Spray Foam Insulation
Types of Spray Foam Polyurethane Insulation
There are two types of spray foam polyurethane insulation: open cell and closed cell.
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Open Cell Foam. Open cell spray polyurethane foam (also sometimes referred to as low-density or 1/2-pound SPF) weighs between 0.4 and 0.6 pounds/cubic foot when fully cured. It is spray applied to a substrate and typically, expands about 150 times its original volume to form a semi-rigid/flexible, non-structural plastic insulation. R-value is 3.4-3.8/inch. Open cell SPF typically employs water as a blowing agent, and is spray-applied to the desired thickness with one pass; any excess can be easily trimmed with a saw, knife or plane.
Open Cell Foam
Open Cell Foam
Closed Cell Foam. Closed cell polyurethane foam used in interior applications (also sometimes referred to as mid-density or two-pound SPF) typically weighs between 1.8 and 3 pounds/cubic foot when fully cured. It is also spray applied to a substrate and expands about 35 to 50 times its original volume to form a rigid plastic insulation with a compressive strength of between 15 and 25 psi. Closed cell SPF can be used to enhance the racking strength of most wall and ceiling assemblies. The average aged R-value of closed cell SPF is around 6.0/inch.
Closed Cell Foam
Closed Cell Foam
1 lb spray foam is 50% closed cell structure with an r value of 4.9 per inch this foam is a mix between open and closed cell foam but is considered an open cell structure. Their is a lot of company's that promote this as a closed cell but that is false. Since this is only 50% closed cell structure it needs to be 90% closed cell to be considered a true closed cell by the industry. www.greeninsulationtechnologies.com
3 lb and 6 lb closed cell foam has and R-value of 6.5 per inch. 3lb foam is used in agricultural, commercial and industrial building and structures for roofs and places where you need a heavier density foam like turkey building, hog building, roofs and grain bins. The 6lb can be sprayed as thin as 1/4 inch for air sealing to help ventilation systems in building work better.
Benefits of Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation
Both types of SPF insulation offer several key advantages over other forms of building insulation.
- SPF eleminates uncontrolled air leakage by providing a continuous air barrier within the building envelope; it expands into building materials to minimize the movement of air into and out of the building materials to minimize the movement of air into and out of the building. Uncontrolled air leakage has been identified by building science professionals as the main source of energy loss in a home, accounting for up to 40% of heating and cooling costs (according to the U.S. Department of Energy).
- SPF can provide a complete, seamless building envelope, creating a more comfortable indoor environment for the life of the structure. It seals cracks and seams for added protection.
- SPF adheres to most properly prepared surfaces, requires no fasteners, insulates and seals hard-to-reach areas, eliminates drafts, does not shrink or settle.
In addition to the advantages they share, closed cell foam and open cell foam offer their own specific benefits compared to alternate forms of building insulation.
Benefits of Open Cell SPF
- Air Barrier, Open cell SPF remains in a liquid form for a few seconds after spraying, and thus offers a high capacity for filling cracks and voids. It is an effective air barrier and helps reduce energy loss caused by air leakage because it expands into building materials to seal out wind and minimize the movement of air into and out of building structure cavitites.
- R-value 3.4-3.8 inch
- Permeance. Permeance ranges between 6 to 10 perms at 3" thickness.
- Vapor Retarder. The high permeability of open cell SPF often requires a vapor retarder in the building assembly. In some cases, the vapor retarder can be part of the building assembly and would not require additional vapor retarders material; when this additional material is required, it used as a vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation.
- Sound Control. Most SPF insulations have sound control properties.
- Structural Strength. It is important to note that open cell SPF does not contribute to structural strength and does not possess compressive strength.
Benefits of Closed Cell SPF
- Structural Strength. Closed cell SPF can and does act as a structural element, enhancing the racking strength of common 2x4 walls. Closed cell SPF has a rigid cellular structure that, as part of the building envelope, can allow alternative design options, complex configurations and thinner walls for the same R-value as conventional walls.
- Aire Barrier. Closed cell SPF remains in a liquid form for a few seconds after spraying, and thus offers a high capacity for filling cracks and voids. It is an effective air barrier and helps reduce energy loss caused by air leakage because it expands into building materials to seal out wind and minimize the movement of air into and out of building structure cavitites.
- R-value. Aged R-value is approximately 6.0/inch. Closed cell SPF has the highest R-values for any given thickness of commericially available spray applied building insulation. The superior thermal properties of closed cell SPF enable it to perform in even the most extreme hot or cold climates, contributing to significant energy savings and potential reductions in the required capacity of heating and cooling equipment.
- Permeance. Permeance is typically less than 1 perm at 3" thickness.
- Vapor Retarder. When installed according to manufacturer's recommendations, closed cell SPF can act as a vapor retarder. Exceptions would include situations where there is a constant vapor drive in one direction, such as a swimming pool or cold storage facility, and where there is vapor retarding material on the cool side of the assembly.
CertaSpray™ Open Cell Foam
CertaSpray™ Closed Cell Foam
Green Insulation Technologies - Developer and Manufacturer of Soy and Castor Based Spray Foam Insulation