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Earlier this year, the Formica Corporation introduced a new surfacing material called Nuvel. When a customer recently asked me about the product, I hadn't yet heard of it, so I called Formica and my local distributor to get the lowdown. Soon after Nuvel became available (in June), my company, Four Corners Construction, fabricated our first Nuvel job for this same customer, a large U-shaped countertop with hardwood edging (see Figure 1). Characteristics Nuvel is a "high-density, mineral-filled thermoplastic polymer" manufactured by General Electric for Formica. It comes in thin sheets — 0.090 inch thick (about 3/32 inch) — and in five sizes: 30 inches by 8, 10, and 12 feet; 4x8 feet; and 5x12 feet. A Nuvel countertop is fabricated partly in the manner