When a newly planned private community is conceived, designers and architects enjoy certain aesthetic freedoms when it comes to the look and feel of the neighborhood. For example, street signs do not have to conform to the specific standards from a surrounding city, and can be created in any form a designer wishes. The only problem with this freedom is that somebody has to figure out how to bring these accents to the real world.
This was the case with Shepherd Hills, a private community in Providence County, Rhode Island. Community planners wanted to create unique road signs to compliment the architecture of many of the community’s 200+ homes. The design called for the fabrication of dozens of triangular pillars that would indicate everything from street names to individual house numbers.
The Problem: Safety. Traditionally, these pillars might have been poured out of solid concrete. Solid concrete pillars could not only cause injuries to the drivers and passengers, but also extensive damage to the vehicle itself. J and J Architectural Plastics was charged with fabricating these pillars out of a material that would safely break if struck by an automobile.
The Solution: After extensive testing, J and J found Smooth-On’s duoMatrix® NEO had the optimal performance properties. duoMatrix® NEO is a versatile polymer modified gypsum system with superior physical and performance properties compared to regular gypsum products. When properly sealed, it is appropriate for long-term outdoor use. duoMatrix® NEO is strong enough to be cast in thin sections to create hollow pillars, but forgiving enough to safely take the impact in the event of a car accident.
For more information on duoMatrix® NEO, read the technical bulletin here: http://www.smooth-on.com/tb/files/DUOMATRIX_NEO_TB.pdf