You may have come across these two terms, open cell foam and closed cell foam whilst researching spray foam insulation and wondered. what is the difference and when should I use one over the other?
First lets start with an explanation of the structure of both.
Open cell foam Insulation.
You probable are already aware that anything called a foam is comprised of bubbles. Open cell foam is no exception except that the bubbles are open or broken. This makes for a lighter and cheaper product whilst still giving a high level of insulation and noise suppression. The unique cell structure will allow it to dry out if any moisture ingress.
One thing that may be importantly on your mind is the R value of open cell foam. This is lower than that provided by closed cell foam as explained below. The R value of open cell foam is variable depending on the thickness applied.
Each application in home or business premises is uniquely different and FoamSpray Solutions are the best people to be able to advise you on this. The open cell foam product we use is Sealection 500 a product supplied by a worldwide leader in foam insulation products, Demilec.
Closed cell foam Insulation.
You will have probably already guessed “closed cell foam” has bubbles just like any other foam. Because of this it is heavier than “open cell foam”. Because of the closed cells, closed cell foam is a barrier to water and as such has specific applications which SprayFoam Solutions are happy to advise on. It is more expensive than open cell foam and has a higher R value for a given thickness than open cell.
The closed cell foam product that we use is “Heatlok Soy-200” another product obtained from Demilec.
So what are some of the areas each cell type can be used?
Basically either can be used anywhere as long as the environment where it is going to be applied is taken into consideration. For example if it is going to be used where a certain amount of moisture may enter then open cell foam may be best. Because of the open cell structure it allows for the moisture to dry out which is especially important if it is applied to timber. Closed cell foam should definitely be used if you want to form a barrier to water ingress.
Once again you should obtain technical advice before deciding what is the best for your environment. Once again SprayFoam Solutions, a countrywide supplier of foam insulation services, have the expertise to advise you.