Framing Fome-Cor® & Gator™ Products

Choose your framing materials wisely. Fome-Cor® and Gator™ show you the way.


The term “framing” can have a very broad definition as any art that is displayed “in” or “out” of a frame. For this information we are limiting framing to art placed in a frame. For non-framed art the information for mounting should suffice.

Framing information is provided for the products listed below. Products marked with an “*” do not have a logical application in framing.

Fome-Cor® ProductsGator™ Products
Fome-Cor® BoardGatorfoam®
Specialty ProductsSpecialty Products
Acid-Free Fome-Cor® BoardGatorLite™
Heat-Activated Fome-Cor® BoardGatorplast® - *
Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor® BoardGatorblanks® - *
JetPrint Board™ 

Fome-Cor® Products:

Fome-Cor products come in 4 thicknesses (1/8”, 3/16”, 1/4” and 3/8”). With the wide range of thicknesses you can select the product to fit in frame “rabbits”. See Technical Bulletins on mounting, laminating or cutting for additional information suitable for general framing.

Conservation Framing and Archival Mounting

For conservation framing or Archival Mounting methods you would utilize Acid-Free Fome-Cor®. Acid Free Fome-Cor® mounting board combines the finest chemical, optical and mechanical properties available in a mounting board. Acid free has been developed for mounting virtually all types of artwork and valued objects including prints, photos, maps, and mementos. Acid Free is the substrate of choice when you desire long term preservation of the graphic.

Fome-Cor recognized the importance of quality for the conservation mounter. In the early eighties, Fome-Cor pioneered the acid free mounting board by developing a product that met the Barrow Institute standard for acid free board. Working with the latest information and the Library of Congress standards for archival boards to be used for matting and mounting, Fome-Cor again leads the industry. Acid Free Fome-Cor board meets the highest standards in chemical, optical and mechanical properties.

  1. 100% High Alpha Cellulose, virgin pulp free from ground wood and/or post consumer materials (ASTM D1030, X5)
  2. Contains no lignin (TAPPI 236cm-85 KAPPA #5 or less)
  3. Free from metallic impurities (TAPPI 266)
  4. Free from residual impurities such as bleach, sulfur or peroxide (TAPPI T406cm-88)
  5. pH value of 7.5 - 9.5 buffered with 3 - 5% calcium carbonate reserve (ASTM IT9.2-191, Sec.5.2)
  6. Contains no rosin or alum rosin sizing (ASTM D549-88)
  7. Has passed the Photographic Activity Test (ANSI I9.16.1994) conducted by Image Permenance Inst.
  8. Is stable under ultraviolet light (TAPPI 452 om-87)
  9. The color will not rub or otherwise deteriorate

Acid Free Fome-Cor can be successfully used as a mounting substrate for all types of mounting including: dry mounting, wet mounting, spray mounting, pressure sensitive tissues and hinge mounting.

Dry Mounting

The dry mounting adhesive tissue should be an acid free variety. Contact the major adhesive manufacturers for recommendations. Dry mounting can be done using either a heated vacuum press or a mechanical press. Mounting temperature should not exceed 190 F and typical mounting times are 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure to follow the adhesive supplier's recommendations. After dry mounting, the mount should be allowed to cool under weights or glass.

Wet Mounting

Select a pH neutral, water based adhesive designed for mounting. Lightly coat the Fome-Cor with a light, uniform layer of adhesive. Excessive adhesive will tend to squeeze out and contaminate the print in addition the excess water may cause bowing of the Fome-Cor. Apply the print. Carefully work out air bubbles from the center to the edges. Be sure to keep the adhesive away from the face of the art. Place in a vacuum press or under weights and allow to fully dry.

Spray Mounting

Select a spray mounting adhesive that is safe to use with polystyrene and the art to be mounted. Solvent based adhesives should be used with caution. Be sure to check the adhesive manufacturer's recommendation. Spray the board with a uniform coating of adhesive. Leave the adhesive exposed to air for the recommended "open time". This allows the solvent to escape facilitating bonding and preventing solvent attack of the foam. Apply the art and mount using a vacuum press or under weights until the adhesive is completely dried.

