Foam Boards: The Best Protection for Your Prints and Graphics

There are a variety of substrates to choose from when it comes to foam board selections. Whatever you prefer to use, the bottom line is that the chosen substrate must be one that stands as the best protection for your prints and graphics. We provide for you a succinct coverage of possible mounting substrates that will hold your piece well and strong.

Foam Core Board

Foam core board, very well-known as the weightless board, is best used if placed in a protective frame. It is made of polystyrene foam and has a smooth clay-coated surface. It is commonly available for use in 1/8”, 3/16”, 3/8”, and ½” thickness. Although they are typically available in white, these mounting boards also come in variety of colors, known as one-sided colored foam boards. This category of substrates is extensively used by print service providers of large format printing who stock it for in-house work. It consists of resilient extruded polystyrene core sandwiched between two layers of bleached, semi-gloss white clay coated paper. Although this mounting board or substrate is ideal for screen printing, its use also extends but not limits to die cutting, mounting, framing, prototypes, and backdrops.

Gatorfoam Board

Gatorfoam is a composite sandwich made of extruded polystyrene foam board bonded between two sheets of wood-fiber veneer. It is significantly harder than the regular foam core board and is known for offering great resistance to scratches and dents. Gatorfoam comes in a variety of thicknesses and is typically available in the following colors: white, natural (light brown color), and black. This mounting board or substrate is heavier than foam core, but lighter than the Sintra PVC board. Gatorfoam is very resistant to warping  and has often been used as being hung directly to the wall with special hangers and a protective lamination. Gatorfoams are typically referred to as the original, heavy-duty graphic arts foam boards because they have an excellent reputation of superior performance. The new, bright white facer is the brightest foam board of its kind, which is great for digital as well as screen printing and vinyl graphics.

Sintra PVC Board

Sintra board is considered as a lightweight but rigid mounting board that is made of closed-cell PVC foam board. It is commonly available for use in 1, 2, 3, 6, and 13 mm thickness. Although it comes in multiple colors, graphic producers usually prefer to keep white and black in stock. This mounting board can stand up to heat and moisture, making it a suitable choice for outdoor use

For all the uses foam boards stand up to, the feature that helps them lead the scene is their strength and durability. The fact that they need less preparation specifically when they are used for mounting purposes for graphics and prints, simply turns out to be another feather in their hat.

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