What is Foam Core Mounting?

What is Foam Core Mounting

What is Foam Core Mounting? 

Foam Core Mounting is a process where you adhere a paper poster to a rigid foam board material.  When you see a rigid poster at a trade show or store, this is most likely a product of foam core mounting.  It is a fairly simple process and there are several ways to accomplish this depending on how many you need and the quality you are looking for.  Here are a few options!  

Laminator VS. Hand Mounting

A wide format laminator is a professional machine that handles the entire mounting process to any substrate.  These are great option to create a smooth, bubble-free, sign or print.  Mounting Laminators start at $5000, so you may want to find a company like ours that already has these machines unless you are creating 1000’s of prints. The other option is to mount by hand where you take your poster and apply the corner to a self-adhesive board then lay the poster down with a squeegee.  If this process, you will want to make sure you are extremely careful with the prints and eliminate all bubbles or creases.    

Self-Adhesive VS. Spray Adhesive

When mounting boards, there are 2 different choices for foam core board.  Self-adhesive boards come with a thin layer of adhesive which makes the process clean and easy also known as a dry mount. Simply peel the wax paper to expose the adhesive.  For boards with no adhesive, you will need to use a spray adhesive for mounting.  It can be a dirty process because you can get the spray adhesive everywhere and create a mess.  If your project needs to be high-quality like a fine art project, we suggest going with a self-adhesive piece of foam core.  

Mounting VS Printing Directly

Mounting to Foam Core is a bit of an old fashioned process these days.  It takes a lot of time to mount by hand and there are many easy errors you can make.  The newer process is printing directly to the piece of Foam Core using a large printer called a UV Flatbed Printer.  In this process, you simply put the posterboard on the machine and it prints directly to the sheet in under 5 minutes for an entire 4’x8′ sheet.  These machines can print on any board type or size and eliminates the need for photo paper or adhesive.  These prints are by far our best seller because they are less expensive to produce and very high quality.   

Cutting Foam Core

If you are producing your foam core prints at home then we recommend just using a simple low cost knife kit that you can buy at any craft shop.  If you are producing larger quantities, you will want to use a professional machine called a CNC Router.  These machines allow you to cut photographic prints to any shape and size.  Simply put a cut mark on the outer layers of your image and the machine will cut or drill holes in under 5 minutes.   

Other Finishing Options

A common, green friend Foam Core Board option is Acid Free which has no acid to tint the color of the board and is safe around children.  Elmer is one of the most popular manufactures of acid free.  There are also several finishes such as matte, glossy, satin, and high gloss.  These can typically be added during the lamination process for a very high-quality look and also ads a moisture-barrier.

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