Fome-cor

Mounting Fome-Cor® & Gator™ Products

Mounting is defined as the attachment of the graphic to the substrate. There are a variety of methods (adhesive and type method of applying pressure) for mounting a graphic to a substrate. For this document mounting will be broken into two groupings, hot or cold mounting and discussing the various methods of applying pressure.

Mounting

Mounting and laminating are terms that are often times interchanged, however for this document mounting is defined as the attachment of the graphic to the substrate. Lamination is the application of a covering (film or liquid) over the mounted item to either protect the graphic or provide a certain appearance i.e. matte or glossy finish. A graphic can be placed on paper, foil, plastic or fabric for mounting to the substrate.

Mounting consideration, as far as adhesive, is to follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. In general the application of adhesive should be to determine the minimum amount of adhesive lay down to attain the desired adhesion. Leaving the boards for a period of time to setup is advisable.

Mounting information is provided for the products listed below.

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®
JetMount® 
JetPrint Board™ 
ValuBoard™ 

 

Methods for Mounting:

There are a variety of methods (adhesive and type method of applying pressure) for mounting a graphic to a substrate. For this document mounting will be broken into two groupings, hot or cold mounting and discussing the various methods of applying pressure.

  1. Hot mounting provides a heat source to activate the adhesive. Typically this is accomplished with either a heat source associated with a vacuum press or a roller press.
  2. Cold mounting can utilize a spray or pre-applied pressure sensitive method utilizing a roller pressure.

Fome-Cor Products:

Printed papers, foils, and fabrics can all be mounted on Fome-Cor products (Heat-Activated and Self-Adhesive are described below) provided the proper types of adhesives are selected. Mounting can be accomplished on most standard equipment capable of applying adhesive and laminating sheets or roll stock to rigid boards.

When mounting with heat, the temperature of the press should follow the adhesive manufacturer's directions. Generally, the lower recommended temperatures work best. (See Heat-Activated Fome-Cor temperature and heating times below.) If possible, keep temperatures below 190oF and residence time less than one minute. Any tendency to bow may be minimized by preheating the board before mounting, and by placing the mounted artwork under a glass sheet during final cooling.

Vacuum mounting with or without heat can be done quite well on Fome-Cor products. Spray adhesives and wet mounting techniques are suitable for the board's paper surface. To prevent bowing when wet mounting, it may be necessary to apply a counter-mount of comparable strength on the backside. It is advisable to avoid using an excess of bonding agent. Placing weights on the edges of the board while it dries may also be useful.

It is recommended that the clearance of the mounting rolls be adjusted so that the board is compressed slightly (0.010" - 0.020") to assure a good bond. To maintain maximum flatness, it may be desirable to back mount with a liner of comparable strength, using the same adhesive.

Pressure roller applicators have a tendency to crush the foam and reduce the rigidity of the mounted board. In order to keep the leading edge from rounding as it goes through the roller, use a plastic lead or guide of the same thickness of the mounted board.

Depending on type of adhesive the Fome-Cor products (excluding Heat-Activated and Self-Adhesive) should set up to 24 hours to allow for the adhesive to cure out.

Heat-Activated Fome-Cor:

Heat activated Fome-Cor offers an easy to use, timesaving mounting package. The original Fome-Cor board is evenly coated on one side with adhesive, which activates rapidly at a low temperature and provides a secure bond. The separator sheets provided in the Heat Activated Fome-Cor boxes can be used as single sided release papers. You’ll save time mounting photos, artwork, posters, presentations etc. while retaining the qualities you’ve come to expect from Fome-Cor including light weight, rigidity and cutting ease. The exceptionally low mounting temperatures provide maximum protection for your photos or art. Note: Heat Activated Fome-Cor consists of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between two clay-coated papers - one of which has been coated with adhesive.

