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Open or closed cell

Compare the advantages of closed-cell and open-cell spray foam insulation

Both closed-cell spray foam and open-cell spray foam insulation can be used effectively in commercial building designs to allow the building to achieve energy efficiency and consistent performance. When applied on the interior, open-cell spray foam provides performance advantages that differ from the advantages of closed-cell spray foam used on the exterior. Architectural firms can specify both the building envelope for a total performance option.[DP1]

Closed-cell spray foam exterior applications

  • Can be applied at very low temperatures (as low as 5oF)
  • Adds wall racking strength as well as impact resistance
  • Ideal for continuous insulation solutions
  • Higher R-value* per inch  – easier to accommodate high R-value* requirements in narrow spaces
  • Lower vapor permeance (can be a Class II VDR)
  • Can reject bulk water (ideal for flood zones)
  • Higher tensile and bond strength

Open-cell spray foam interior applications

  • Can be installed at a significantly lower cost and target the same specified R-value*
  • Can achieve greater R-value* if not restricted by space
  • Lower raw material/resource use
  • Permits bi-directional drying
  • Will accommodate long-term creep and seasonal movement
  • Hydrophobic material
  • Air barrier and insulating material

Comparison Chart

  Open-Cell Spray Foam Closed-Cell Spray Foam
Spray In Insulation and Air Barrier Material CHECKMARK-BENEFITS OF SPRAY FOAM I NSULATION CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Vapor Barrier CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Vapor Permeability CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Structural Reinforcement CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Able to deflect water and reject bulk water CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Able to accommodate seasonal shifting CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Cannot sustain mold CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
R-Value (at 1″)* 3.7 6
Blowing Agent Water Chemical, Water
Suitability Interior Interior, Exterior
Sound Dampening CHECK MARK-BENEFITS OF ICYNENE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Cost £ £££

 

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