The following is a list of common generic questions as well as ones specific to Gilman Brothers products. For additional information, see our Downloads Page which features sell sheets, instruction sheets, sales aids, press releases, and MSDS sheets. Gilman Brothers is here to help in any way we can. Click on any question to reveal your answer or you may simply click the “show all” button top right of this page to reveal all answers.

Where do I request samples?

For samples of any of our Gilman product line:

 

Where can I obtain MSDS sheets for Gilman products?

MSDS sheets for InSite®Reveal®, InSite® Self Adhesive, InSite® Heat Activated, MountCor®, MountCor® Canvas, and Ryno Board® are available on our Downloads page.

 

What is INFINITY® and where would I use it?

INFINITY® is a 100% styrene core, bendable board that prints flat and transforms into 3D displays, that is manufactured in the USA using 100% USA raw materials. Its new surface eliminates post production cleaning or any additional preparation prior to printing which increases printing speed, efficiency and profits. There are modifiers that have been added to the styrene that promote ink adhesion and the foam has 2.5x the density of other competitive foams. The core is 20% reclaimed materials which is a recyclable, warp resistant plastic.

INFINITY® is an extremely versatile product for the sign industry that may be printed and shipped flat, then cold bent to set up into a 3D presentation for tabletop or floor display, suspended overhead, or wrapped around a pole. All of this makes it the perfect board for screen printing, shipping, visual merchandising, and point-of-purchase display.

Is INFINITY® available thinner than 3/16?

Absolutely! Gilman Brothers launched INFINITY® in October 2014 and within a year released a 3mm thickness, developed specifically as an alternative to Sintra® and Komatex®. INFINITY® 3mm is the only green, 100% recyclable product–in this category of EPVA, making it the logical choice over any other expanded PVC.

What is the ColorOne System?

The Gilman Brothers ColorOne™ White Point Management System ensures optimum printing performance and consistency across all Gilman Brothers board products of direct-printable foamboard and specialty graphics board by matching the surfaces of the board by their degree of whiteness. Surface liner materials and coatings have been carefully selected to derive consistent white balance and optimum surface properties for printing.

The ColorOne system has been applied to white surface boards from the company’s InSite® Reveal®, InSite® Canvas, Ryno Board® HD, INFINITY® and Eaglecell™ product lines. Our foamboards and specialty graphics boards are designed for indoor applications and are compatible with UV inks.

How do I select the right substrate?

A substrate is a support surface to mount artwork to. Selecting the right board is as important as selecting the correct adhesive and mounting procedure. Almost any rigid surface may be used as a mounting substrate including foam, high density, PVC coated, paper ply boards. In order to eliminate warping, the weight, thickness, and rigidity of the selected board should be adequate to accommodate the art being mounted. To prevent as much bowing as possible, select thicker, harder boards for larger artwork, to compensate for greater surface tension.

Whether used for mounting or as a filler board, rigidity is the main purpose for backing boards and substrates. When dry mounting, boards undergo the highest degree of prolonged pressure, making them more susceptible to crushing. Foam boards will not physically melt until they reach internal temperatures of 230°F, but will compress around the outer edges from the pressure exerted during mounting. If square edges are required, it is necessary to mount on a slightly oversized board then trim down to the desired dimensions after mounting. Compressed outer edges of foam in no way affect the actual mounting and just are a natural end product of using heat mounting vacuums.

What types of mounting substrates are available?

InSite® Reveal® foam center boards are extruded polystyrene with assorted clay coated, acid free (2% calcium carbonate buffer), colored, plain paper or 100% cotton rag surface paper. Lightness, rigidity, and ease of cutting are the primary benefits of foam center board. Boards are available with white or black core with white clay coat and black uncoated surface papers. Common thicknesses include 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/2″ but Gilman produces InSite® Reveal® foam up to 1” thick.

InSite® Reveal® Acid Free foam boards are used as filler or backing behind hinged 4-ply museum board in preservation applications. Use of AF foam maintains a more consistent use of neutral materials in a framing package, as long as all other boards are acid free or buffered.

Ryno Board® HD is a high density board that is resistant to crushing, warping and denting while its extra-thick coated surface papers add to rigidity and structural performance.

EAGLECELL™ is a 100% paper honeycomb panel that is lightweight and extremely rigid, making it perfect for large display and merchandising. Watch for our new EAGLECELL™ Black, coming soon!

