Water-blown closed cell spray foam boosts environmental credentials

A new closed-cell spray foam that uses water as a blowing agent will make spray foam an even more popular choice for green home building.

Icynene has launched a new closed-cell insulation that uses water as the only blowing agent instead of chemicals with hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) commonly found in closed-cell products.

According to the company, Icynene ProSeal Eco does not include any ozone-depleting blowing agents. Moreover, it is a smarter replacement for chemically-based medium density, closed-cell spray foam insulation products for architects and designers seeking a more environmentally sound option. In addition to its positive environmental footprint, Icynene ProSeal Eco has significantly expanded the number of commercial assembly approvals allowing it to maximize the use of closed-cell spray foam insulation in commercial applications.

Icynene reports the insulation has an R-value of 4.9 per inch, compared to R-6 to R-6.5 for closed-cell foams. However, ProSeal Eco is designed to experience less of a drop in R-value over time compared to foams made with HFC blowing agents.

The blowing agents for make the foam expand after it's sprayed during application. Open-cell foams use water as the blowing agent, but open cell foams typically offer less R-value than closed-cell foams. Open-cell insulation is called that because the water forms CO2, which then expands and bursts the bubbles formed by the foam, which results in the open cell.

Closed-cell foams use chemicals for blowing agents, which allow the foam to form closed bubbles as it dries. Closed cell foams have a higher R-value and weigh more than open-cell foams. Closed-cell foams also offer greater resistance to movement of moisture and can serve as a vapor retarder in some applications.

Read more about insulation.


Topics: Foundations, Insulation

Companies: Icynene Inc.


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