Spray Foam Insulation

Frequently Asked Questions

How are polyurethane foams applied?

Our systems are spray-applied, two-component products that include a hardener (A-Side Component) and a resin (B-Side Component). These are not pre-formed, friction-fit batts or boardstock insulations. It is not a wet application – no water is used. During application, there is a chain reaction between the two components that creates a bond to the substrate as it reacts and expands. It dries, cures and hardens within 3-5 seconds. This product should always be installed by a trained applicator.

What equipment is required?

Spray-applied polyurethane foam systems require specific application equipment, including pumps, proportioners and spray guns. BASF are pleased to advise on the best equipment for processing their insulation systems.

Are there any special handling considerations?

Always use personal protective equipment, avoid all contact with skin and eyes and do not inhale the vapours of the hardener. Before opening the resin, unscrew the bung slowly to release the gas pressure in the drums.

While spraying, always work with adequate ventilation. Protective gloves and face masks are mandatory. When atmospheric levels may exceed the occupational exposure limit (PEL or TLV), approved air purifying respirators equipped with an organic vapour sorbent and particulate filter can be used as long as appropriate precautions and change-out schedules are in place. Persons with known respiratory allergies must avoid exposure to the A component.

For more information, please view our material safety data sheets or contact us.

What is the insulation U-value of your systems?

BASF will calculate the u value of any structure that uses WALLTITE® insulation foam. All we need is the thickness of each layer through the structure and your target U-value.

What are the differences between closed-cell and open-cell foams?

There are three major differences. Firstly, BASF uses the versatility of chemistry to offer a closed-cell content of greater than 90 percent for all of its formulations, and open-cell foams commonly used as insulation systems have approximately 90 percent open-cell content. Secondly, closed cell content offers a thermal conductivity of between 0.028 W/mk and 0.025 W/mk, depending on the thickness applied. Open cell offers 0.035 W/mk. Thirdly, closed cell foam is virtually impermeable to air, while open cell foam allows far more air and vapour into the building interior.

We do not recommend open cell foams for treatment of condensation to any substrate that is impermeable. This includes, profiled steel roof and wall cladding and non-breathable roofing felts. The poor vapour resistivity of open cell foams can lead to interstitial condensation and subsequent waterlogging of the insulation.

What is an insulating air barrier system?

A closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam system that combines superior insulation values and near-zero air permeability in a single application to improve building durability, energy efficiency and occupant comfort, health and safety.

Does polyurethane technology control air leakage?

Our polyurethane foam roof and wall systems have been tested as an air barrier at an application of 50mm thickness. Once applied, our roof and wall systems are fully-adhered and do not allow air to flow around, behind or through the insulation system. Most open-cell foams have not been tested and therefore do not qualify as air barrier systems. Open-cell foam products require an application of up to 125mm to control air leakage.

Can an insulation system add structural strength?

Spray-applied closed-cell polyurethane foam is the only insulation material that adds structural integrity throughout the wall system. Testing shows spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation between wood- and steel-stud wall panels, increases rack and shear strength, two to three times compared with standard timber frame components with glass fibre insulation, when sprayed onto gypsum wallboard, and increases racking strength when sprayed onto oriented strandboard (OSB).

Closed cell foam injected into a cavity, has enough strength to bond two leaves of a masonry wall together, in situations where the existing wall ties have failed.

What about mould?

Mould requires three things to grow: moisture, warm temperatures and a food source. Polyurethane foam insulation has no nutritional value and is not considered a food source for mould. The use of polyurethane as insulation eliminates surface condensation and reduces the potential to accumulate moisture. It also eliminates air movement within the wall cavity. Other insulations are less successful at controlling air infiltration and providing adequate insulation to eliminate surface condensation, thus increasing the possibility of an environment susceptible to mould.

Is polyurethane good for the planet?

Our polyurethane technologies are formaldehyde-free formulas that emit no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and use zero ozone depleting blowing agent technology. Plastic building products, including polyurethane foam, use less energy from all sources than alternative products during production. Spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation saved 3.4 trillion BTUs in manufacturing energy over glass fibre in 1990. Our systems also increase building energy efficiency and reduce waste.

Can polyurethane foam systems be used in a chemically sensitive environment?

Yes. Our systems do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Off-gassing from the product has been measured at less than 1.25µg/m³, way below the CertiPUR standard limit.