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White Volara
Credit: PACCIN


Gray Volara
Credit Keith Lawrence

[Sekisui Voltek] A brand name for a closed-celled, irradiation cross-linked flexible Polyethylene foam manufactured by Sekisui Voltek.  Volara has a continuous, smooth surface that is resistant to water absorption, vapor transmission, thermal transmission and chemical reactions.  It is available in continuous rolls or laminated sheets that are used to line drawers and boxes. Volara foams have a soft texture with chemical stability, consistent thickness/texture/density, high tensile strength, low water absorption and vapor transmission, good workability, and aesthetic appeal. Volara is primarily used as carpet padding, gaskets and insulation for vehicles and machinery.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Volara Foam; Volara type A; Volara-A; minicel

Related products:XLPE Foam; X-linked PE Foam; Alveolit (EU); Softion (Japan, Australia)

Removing Volara


  • Line boxes, display cases and shelves
  • Securing artifacts
  • Provide buffer between hard surfaces
  • Shim gaps for better fit
  • Vibation dampening gasket

Personal Risks

Volara is non-toxic and made without any CFC, HCFC, or hydrocarbon blowing agents.

Collection Risks

Volara is easily soiled with dust and dirt, an once smudged is difficult to clean (PACCIN)

Links to Oddy Test results posted on AIC Wiki Materials Database Pages for individual materials below

  • 10 year old Volara tested in 2013
  • achesive backed Volara tested in 2013

Environmental Risks

Physical and Chemical Properties

Working Properties

Volara has a silky/rubbery texture, pliability and softness at 2 pcf that makes it a useful primary contact material for many unwrapped objectsregardless of whether the surface is flat or curved. Volara can be used alone when rigid support, is desired close to the object, with the main shock-absorption material surrounding the exterior of the rigid securing structure. Note: It has been known to compress and even stick slightly to the bottoms of glass objects left in place over a long period of time.(PACCIN)

Volara bonds well with itself and with non-crosslinked PE foams, like Ethafoam and PolyPlank, by heat-welding. With practice, large flat surfaces can be heat-welded without overheating the larger-cell PE foam, which can melt under the heat gun and produce dips in the plane. The thinner forms of Volara are pliable enough to heat-weld onto convoluted surfaces, including custom cavities carved into other PE foams. Volara bonds well with hot glue, but it takes care to ensure that beads of glue do not show through the thin material. Volara also bonds very well with 0.003" double-sided PVC film tape. This tape is useful for attaching Volara to hard, flat materials like foam boards or MDO, where beads of hot glue are more likely to partially dry before lamination and show ridges. Volara is easily cut with a knife - but the blade must be quite sharp to avoid thin bits of "flashing" along the exit edges of the cut. A single slice with the blade will produce a smoother cut than a sawing motion, which can produce a somewhat shredded or faceted appearance. (PACCIN)


Typically sold in rolls of 60" width: 1/4" sheeting = 300' length; 1/8" sheeting = 600' length, but thicknesses can range from .01" - 0.42" and width of rolls can be up to 88".

The natural color is white (ivory), but it is also available in 40 colors, including black and grey.

Formulations created for special purposes include:

  • A = The standard formulation used in art handling
  • AF = with fire-retardent properties
  • AS = with deep-draw vacuum forming capabilities
  • EO = with increased flexibility/resiliency/adhesive anchorage
  • G = with further increase in EO qualities
  • LM = with superior heat stability
  • M = with compression-molding capabilities and increased stiffness
  • TS = for industrial tapes and gaskets
  • RSH = for low pressure molding applications.
  • Note that only A, AF, AS, and M are made from polyethylene. The other specialized Volaras are made from alternate polymers.

Resources and Citations

  • Sekisui Voltek: [Website]
  • Rachael Perkins Arenstein, Lisa Goldberg, and Eugenie Milroy, ‘Support and Rehousing for Collection Storage’ In ‘Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage’ Lisa Elkin and Christopher A. Norris (eds.), Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, New York. 2019.
  • Preparation, Art Handling, Collections Care Information Network (PACCIN) Volara
  • National Park System, Conserv O Gram, Number 8/2, 'Safe Plastic & Fabrics for Display & Storage': Link
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Marie Svoboda, Conservation Survey Index, unpublished, 1997
  • Gordon Hanlon, contributed information, 1998
  • Conservation Support Systems, Catalog, 1997