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Gator-Foam, Dick Blick


[3A Composites, formerly owned by International Paper Co.] A registered trademark for a laminated foamboard. GatorFoam® is made from a rigid polystyrene foam core laminated between two facing papers consisting of wood fiber impregnated with resin. The strong, flat panels are water-resistant and dimensionally stable. Direct sunlight will cause bleaching and degradation of any unprotected foam. GatorFoam® is not made as an archival product and may emit acidic vapors.

  • Related materials: Gatorplast: Polystyrene core with high impact polystyrene facers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Gator-foam (sp); Gatorboard


Gatorfoam is used as a working surface for artist to support pastels, paintings and other media. It is commonly used to stretch water color paper. Gatorfoam is used in exhibition and displays as a backing board and mounting surface.

Personal risks

  • Under high heat can produce aromatic hydrocarbons including, styrene, ethyl benzene and other polymer fragments.
  • May contain minute amounts of Formaldehyde.
  • Skin and Eye Contact, Inhalation: Dust may cause irritation.
  • Combustible
  • 3A Composites: Safety Data Sheet

Collection Risks

May emit acidic vapors. Increased off-gassing can occur with high heat and moisture.

Oddy Testing Link:

Environmental Risks

Material is not recyclable or biodegradable.

Working Properties

Gatorfoam can be cut with a utility knife, saw or router.

Exhibit Construction Reviews/Tips/Case Studies

AIC Link about Backing Inserts ( )


GatorFoam® is available in black and white colors in a range of thicknesses (3/16", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1.5", 2 in), widths (48" or 60") and lengths (96", 120")

Resources and Citations