Pressure Sensitive Film Mounting

Artwork can be mounted with two sided, pressure sensitive adhesive film mountings. These materials are two sided tapes that can be applied either by hand or with roller nip laminators. Hand mounting can be difficult with larger pieces and is not commonly done. For small works of art by hand, apply the adhesive film to the Fome-Cor beginning at one edge and unroll the film to the other edge. Raise the release liner on one edge and align the print with the edge of the Fome-Cor. Adhere the print while removing the release liner. For a roller nip laminator, set nips about 15 mils less than the thickness of the board and use a speed of 2 1/2 to 5 ft. per minute.

Conservation framing or archival mounting usually uses hinge mounting. Other mounting techniques introduce three problems:

  1. The artwork is in contact with materials other than conservation grade mount board (some adhesives will attack the art);
  2. Changes in environmental conditions cause the art to expand and contract differently than the substrate and cracking of the art results; and,
  3. The adhesive is an additional material to be removed from the art when remounting.

Most conservators recommend that artwork be hinge mounted with Japanese paper and starch paper of similar materials. Matboards, particularly those in contact with the art, should meet the Library of Congress specifications. Art must never be mounted in contact with the glass. If long term preservation is the goal, only UV protection glass should be used. Finally, it is a good practice to seal the back of the frame with a dust cover or barrier paper.

In order to maintain the high quality mounting done by conservation framers, the consumer must observe caution with the mounted art. For best results, archival quality artwork should not be displayed in areas of high humidity or widely fluctuation humidity or temperature. High pollution or soot exposure (near candles, etc.) should be avoided. The artwork should be periodically inspected to insure it is not being attacked by insects or other environmental conditions. Many conservators recommend periodic remounting.

Gator Products:

Gatorfoam and GatorLite are well suited for framing applications. The durable hard surface of these manmade wood fiber faced products provides extra protection from surface damage.

Conservation Framing and Archival Mounting

Gatorfoam or GatorLite is a combination of polystyrene and a polymeric impregnated veneer. Because of its unique composition, there are no conservation standards that specifically apply to these products. Gatorfoam, white and natural kraft faced, have successfully passed the Photoactivity Test conducted by the Image Permenance Institute of the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Conservation mounting requires special materials to ensure that the art to be preserved will remain undamaged in the future. Many major museums have successfully used Gatorfoam to mount exhibits for many years.

Testing at both room temperature and 150 degrees F resulted in out gassing at the parts per million range only. The base paper used in Gatorfoam and GatorLite are in the acidic range, however, the saturation process reduces the mobility of the acid. The average pH of the finished Luxcell® facers is 6.5 – 7.0 pH. For long term storage, protection should be provided from ultra-violet light. (Caution: No long term results are available, use with artifacts of metal composition could have a chloride reaction.)

Additional product/technical support documents are available from this service, including:

  • Product Information Sheets – describing the features and benefits of each graphic arts board in the Fome-Cor and Gator™ board lines and designed to aid in your product selection/specification process. Products available include:

    Fome-Cor Product Line

    1. Fome-Cor®
    2. Acid-Free Fome-Cor
    3. Heat-Activated Fome-Cor
    4. Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor
    5. JetMount®
    6. JetPrint Board™
    7. ValuBoard™

    Gator Product Line

    1. Gatorfoam®
    2. GatorLite™
    3. Gatorplast®
    4. Gatorblanks®
  • Technical Bulletins – describing the following decorating/fabricating techniques that may be used with Gator™ and Fome-Cor® board products:

    1. Direct Printing and Painting
    2. Mounting
    3. Laminating
    4. Cutting
    5. Die cutting/Embossing
    6. Framing
  • Products for Use – describing other manufacturers’ products that are recommended for use with Gator and Fome-Cor boards.