Is foam board safe for use in preservation picture framing?

Yes. In 2007, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved ISO 18902 – Imaging Materials – Albums, framing and storage materials, which states in Section 4.3 that use of polystyrene is acceptable as an enclosure material. Selected foam board surface papers must also meet ISO 18916 – Photographic Activity Test for enclosure materials (PAT) requirements.

This was a huge step in the custom framing industry, finally clearing the way for the use of foam boards as a substrate and filler board in formal preservation framing.

Is foamboard flammable?

Though foamboard is flammable, Gilman has developed a flame retardant foamboard called LitePrint™ FR manufactured with flame resistant paper and our Reveal® foamboard. It is ideal for trade shows, exhibitions, and other public assemblies where local fire codes stipulate the use of flame resistant foamboard. It will NOT continue to burn once the source of the fire is removed and is designed to resist ignition and combustion.

The flame resistant treated paper meets TAPPI T4610M-94 and UL classification R4712N and meets the minimum requirements of flame resistance established by the California State Fire Marshall for products identified in Section 13115, California Health and Safety Code. Registration No. F47601.

What are high-density (HD), heavy-duty boards?

High-density, heavy-duty boards are becoming more popular with the demand of larger substrates, wide format printing and rollers. The difference is the heavy-duty polystyrene inner core along with heavier surface papers–Ryno Board® HD–and the heavy-duty all plastic fine cell foam faced with high impact polystyrene plastic–INFINITY®–which rivals the rigidity and smooth surface of any other industry product.

Gatorboard® (a 3A product) is a multi-layer composite of extremely dense and durable polystyrene foam that resists crushing, denting, bending or warping, but can puncture and/or fracture if receiving a direct hit. Its rigidity is the result of a layer of wood fiber veneer below the surface paper making it non-preservation and more difficult to cut.

Ryno Board®, INFINITY® and EAGLECELL™, are all high density Gilman Brothers products.

How thick should a substrate be?

If a substrate is too thin for the size of the mount, warping is likely to occur. Either select a substrate thick enough to support the mount, or consider countermounting to compensate for less rigidity. The following list offers minimum thickness suggestions for standard mounting. Additional rigidity of the substrate such as heavy-duty boards, honeycomb or PVC reinforced are always suggested for projects over 32×40″, especially when being mounted for non-framing, high humidity, temperature extremes, or outdoor signage. The thicker and/or heavier the image being mounting the more tension is placed on the surface of the mount board. Gilman Brothers offers many boards up to 1″ thick to best accommodate all mounting needs.

Up to 8″ x 10″ 4-ply Mat; 1/8″ InSite® Reveal® Foam
8″ x 10″ – 16″ x 20″ 8-ply Mat; 3/16″ InSite® Reveal® Foam; 1/4″ EAGLECELL™
16″ x 20″ – 32″ x 40″ 3/16″ – 1/2″ Foam; 1/4″ – 1/2″ EAGLECELL™
32″ x 40″ – 40″ x 60″ 1/2″ Foam; 1/2″ Ryno Board® HD; 1/2″ EAGLECELL™
40″ x 60″ – 48″ x 96″ EAGLECELL™; Ryno Board® HD

What is a self-adhesive or pressure-sensitive board?

Self-adhesive boards—also known as self-stick, peel and stick, sticky—are cold mount pressure activated mounting substrates with thermoplastic adhesives known as P-S (pressure-sensitive) and PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive). They are dry, synthetic adhesives that are clean, easy to use, odorless and use no solvents. Applied adhesives are generally neutral pH, chemically inert and stable. Essentially any substrate-neutral pH, foam, PVC, aluminum composite, paper core-may be coated to create a P-S board. Adhesives/boards are available as high tack and repositionable low tack versions which cure to maximum bond under a weight after roller application, manual burnishing or cold vacuum frame activation. PSAs are not recommended for valuable artwork or limited edition prints.

