Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) comes in many different formulations
with varying degrees of physical property characteristics. It is
important to understand exactly which type of SPF provides the
physical characteristics and benefits that best suit each particular
assure a properly installed and effective product.
Most applications of SPF are not do-it-yourself (DIY)
solutions. There can be health and safety hazards involved with handling
and the application of SPF if not properly handled and installed. Just like
many other construction products and building trades, SPF also requires
properly trained individuals with experience to avoid these issues and
to read more.
OPEN CELL vs.
Both open and closed-cell Spray Foam
share the same high standard in insulation,
energy efficiency and structural integrity.
However, it is important to understand a few
basic differences between the two when making
a decision about a particular project.
The first major disparity, as the names
suggest, concerns the structure of the tiny cells
within the Spray Foam material. The cells in
open-cell (OC) foam are not completely closed,
thus allowing air to fill the remaining space
inside the material. OC foam expands around
150 times the original volume when applied
and leaves the foam soft and more malleable
to the touch. Closed-cell (CC) foam differs in
that the tiny cells within the material are closed
and packed tightly together. CC foam expands
between 35-50 times its original volume and
takes on the denser resistance of a hard object.
Density is an important factor in that
the higher the density, the heavier and stronger
the foam will be. Open-cell foam typically has a
density of 0.5 pounds per cubic foot, while
closed-cell insulation foams typically weigh
in at 1.7 - 2.0 lb./cu.ft., and closed-cell roofing
foams at 2.8 - 3.0 lb./cu.ft. Closed-cell foam
also boasts a higher R-value, which measures
resistance to heat flow. The lightweight
open-cell foam has an R-value of 3 per inch;
conversely, closed-cell foam has an R-value of 6.
Obviously, closed-cell spray foam holds
advantages in regards to density (strength) and
R-value (insulating power). However, with these
advantages comes a larger price tag which can
be a consideration when choosing one over the
other. However, specific use and application
should be the driving factor as both types are
not suited for every application.
Open-cell spray foam has its own
advantages as well. For example, open-cell foam
has superior sound absorbing qualities, so if the
ultimate goal of a project is to provide better
sound insulation, then open-cell foam would
not only perform better but cost less as well.
Therefore, decisions should always be made on
a case-by-case basis.
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