Heat Activated - (Mechanical or Vacuum Press)

  1. Heat the dry mounting mechanical or vacuum press to 165 - 170F. Best temperature is 165F for 2 to 2.5 minutes.) Be sure the press is clean and free from adhesive, dirt and debris. Optimum temperature settings may vary with individual presses. Temperatures of 160 F or lower will not activate the adhesive, higher temperatures may melt the adhesive too quickly, preventing the air from being removed from under the print before the press fully closes.
  2. Cover the Heat Activated Fome-Cor, adhesive side up, with the art to be mounted and place a sheet of release liner over the artwork. The release liner should cover the Heat Activated Fome-Cor completely to avoid adhesive transfer to the inside of the press. The separator sheets included inside the boxes are intended to be used as single sided release papers. The slick, shinny side of the separator should be used as the release liner.
  3. The one separator sheet is included for two mounting boards. These sheets can be used twice or more often, if required. For multiple use, it is necessary to allow the mounted print to cool at least 20 seconds before the release liner is removed. Due to changes in environmental conditions, the separator sheets may be wavy when received, this waviness will not cause a problem during mounting at recommended conditions. IF THE SEPARATOR SHEETS ARE CREASED, DO NOT USE FOR MOUNTING. The creases may telegraph through to the mounted art. Do not use damaged release liner, commercially available release liner may be substituted if necessary.
  4. Smooth the print and release liner to remove air bubbles. It is a good practice to cover the release liner with a piece of mat board, release board or smooth chipboard. This will prevent the release liner from slipping when the press is closed and allow the press to close completely, eliminating air pockets and bubbles, before the adhesive begins to melt.
  5. Place the Fome-Cor, print, release liner and mat board combination in the press for 2 minutes (165F). The vacuum presses should be closed and under full vacuum for at least 90 seconds. In vacuum presses, strips of scrap Fome-Cor can be placed around the Heat Activated to prevent the rounding of the edges if required.
  6. Remove the mounted print from the press and allow the release liner to cool for 20 seconds before removal. If release liner is removed too quickly, some adhesive may transfer to the release liner and effect subsequent prints. The mount can be placed under cooling weights if desired.
  7. The mounted print should then be trimmed and framed.

Heat Activated Roller Laminators:

Heat-Activated Fome-Cor can be used with roller, nip laminators having at least one heated roller.

  1. Laminator temperature should be set to 225 F and the speed set to 2 -3 ft/min. Laminator type and print weight can significantly affect the performance. Conditions may need to be adjusted for the particular machine.
  2. Paper generally adheres to Heat Activated Fome-Cor readily, however, many of the papers used for ink jet printers (bubble jet & piezoelectric), are coated on both sides. Coated papers need to be tested for adhesive compatibility before mounting.
  3. If Heat Activated Fome-Cor touches a heated roller, adhesive will transfer to heated rollers. It is necessary to either have the print to be mounted larger than the Fome-Cor or cover the board/print with release liner. The separator sheets can be used as release liner. The shinny side should be placed against the board.
  4. The laminator gap should be set about 20 mil (.02”) less than the thickness of the board, artwork, and release liner combination. When setting the gap with pressure cylinders, pressure should be sufficient for a 20-mil compression.
  5. The Fome-Cor, art work (and release liner if used), should be fed to the laminator being careful not to expose the adhesive to the rollers. It is a good practice to have an idle roll on the discharge side of the laminator to keep the print in place while the adhesive cools.
  6. Laminating film can be adhered over the Print while mounting with Heat Activated. Both temperature and speed may need to be adjusted when using a laminating film. In general, it is better to decrease laminator speed before increasing temperatures.

Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor Low Tack:

Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor Low Tack is a positionable - graphic arts mounting board. This product is made from a specially developed Fome-Cor board, which is coated with a pH neutral, acrylic based, adhesive. The clear adhesive is odor free and compatible with most commonly mounted materials. The low tack "positionability" allows prints to be positioned without immediately sticking in place. The release liner is extra heavy for protection and easy removal and it is printed with blue to indicate the Low Tack product.