There are three levels of tack available with pressure-sensitive adhesive: high, medium and low tack. High tack is aggressive and most difficult to hand apply since it has no repositioning potential. It will immediately grab to a smooth nonporous or coated stock with no forgiveness. Any permanent high tack pressure-sensitive applied at room temperature may fail at freezing temperatures if placed outside, or in excessive humidity. Moisture is a physical barrier to adhesion and long term bonding. Medium tack is the one most frequently used in picture framing, often referred to as low tack. It may be somewhat repositionable during mounting with porous papers, but even repositionable P-S boards will grab more aggressively to a smooth or coated material. True low tack is not suitable for the longevity of framing demands and is most often found as a temporary positioning tack used in preparation for other bonding, as with HA adhesives such as laminates with liners or post-it notes.

Gilman HT Self Adhesive Foamboard with its Reveal® memory foam is faced with clay coated paper and high tack pressure-sensitive adhesive that becomes permanent with pressure and weighting for 24 hour cure. Gilman Self-Adhesive Ryno Board® Heavy-Duty (HD) foam board is dense, most moisture-resistant materials available. Single sided SA Ryno board has double thick liners as well as high density foam available in white and black, 4×8″, 1/4″ thick and larger. The pH neutral surface contains UV inhibitors to reduce yellowing and resists moisture absorption for extra warp resistance.

What is heat activated (HA) board?

When a heat activated (HA) adhesive comes pre-applied to a mount board it is known as an HA board. Adhesive coated boards have become quite commonplace in today’s framing industry, with heat-activated and self-adhesive products nearly dominating the market in recent years over more traditional tissues plus board of choice. HA foam boards are an extruded polystyrene core substrate with clay coated or neutral pH facing papers that have adhesive applied to one side. Gilman MountCor®, MountCor® Black and MountCor® Canvas come with release liners which may be used as a one-time cover sheet to keep any exposed adhesive from transferring to your laminators and presses.

HA boards are available as permanent, removable and reversible. Permanent HA boards have average temperatures from 185°F to 190°F, bond in the press as all layers reach required activation temperature, and the bond may only be broken with a chemical solvent. High-density HA boards have slightly longer dwell times at 35-45 seconds with moderate temperatures of 150ºF-160ºF and neutral pH neutral adhesive. MountCor®, MountCor® Black and MountCor® Canvas are permanent HA boards that mount at 130ºF, the only HA board safe for bonding all digitals. Removable boards have a moderate activation temperature of 150°F to 160°F with a shorter dwell time than permanent boards.

Removable HA boards activate as all layers reach temperature in the press, but bond as they cool outside the press under a weight. This adhesive reactivates when placed back under heat and the layers may then be peeled apart prior to cooling. Use in hot vacuum presses will require the draw time of the unit to be added to manufacturer suggested dwell times for HA product.

Reversible HA boards have the same activation temperatures as removable boards but a shorter dwell time as 150°F for 15 seconds – 1 minute in a mechanical press. Reversible means the art may be removed from the substrate and returned to its original state with no adhesive absorption or residue left behind.

All of the times and temperatures discussed in this answer are for dry mount presses. HA boards are also usable with heated roll laminators but the temperatures vary according to the set speed of the rollers (FPM).

Can I increase the temperature or time for HA boards when mounting?

HA adhesives, tissues and boards have an activation window where the adhesive fuses the best. Setting a press too low from suggested manufacturer temperatures will not fully active (melt) the adhesive so resulting bond is only partially successful. Setting a temperature too high may push the activation beyond the window of success and over saturate the art and board losing bond strength rather than increasing it. In this case too much adhesive has been absorbed into the art. This can then make a once “removable” HA board or adhesive fully fused to the art and no longer removable.

Usually temperatures may be increased 10-15 degrees but only with prior testing.

What is MountCor® and how is it different from other HA boards?

The Gilman MountCor® family of boards is a new permanent HA board line which is revolutionary and unique in that it is a true low temperature HA board which bonds at 130°F. Though it falls into the permanent HA category it bonds at such a low temperature it is in a category of its own, with no other industry competition. MountCor is low temperature enough for bonding thermographics, laser prints, dry toner color copies, electrostatic plotter blueprint, dye sublimation, dye transfer, thermal transfer and thermal piezo, solvent, UV-curing and latex inkjet.

