solid masses of material, as they may not catalyse correctly in the area (max. recommended cross-section 45-50 mm). Small undercuts in the piece can be obtained by using an inclined mould. Clearly, all cases must be thoroughly observed to ensure a correct extraction of the object from the mould.
As all solid surface materials, Cristalplant® can be easily cut and glued. This feature gives way to implement different forms of product customisation as, for example, cutting to size. There are no design limits in size or shape.<br>This same feature allows structuring the moulded object even in two or more parts to be later joined to each other as if they were a single piece. Naturally, the more the object parts, the greater the cost of gluing.In bathroom furniture objects, in particular, the key factor to be kept in mind is that the basin that will contain the water must be moulded in a single piece. This is why any cuts or welds must be external and never internal to it.<br>Welding is always carried out in the post-moulding phase using the identical material to make it invisible and to create a single, seamless piece without any visible gluing.<br>The final velvety effect similar to natural stone - the key characteristic of Cristalplant® - is obtained by using the specific sandpapers and Scotch-Brite® scouring pads used in the final stage of processing of the product.In addition, Cristalplant® can be painted on the outer surface, the one that is not meant to be in contact with water, by applying a soft-touch coat available in more than 700 tints.
All the materials supplied by the Nicos International research laboratories are checked at every stage of production, from 3D CAD design to prototyping, up to industrialisation. Products are finished with painstaking attention to detail and must pass very strict quality tests, before they are introduced in the market. The result is always a unique, elegantly finished, durable piece that will last over time. Bathtubs and shower trays are pleasant to the touch and have printable surfaces. Thanks to the versatility of Cristalplant®, they can have any shape and have extremely innovative, sober and original design lines.
Nicos International may therefore be defined as a company at the service of the market that fully meets its needs thanks to a close cooperation with their customers to provide them with customised, high-quality products made of fine materials and suitable for the most diverse fields of application, from bathroom to naval furnishing, only to name a few.