Gator is a much smoother, stiffer, higher-quality board than conventional fomecore. It is made differently. And more expensive. But it does need to be sanded lightly, or given a little tooth, to get adhesive sheets to hold.
Thanks for the reply, so it is a sort of higher quality, harder surfaced foamboard with potential extra lifespan built in. However, if a standard foamboard contains lignin then I'm not sure how it could be sold as acid-free, regardless of any buffers used, so the acid-free versions sold here will also be lignin-free I think. Another question for the long-suffering local supplier . . .
Last edited by MartinP; 11-13-2013 at 05:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: oops . . .
^ not necessarily... i'm not sure about standards in the pulp industry, but as you guessed buffers make it acid free, until the lignin turns acidic... i don't make the rules, but look it up... and do make sure you look for lignin free, i'm sure the 'extra' cost (of lignin free) pays off in the end, as many will testify for.
Gator is nonporous and doesn't need buffers. The method of manufacture is completely different from ordinary paper-faced fomeboard. You can simply pull up the tech sheet on their website to read about this. Its properties are very well known. It is also more moisture and warp resistant, but for that very reason won't work for wet mounting. Another high-quality option is Ultraboard, then you go way up the price scale
into aluminum-faced boards like Dibond. Ordinary art store fomeboard has its presentation limitations regardless of whether it's buffered or not. It warps easily and leaves a lot of "orangepeel" with glossier prints, because it is quite uneven. The best quality conventional fomeboard is
called Mighty-Core, but it is not related to Gator either.
When I was in business; I did cold mounting. Sanding Gatorfoam was a pain and dusty. I primed my boards with a 1:4 shellac/methyl hydrate solution. The shellac was as I remember a 2 lb. cut. Very fast dry and no dust.
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