Because of its 130°F temperature it is cool enough for any previously heat sensitive item. Though it is totally heat safe, it is a permanent adhesive and should not be used with any valued original or irreplaceable collectible. Available as original MountCor® (white) and MountCor® Black, it permanently bonds in a mechanical press in 30 seconds or a roll laminator at speeds up to 10 feet per minute with no adhesive transfer to the heated rolls. MountCor® incorporates a unique air release technology that ensures bubble-free mounting by allowing any air trapped between the art and the foam board to escape before the adhesive fully bonds. It also features a gridded translucent release liner designed to assist in image alignment

What is tear strength?

Tear strength is a degree of bond that will literally tear apart the surface layer of the foamboard from the core rather than allow the bonded item to be peeled from it. This is the desired end product when mounting any replaceable image or ad to a permanent substrate.

Can I increase the MountCor® temperature to shorten the time in the press?

MountCor® was designed and extensively tested at the low 130°F mounting temperature. Increasing the bonding temperature from 130°F to 140°F doesn’t significantly decrease the dwell time and increases the possibility of heat damage with laser prints, plotted maps and solvent inkjet photos. The closer the temperature is to 150°F the closer to it being unsafe.

If testing at 140°F or 150°F in a vacuum press, reduce the time. A vacuum press may bond in 2-3 minutes (including vacuum draw time) rather than 4 minutes at higher temperatures, but considering the industry mounting standard of temp/time is 185°F in 4 minutes, MountCor® is faster already at 130°F in 2 minutes. In a mechanical press the time is only 30 seconds, so a higher temperature will not be any advantage.

Do I need to use the MountCor® gridded release liners?

MountCor® offers a gridded release liner to protect the surface of unmounted sheets during packaging and as a optional “use once” release paper that aids image alignment as well as a clean, cover sheet. It cannot be used as a release board when mounting in multiple bites, and should be removed when biting, but is wonderful for use with single full platen mounts.

What is MountCor® Canvas?

MountCor® Canvas is a product specifically designed to aggressively bond all digitally printed canvases and fine art giclées with total tear strength. MountCor® Canvas is the first and only HA board at any temperature developed specifically for mounting digitally printed canvases and fine art giclées that cannot be stretched. Its strong adhesive forms a permanent bond in the either mechanical or hot vacuum press as it reaches a low 130°F bonding temperature, which is safe for all digital printing. Though its special formula was developed specifically for printed canvas of all grades, weights, finishes and fiber content, it also bonds natural and synthetic fabric, textured and rough decorative papers, and polyester encapsulates.

MountCor® Canvas will mount with confidence:

  • 100% polyester, poly/cotton and 100% cotton canvases
  • 11 mil – 24 mil weight canvases
  • Coated, uncoated and metallic/pearl effect canvas
  • Natural and synthetic fabrics
  • Textured and embedded decorative papers
  • Heavy rough unpainted watercolor paper
  • Polyester encapsulated maps and charts
  • Tyvek, Yupo and other synthetic papers
  • Safe for all digital paper prints and photographs

The permanent bond allows MountCor® Canvas to be used when multiple bite mounting in any mechanical press, even digitally printed canvases. Simply remove the gridded liner and replace with release board in a properly adjusted press. Vacuum presses also love MountCor® Canvas. Any canvas bonds with full tear strength results at 130°F for 4 minutes with a single-sided sheet of release paper on top only. Slightly longer dwell times will be required if a full release board is used rather than single-sided release paper. Never use a release board in the bottom of a vacuum press. MountCor® Canvas will not be the only HA board for mounting, but it will be the only product ever needed to hold all digitally printed canvases.


Dry Mount Basics

How do I mount large nonporous items in a vacuum press?

A full vacuum must be drawn to squish all the air from between all mounting layers before adhesive activation. Using a two-step mounting method prevents large items from bonding around the edges prior the vacuum being drawn. Begin at a temperature too low for the adhesive to activate, at least 30 degrees lower than required bonding temperature. This allows the vacuum to be drawn and the air compressed from within the press, prior to adhesive activation. The temperature is then turned up and additional time is required for the press to draw up to the required bonding temperature.

Two-step Mounting

  1. Begin at 30° below manufacturer suggested mounting temperature
  2. Place mount package in the press, close and lock press
  3. Turn press up 30° and add 10-15 minutes dwell time to mount, this varies with press size and model
  4. Once press achieves the required temperature, allow additional 2-3 minutes for actual mounting

The two-temperature method may take 10-15 additional minutes depending on the size and drop depth of the press. By using more than one release sheet—or release board-on top of the mount package, the platen is slower to heat and activate the materials.