Low Tack Self Adhesive is designed for hand mounting photos and artwork without the problems of wrinkling and misalignment caused by premature adhesion. Hand mounting is typically done with smaller works of art. This positionable product comes in 20"x30" and 32"x40" with a release liner marked for easy trimming. Self Adhesive Fome-Cor can be used with photos, lithographs, posters, most digital printing papers, copier papers, newsprint and many other common materials.

APPLICATION:

The work area should be clean and uncluttered with sufficient room to work unobstructed. Cut a piece of Self Adhesive the size of the art or slightly larger using utility knife or mat and glasscutter. Be sure to use a sharp blade. Clean the back of the art and make sure it is free from dust, dirt or grease.

Mounting Small Art

Small art, typically less than 16"x20" can be mounted in a single pass.

  1. Lift the corner of the printed release liner with your fingernail, a razor blade, tape or the red "dots" provided.
  2. Peel the release liner back 1 inch across the width of the board, exposing a strip of adhesive. Crease the release liner.
     
  3. Lay the image on the Self Adhesive board. Align the edges of the art with the mounting board. When the print is properly aligned, apply light pressure at the center of the exposed adhesive strip, tacking the print into place.
  4. Smooth the print in place by hand to assure alignment. Remove if misaligned.
  5. When properly aligned, apply moderate pressure to the 1" exposed adhesive strip to adhere the print in place.
  6. Gradually pull the release liner from under the print while pressing the print into place. Pressure must be applied uniformly across the full width of the board. Pressure can be applied by hand, a hand mounter, a rolling pin or a cylindrical tube. Be careful to avoid trapped air or misalignment.
  7. It is a good practice to allow the mounted piece to lay flat for 2 hours before excessive handling or stress.

Mounting Larger Art

  1. Using a razor blade or utility knife, score the printed release liner across the width of the board at the center of the board. Be careful not to cut the adhesive or the Fome-Cor liner.
  2. Peel back the release liner approximately 1 inch on each side of the score line. Crease both sides of the exposed release liner.
  3. Lay the art over the Self Adhesive board and align the edges. Lightly tack the art in the center of the exposed adhesive strip. Smooth the art to both edges of the board. Check for alignment. Remove if not aligned.
  4. Apply firm pressure across the exposed adhesive strip to adhere the art to the board.
  5. Gradually pull the release liner from under the print while pressing the print into place. Pressure must be applied uniformly across the full width of the board. Pressure can be applied by hand, a hand mounter, a rolling pin or a cylindrical tube. Be careful to avoid trapped air or misalignment.
  6. Adhere one side of the print completely before beginning to adhere the other side.
  7. Allow the mounted print to sit for 2 hours before handling.

Prints can be removed during mounting, before the full adhesive tack has been established. Prints must be lifted slowly and carefully with even tension during removal. Prints should be lifted only enough to eliminate the wrinkle or the bubble. When removing prints, be careful not to crease or fold prints.

Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor High Tack:

Self-Adhesive Fome-Cor High Tack is coated with a pH neutral, acrylic based, crosslinking adhesive. The clear adhesive is odor free and compatible with most common mounting materials. The high tack professional strength allows prints to be mounted with an instant high strength bond. The crosslinking feature causes the adhesive to grow in strength producing an even tighter bond. The release liner is extra heavy for protection and easy removal and it is printed with red to indicate the High Tack product.

Self Adhesive Fome-Cor High Tack is designed for mechanical mounting of all sizes of photos and artwork quickly, easily and inexpensively. High Tack can also be used for hand mounting with smaller works of art. This professional product comes in sizes designed for the mounting pro - 24"x36" and 48"x72". The red printed release liner is marked for easy alignment and trimming. Self Adhesive Fome-Cor can be used with photos, lithographs, posters, most digital printing papers, copier papers, newsprint and many other common materials.

APPLICATION:

Cut a piece of Self Adhesive the size of the art or slightly larger using utility knife or mat and glasscutter. Be sure to use a sharp blade. Clean the back of the art and make sure it is free from dust, dirt or grease.

