• Backer Rod

    Updated 7/5/10 PAB: MMSS 6-20-10 v0

    Alternate names
    Extruded Polyethylene foam rod

    This common construction material is a chemically stable foam with a smooth "skin". It is relatively non-abrasive and is considered safe under most circumstances for direct contact with objects. It consistently passes oddy testing and can be used in long term storage situations.

    Circular diameters range from 3/8 to 2 diameter; triangular versions to 2 diameter; trapezoidal versions to 5 diameter. For all forms, available lengths vary with diameter.


    The most common use is to place rod in the folds of textiles and garments that cannot be stored flat to prevent creasing.
    It replaces the rolled up tubes of tissue traditionally used in this function. Can also be heat-sealed into rings to support pots or other delicate objects. The tri-rod version is used as cut-to-size wedges in storage mounts. The original triangular shape is equilateral and is extruded to produce a smooth "skin" on all three surface. There have been availability issues with this type. Larger tri rod can be cut in half to create 2 wedge shapes with a 90 degree surface which may be better for some objects. Trapezoidal forms have cut foam surfaces which can be abrasive to objects when in direct contact.

    University Products
    Lab Safety Supply