What is countermounting?

Countermounting is the action of creating the same surface tension on the verso (back) side of a substrate to resist—or counter-the stresses of the mounting on the facing side. When the same tension is created on both sides there is no reason for a board to warp after bonding. The only way to compensate for fiber stress is to apply the same degree of tension to both sides of the board. By mounting a sheet of the same weight paper or photo to the back of the board, using the same adhesive and technique, the surface tension will be equalized both front and back, eliminating the bow.

Why would I need to countermount a board?

Using a substrate that is too thin to support the size or weight of a mount will create surface tension and warp the board. Select boards that are thick and rigid enough to fully support the size of the art and desired adhesives. Regardless of the mounting method—wet, spray, pressure-sensitive, dry, roller—any time tension is created on a single side of a substrate it can cause warping of the finished mount.

As outside dimensions increase, select substrates that are either thicker or higher density:

Up to 8″ x 10″ 4-ply Mat; 1/8″ InSite® Reveal® Foam
8″ x 10″ – 16″ x 20″ 8-ply Mat; 3/16″ InSite® Reveal® Foam; 1/4″ EAGLECELL™
16″ x 20″ – 32″ x 40″ 3/16″ – 1/2″ Foam; 1/4″ – 1/2″ EAGLECELL™
32″ x 40″ – 40″ x 60″ 1/2″ Foam; 1/2″ Ryno Board® HD; 1/2″ EAGLECELL™
40″ x 60″ – 48″ x 96″ EAGLECELL™; Ryno Board® HD

What is orange peel and how do I avoid it?

Orange peel is the lumpy surface appearance that occurs when a photograph, inkjet image or thin paper is mounted to an uneven substrate. When a photo is correctly mounted, all the highs and lows of the selected substrate will mirror the substrate contours to the surface of the photo. If the selected substrate is lumpy, or has uneven adhesive application, the surface of the mounted image will also appear lumpy, like an orange peel. Commercially manufactured release boards are single-sided release paper applied to both sides of a chipboard core. Orange peel may also be transferred from the release board. Smoother release boards may be created in-house by mounting single sided release paper to a smoother 4-ply mount board of choice in any size to accommodate your needs.

Roll Laminator Basics

How is a heated roll laminator different from dry mounting?

The major differences are activation time and pressure control. Mechanical presses apply heat and pressure once the arm is locked closed, but layers must be pre-dried to remove moisture. Hot vacuum presses apply heat, pressure and withdraw moisture while heating all layers to bonding temperature. Rollers apply heat, pressure and squeeze out all air from between layers as they are fed through the rollers. Pressures must be set manually for mechanical presses and rollers in order for adhesives to properly activate and bond.

Why are roller temperatures so much higher than mounting presses?

Since the heat comes into contact with any substrate/adhesive/image package only as the rollers pull the board between them, the heat must warm and activate the contact area in 1 second or less. Therefore the average temperature of a roll laminator for basic mount adhesives or heat activated products is 280°F-290°F.

Can I increase the fpm speed of my roller when bonding MountCor®?

MountCor® has a recommended roller temperature/fpm of 260°F at 2-4 feet per minute (fpm) meaning depending on your manufacturer, model and diameter of your roller the speed may be adjusted to meet your product needs. Perhaps 200°F at 4 fpm is plenty to fully activate and bond a digital photograph or 20# laser copy, but 220°F at 2 fpm might be best for a polyester encapsulated map. It is best to set temperature and speed to the most commonly mounted item. Altering the temp/fpm wastes time and loses money. If you must alter temp/fpm change either the temperature or the speed, but never both at the same time. Increase and test in small increments only. Alter the temperature from 260°F to 240°F then test; 240°F to 220°F then test. Increase speed from 2 fpm to 4 fpm then test; 4 fpm to 6 fpm then test. This allows for better control over the testing process.

How is MountCor® Canvas different from MountCor®?

MountCor® Canvas has a reformulated adhesive that is aggressive enough to fully bond all digitally printed canvases, 11 mil – 24 mil weights; coated, uncoated and metallic effect canvas to a full tear strength. MountCor® Canvas also bonds natural and synthetic fabrics; heavy and textured papers; Tyvek®, Yupo and other synthetic papers. MountCor® Canvas bonds when no other product will.

