Meisprayfoam

MEI Spray Foam Insulation

Which Should I Choose? Trying to decide what type of spray foam insulation you should use for your jobs? It’s trickier than it seems – though closed cell and open cell foam both insulate a home, they do it in different ways. In this guide, we will examine open cell vs closed cell foam and help you pick the best product for your project.

What’s the Difference Between Open Cell and Closed Cell Foam Insulation?
Open and closed-cell foam are two different types of spray foam insulation. They have different strengths and weaknesses, and one is not necessarily better than the other. It comes down to understanding the benefits of open cell vs closed cell foam and choosing the type that fits your needs.

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The Cell

Spray insulation is referred to as open cell or closed cell because of the difference between the small bubbles (cells) that make up the foam.
Open-cell foam is full of cells that aren’t completely encapsulated. In other words, the cells are deliberately left open. This makes the foam a softer, more flexible material.
Closed-cell foam is made up of cells that are, as the name suggests, completely closed. The cells are pressed together, so air and moisture are unable to get inside the foam. Because of this, closed-cell foam is much more rigid and stable than open-cell foam.

Density

Closed-cell foam Is much denser than open-cell foam. Most open-cell foam has a density of about .5 pounds per cubic foot. Closed-cell foam can be over three times that, with a density of 1.75 pounds per cubic foot or more.
R-Value A foams R-value Is Its resistance to heat flow or, In other words, how well they insulate. Closed-cell foam has a higher R-value than open-cell foam, usually about 6.0 per inch. But some closed-cell foams, like Tiger Foam’s E84 Closed Cell formula, have even higher ratings that go up to almost 7 per inch. This higher rating makes closed-cell foam better at keeping the heat in or out of a structure. Open-cell foams have an R-value of around 3.5 per inch. This Is significantly lower than closed-cell foams, which can limit open-cell insulation’s usefulness in extreme temperature conditions.

R-Value
A foams R-value is its resistance to heat flow or, in other words, how well they insulate. Closed-cell foam has a higher R-value than open-cell foam, usually about 6.0 per inch. But some closed-cell foams, like Tiger Foam’s E84 Closed Cell formula, have even higher ratings that go up to almost 7 per inch. This higher rating makes closed-cell foam better at keeping the heat in or out of a structure. Open-cell foams have an R-value of around 3.5 per inch. This is significantly lower than closed-cell foams, which can limit open-cell insulation’s usefulness in extreme temperature conditions.

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Expansion

This is one of the most important differences from an application standpoint. Closed-cell foam is designed to expand to about 1″ of thickness when sprayed. With each inch offering an R-value of 7, multiple applications can be applied to achieve higher total R-values. Open-cell foam is designed to expand to 3″ of thickness, meaning only one application is possible in most standard walls.

Closed-cell foam is the best choice for robust insulating where space is an issue, as it can achieve 2x the R-Value of an open cell inside a standard wall. