- 06 Nov
Open Or Closed Cell Spray Foam: The age old question
While both open-cell and closed-cell spray foam insulation are proven and effective commercial solutions, each product has its own unique set of qualities and is more suited to certain applications. Armed with this knowledge, specifiers can make better educated decisions when it comes to product selection.
A typical light density open-cell product, like Icynene’s LD-C-50, forms into a soft and flexible, yet air tight seal, and therefore accommodates a building’s normal structural movement and shifting over time. As a vapor permeable application, it supports bi-directional assembly drying and provides better sound absorption than its closed cell counterpart. Open cell is also a lower cost product and uses an eco-friendly water-based blowing agent for application.
Meanwhile medium density closed cell spray foam such as Icynene MD-R-210, offers a higher thermal resistance, impact resistance, and a hard, rigid texture which increased racing strength.
Another important rule of thumb for open vs. closed cell is the fact that open cell is limited to interior applications whereas closed cell can be installed on the building’s exterior as well (in many situations).
While these are some general guidelines, each project must be evaluated by its own unique set of requirements, including climate, budget, and performance requirements.