Sprayed Polyurethane Foam
Of all the possible ways to conserve energy, insulating
with polyurethane foam is the most effective...without
changing the thermostat!
What is Polyurethane Foam?
Polyurethane foam is a versatile cellular
plastic with unsurpassed insulating
properties. Depending upon its formulation,
polyurethane foam may be open celled or closed celled:
rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible. It can be
cast, molded, poured or sprayed in densities ranging
from one-half pound per cubic foot to 70 pounds per
cubic foot. For sprayed-in-place insulation
applications - the subject of this brochure - closed
cell, rigid foams in the two to three pound per cubic
foot range are most commonly used.
Where is Polyurethane Foam Used?
Only the user's imagination limits the range of applications for
sprayed polyurethane foam. Some common uses include new and
replacement roofs, insulating walls (both interior and exterior
application), covering pipes and ductwork, insulating tanks and
refrigerated areas, providing insulation and extra buoyancy in ships and
boats, and various aerospace applications.
Why is Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Best?
Heat transfer resistance ("R" value) is a
common standard of insulation
performance. Polyurethane foam is far more
effective than any other commercially-available
insulation material in resisting heat
transfer. This means that an inch of
polyurethane will do the same insulating job as several inches of most
other materials. But that's only part of the
story. Sprayed polyurethane foam has other characteristics
that make it an even better insulator.
- Sprayed polyurethane foam forms a seamless insulating barrier
which prevents incursion of outside air, a major source of heat
- Properly protected polyurethane foam is relatively immune from water
incursion, which can seriously degrade the effectiveness of
- Polyurethane foam won't sag, buckle, pack down or mat, conditions
that reduce insulation effectiveness.
- Sprayed polyurethane foam is light and strong. It
actually supports itself! Polyurethane foam normally provides
more heat transfer resistance with less weight than other
materials. This means it is frequently possible to specify
lighter, lower cost materials throught the structure.
Is Polyurethane Foam an Approved Material?
All three national model code bodies accept
sprayed polyurethane foam. A polyurethane
foam system buyer should make certain that the
specifier is thoroughly familiar with all codes and
insurance requirements that apply to the specific
How Can a Buyer Locate a Qualified Polyurethane Foam
Like all construction jobs, spraying
polyurethane foam insulation requires training, skill
and experience. A contractor should not only be totally
familiar with the material, but should also have a thorough knowledge of
the specific application.
A number of qualified, reputable firms in the United States, Canada
and in other countries specialize in sprayed polyurethane foam
insulation. Selection of a contractor should be based on the
firm's experience with similar projects, overall performance record,
stability and general reputation.
Many of the most outstanding firms are members of the
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA). SPFA members
knowledge and ideas available through this strong industry-wide trade
association to continually improve their high standards of