gator board


Grumbler in Training
Apr 13, 2006
I'm looking for a backing material that will not warp. Is gator board the best choice and at what thickness? Are there other materials available that would be just as rigid?
Over what dimension? In what conditions? (Humid, damp, dry?)

3/16" Gator is stiff, but 1/2" Gator is stiffer! However, both are not recommended for conservation work as they outgas.

Coroplast comes in various thicknesses and is acceptable for conservatrion work. To make it more rigid, laminate two pieces together with the flutes running opposite to each other. To laminate them, use a double sided ACRYLIC based adhesive (NOT ATG).

Archival corrugated comes in a double wall thickness that is also very rigid and you can also increase the stiffness by cross fluting it. You can use drops of PVA adhesive to hold it together.

We also use multi-birch plywood and castle (pocket slots) it to frames where we need extra strength.

Each material has its uses and applications. You need to give me more information about your specific need/application to better assist you in selecting the appropriate material.
Blind questions like this one are troublesome, because we are forced to assume important details that could mislead our advice.

Here's a safe answer: A 14-gauge steel plate would make a very rigid backing material. Or if it is reeeeally big, aluminum would weigh less.

Size and environmental conditions are important. Moisture, heat, and variable conditions could contribute to warping if it happens after-the-fact.

Or is this a mounting problem? Maybe all you need are suggestions on mounting that would defeat warping of the materials you already use.

What is being framed? If it is paper art, the answer might be completely different than if it is a matched set of 6 hunting rifles.

How much preservation do you need? If it is a poster, Gatorboard is OK. If it is a $10,000 giclee, be very careful to avoid that piece of advice. If it is 3-dimensional, lots of things could cause warping.

Your warping problem is probably not caused by the board itself, so choosing another board might not help at all.

Care to elaborate?
I'm looking at framing pieces around 40" (rabbet size) The bainbridge acid free foamcore that I have has a slight warp to it that at that size I feel would show a bow to the artwork. I am interested in using archival materials.