Do I need to use release paper when bonding under hot rollers?

At higher 260°F roller temperatures always use a release paper to cover the entire board and canvas surface when feeding through rollers to prevent any adhesive transfer.

What is tear strength?

Tear strength is a degree of bond that will literally tear apart the surface layer of the foamboard from the core rather than allow the bonded item to be peeled from it. This is the desired end product when mounting any replaceable image or ad to a permanent substrate.

The Elements of Mounting

What are the four elements of mounting?

Time, Temperature, Pressure, and Moisture (TTPM) are the four basic mounting elements from which all successful mountings are produced and when not followed explain most unsuccessful mountings. Most bond failures may be analyzed, verified, and resolved by going back to the basics of these same four elements. If the time or temperature is changed from manufacturer’s suggested T/T it could impact the end result and bond permanence.

Time
When dry mounting, the time in a press varies depending upon the adhesive, substrate, size, thickness, temperature and item being mounted. Draw time is the length of time it takes for all of the air to be sucked out from between the heating platen and lower diaphragm within a sealed vacuum press. The draw times will vary with the depth of the relaxed diaphragm, strength of the pump, and press size. Some presses will draw as quickly as 15 seconds and mount in 30 seconds while others will draw in 1 minute and mount in 4. Check individual equipment and manufacturer manuals for expected draw and overall mounting times. Pre-drying is not required in a vacuum unit. Dwell time is the time remaining in the press to adequately heat all materials, activate the adhesive and create the bond. Total cycle time for an average mounting is 4 minutes for a 32″×40″ board with 5-6 minutes for 40″×60″. Heat-sensitive receptor layers of some digitals do tolerate the higher temperatures of roller machine applications because of the limited time these images are subjected to the higher temperatures. Rather than the extended mount times of 2-4 minutes of a dry mount press, rollers only require 5 seconds of contact to activate adhesives and films.

Temperature
Temperature is the only element that lends itself more to dry mounting than the rest. All adhesives have manufacturer suggested temperatures for use in order to achieve best results. There is not a standard, ideal temperature to be used in every heat mounted situation, for dry mount heat-activated boards the range is from 130F to 190F. Individual tissue and pure adhesive film temperatures vary depending upon the item being mounted and its substrate thickness. Establishing a basic average temperature for most daily mounting will cut down on excessive press fluctuation, which saves time and money. The average temperature for dry mounting is 185F-190F.

As mentioned under time, roller laminators feed applications through the roller system within a few seconds. The temperature may be anywhere from room temp for a P-S cold mount adhesive to a range of 185F-250F for heat activated mounting and laminating.

Pressure
The successful process of mounting consists of applying adhesive to art and substrate, then allowing it to harden under pressure which is the force that squeezes air from between the substrate and artwork being mounted and holds it while the bond is created. Whether wet, spray, or dry mounting, the practice of weighting needs to be applied in all mounting cases.

Both hot and cold vacuum presses are self-adjusting in relation to the substrate or mount board being used. The rubber diaphragm or bladder, which forms the bottom of the unit, naturally conforms to the thickness of each individual substrate during the draw of the vacuum, adjusting for pressure automatically. Dry mounting in a mechanical press is very specific. Inadequate pressure might allow air bubbles to remain within the center of a mounting, while too much pressure could create unsightly indentations in a foam board substrate during a multiple bite project.

Pressure-sensitive boards require pressure of a squeegee, rubber roller or roller laminator to activate the adhesive and create the initial bond with a fully cured bond after 24 hours under weight. The very action of running mounting layers between the silicone rollers of a laminator squeezes and compresses the air from between the rollers. Machines usually have manually adjustable rollers that are able to accommodate a variety of thickness and these rollers must be set for the proper substrate thickness. If set too tight the rollers can crush a foam substrate or show the interior honeycomb pattern. If set too light it may not remove all air between the layers nor activate the adhesive.

Moisture
Moisture is easy to understand and control, and by doing so will ensure repeatedly well executed, smoothly mounted, long lasting projects. Knowing when to think dry and when to bend that rule with dampness is the key. Store substrates in the same environment they will be bonded in order to equalize the layers to allow for maximum bond potential. During dry mounting all the materials used in the mounting process should begin, bond, and remain dry.