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The Ultra in Boards


Ultra Board Image #1aDear Friends:

Well, it certainly helps to have friends in high places!!!  A faithful student who owns a wonderful printing company called Plans & Specs Reprographics, Inc. – a company that specializes in Small & Wide Format Digital Printing in Altamonte Springs, Florida – recently attended class and brought with her samples of a product called ULTRA BOARD that she uses for her clients.  Everyone in class was gifted a sample and found ULTRA BOARD to be a very unique board with many uses.  For the Academy student, you may find it to be a lightweight drawing board that will last a very long time.  With a clamp, you can use it for outdoor sketching. Indoors, while you are working, you can use it to hold drawing paper, watercolor paper, Bristol papers for inking, etc.  For the professional artist, it is perfect to use for shipping original art or reproductions to clients as it is lightweight and will not dent.

The Academy student may want to combine ULTRA BOARD with acid FOAM BOARD and use both as the need arises, especially when it comes to Watercolor IV exercises which are best done with “dollar store” foam board.    The cost varies and most places sell ULTRA BOARD in very large sizes making it difficult to cut unless you are handy with heavy duty board cutters, or a table saw.  However, if you check out this link, you can obtain the ULTRA BOARD in a convenient size at a great price.
24” x 36” x 3/16” – 10 pack for $34.44, plus shipping.  For artwork, you can cut these in half, and have 20 sheets that measure 18” x 24” for $1.72 each (plus shipping).  Good buy!

The ULTRA BOARD has rough edges making it necessary to tape the edge smoothly so as to avoid damaging papers and nasty paper cuts.  These images show you what I am referring to.ULTRABOARD WHITE SIDE#2



Because  the ULTRA BOARD is sturdy, but not acid free, it is a good resource for short term applications, or signage. Ultra Board is made of heavy duty all plastic instead of paper with a polystyrene core.  So it is perfect for signage and as a sturdy material for shipping.  It is not recommended, however, that you leave your finished artwork attached to this board for long periods of time.  Transfer your artwork to Acid Free Foam Core for long term storage.



ULTRA BOARD is a heavy-duty, lightweight structural panel of a rigid polystyrene foam core faced on both sides by a smooth, litho-grade, moisture resistant sheet of solid high-impact polystyrene. The foam and facers are permanently bonded together. The polystyrene surface is perfect for screen printing and is ideal for permanent displays and signs.

ULTRA BOARD is designed primarily for interior use and is favored for its durability. The dent-resistant styrene liners are secured to the foam center with a remarkable bond that keeps the panel flat and rigid. The ULTRA BOARD surface does not allow moisture to penetrate, so inks and paints stand out vividly for screen-printed or painted images. ULTRA BOARD can be cut with a circular saw, router or scroll saw, or can be hand-cut or die-cut. ULTRA BOARD is lightweight, strong, warp-resistant and is an exceptional value. ULTRA BOARD is an excellent choice for photo mounting and exhibit signage. Although, perhaps not of concern for the botanical artist, the properties of the ULTRA BOARD allow for silk-screening and point-of-purchase displays.  Its properties allow for ease in creating a multitude of routed shapes and letters.

In addition, ULTRA BOARD panels are a strong, moisture resistant material. When exposed to long periods of very moist conditions, there is little change in either the face or the core. Exposure of unprotected faces to exterior conditions has no effect other than a slight bleaching. Ultra-violet radiation degrades unprotected foam. Therefore, any exposed foam should be protected with a good quality, pigmented water base coating or other U.V. barrier. Large panels should be well supported to protect against any bowing movement. Caution should be taken when using darker colored inks and paints. Dark coated ULTRA BOARD panels may blister when exposed to direct sunlight.  And….

UB Recycleable

ULTRA BOARD panels are manufactured and packaged flat; occasionally, however, a panel may tend to bow after unpacking. These panels should and can be corrected by inverting the panel on a flat surface and allowing it to remain inverted (1-24 hours) until the warping has dissipated. To insure maximum flatness use a thicker board or encase panel in a wood or metal frame.

ULTRA BOARD is sold as solid white, or solid black, or white on one side with a black core and black on the other side.  Boards are available in various degrees of thickness that include:  3/16” , 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”, 1 1/2”, 2’ or 3” .  Custom-cut and custom-run sizes are available. Standard sheet sizes are 48″ x 96″, 60″ x 96″ and 60″ x 120″, however, smaller cuts are available from various suppliers.

24” x 36” x 3/16” – 10 pack for $34.44, plus shipping.  For artwork, you can cut these in half, and have 20 sheets that measure 18” x 24” for $1.72 each (plus shipping).  Good buy!
ULTRA BOARD 20” x 30” x 1/2” Package of 6 = $75.80, plus shipping.

If you are looking for larger sizes for display boards, etc., try these sites.

The following websites will provide additional information and other ordering opportunities:

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