Glossary O-P

Packing Blanket: (furniture pad or moving blanket) - Most common size is 72" x 80". 
Available in different grades usually measured by weight per dozen. Lighter weight, inexpensive blankets are multicolored using recycled fabric. Higher quality blankets usually have solid colors on at least one side. 
A less expensive version is made with non-woven synthetic material in both 72" x 80 and 54" x 72" sizes. In the Art/Museum world it is often used to softwrap sculpture and furniture. In this application often another material (Tyvek softwrap, Tissue, etc...) is used between the object and the blanket itself. This is especially true if blankets are not segregated (often by color) by use (fore example for art contact vs general use).
To secure the blankets commercial movers sometimes use oversized rubberbands. Art services providers often use stretch wrap. This moving tool is essential for use in the truck where it effectively dampens vibration when placed underneath cartons, and softpacked paintings. It is also used for the same reason when cargo is strapped to the side of the truck.
In the museum setting it is often used to pad equipment used to lift or transport artwork or as a protective layer used when rigging sculpture.

Poly Sheeting: (plastic sheeting) - Chemically inert, pH neutral, and water repellent, especially if seams are sealed. It is non-abrasive if clean. Rolls in a wide variety of widths and lengths; 3 or 4 mil thickness typically used, up to 6 mil for heavy objects or those exposed to more stress. Also available in various widths of tubing. Commonly used to wrap paintings for softpacking and to wrap inner boxes and travel frames to create a sub-environment within crates. Virgin grade preferable especially when an additional barrier layer (glassine, Dartek® etc.) is not used. Also used as a moisture barrier lining for crates, and as protective sheeting in storage.

Polyethylene Foam: 
(Ethafoam®, Polyplank®) - Closed-cell foam;Most densities are to cut with a knife or bandsaw; excellent memory when used within the proper cushioning curve. The foam is virtually impermeable to water and has stable chemical properties making it a suitable material for long term storage containers. Color used is almost always white although black versions have passed Oddy tests typically used for mountmaking purposes. Manufactured "skin" surface has a naturally waxy surface quality while a cut edge exposing open cells can be abrasive and should not be placed directly against objects. It can be recycled back to the manufacturer. Can be adhered to itself or other Polyethylene foams like Volara using direct heat or with hot melt glue. Available in sheets and rolls from 1/8" to 1/2" thick and planks that are 24" or 48" wide and approximately 108" long. Available in the following densities: .9, 1.9, 2.2, 2.6, 4.0, 6.0, and 9.0 PCF with 2.2 Lb density being used in the vast majority of Museum/Packing uses. Planks for Crate cushioning, Mountmaking, storage mount manufacture, Larger carved forms can be smoothed with the use of an iron and a slip sheet. 
Rolls and sheets for storage shelf lining, wrapping, interleaving of objects.

Polypropylene Foam Wrap: ( Microfoam®) - This material is similar to polyethylene (Ethafoam), but it is slightly less dense and has a higher gloss. It is chemically inert and non-abrasive. Commonly used to wrap furniture or large items with complex forms.
Held in place with packing tape or more recently with stretch wrap. It comes in thin rolls 1/8 to ½ inch thick. Polyurethane Ester Foam - (Esterfoam, Museum foam, Grey foam, Black foam) Polyester based urethane foams are more chemically stable than Ether based polyeurethane foams (the kind of foam most commonly found in pillows and furniture.) This kind of foam has a more "forgiving" cushioning curve than polyethylene foams such as Ethafoam or volara. This type of foam has two major advantages one is that as an open-celled foam it is more effective at vibration mitigation. The second advantage is that its innate characteristics make it a superior source of thermal insulation for the objects it contains.

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