Self Adhesive Fome-Cor High Tack can be mounted using a roller nip laminator. The laminator can be simple hand cranked models, or larger machines capable of a variety of mounting operations techniques (including pressure sensitive films or heat mounting). Heat is not required with Self Adhesive Fome-Cor so virtually any roller laminator can be used successfully. Self Adhesive Fome-Cor can be used on any machine using techniques currently used with any premounted adhesive film boards.

Always follow the safety and operating instructions for your machine.

  1. Lift the corner of the printed release liner with your fingernail, a razor blade, tape or the red "dots" provided.
  2. Peel the release liner back 1 inch across the width of the board, exposing a strip of adhesive. Crease the release liner.
  3. Carefully align the print over the Self Adhesive board. When properly aligned, tack the print to the center of the exposed adhesive strip.
  4. By hand, apply firm pressure to the print completely across the exposed adhesive strip.
  5. Hand Crank Laminators - When mounting with small hand cranked laminators, align the partially adhered print and board with the rollers. Hold the print away from the board (against the top roller). Peel the release liner away and feed the board/print laminate into the rollers. Large Laminators - Align the partially adhered print/board to the rollers. Be sure the print is smooth and free to be fed without binding. Feed the print/board into the laminator while holding the release liner. Allow the rollers to pull the board through and away from the release liner.
  6. Trim the mounted print as necessary using a sharp utility knife.
  7. Mounted prints are immediately ready for framing and the bond strength will continue to increase.

Mounting Small Art by Hand:

Small art, less than 16"x20" can be hand mounted using High Tack Self Adhesive Fome-Cor.

  1. Lift the corner of the printed release liner with your fingernail, a razor blade, tape or the red "dots" provided.
  2. Peel the release liner back 1 inch across the width of the board, exposing a strip of adhesive. Crease the release liner.
  3. Lay the image on the Self Adhesive board. Align the edges of the art with the mounting board. When the print is properly aligned, apply light pressure at the center of the exposed adhesive strip, tacking the print into place.
  4. Smooth the print in place by hand to assure alignment. Do not attempt to remove the print after it contacts the adhesive surface.
  5. When properly aligned, apply moderate pressure to the 1" exposed adhesive strip to adhere the print in place.
  6. Gradually pull the release liner from under the print while pressing the print into place. Pressure must be applied uniformly across the full width of the board. Pressure can be applied by hand, a hand mounter, a rolling pin or a cylindrical tube. Be careful to avoid trapped air or misalignment.
  7. Bond is immediate and increases in strength over time.

Gator Products:

Printed papers, foils, and fabrics can all be mounted on Gator products provided the proper types of adhesives are selected. Mounting can be accomplished on most standard equipment capable of applying adhesive and laminating sheets or roll stock to rigid boards. When mounting with heat, the temperature of the press should follow the adhesive manufacturer's directions.

Depending on type of adhesive the Gator products may have a set up time to allow for the adhesive to cure out. Curing times may be 24 hours. Consult adhesive manufacture’s instructions to see what specific times are recommended.

The surface should be clean and free of any dust, trash, oil or other contaminates prior to mounting. Gatorfoam may require light sanding of the surface for a good adhesive "bite". If you sand, take extra precaution to remove sanding dust prior to mounting.

Heat Mounting – Dry Mount Press

  1. Maximum temperature not to exceed 200"F
  2. Maximum pressure not to exceed 15 PSI. (Panel Pressure)
  3. Maximum time not to exceed three minutes
  4. Panels in excess of 3/16" thick should be placed in the press and pre-heated prior to mounting.

Cold Mounting - Pressure Sensitive

  1. The choice of films is "the most important" consideration when using pressure sensitive film for mounting photographs to Gatorfoam. Before using any pressure sensitive material, please contact the manufacturer for recommendations concerning the use of their respective laminating materials in conjunction with Gatorfoam.
  2. For best results the use of equipment specifically designed to apply these pressure sensitive films should be used.
  3. When using pressure sensitive films, Gatorfoam should be at room temperature in order to achieve optimal results.

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.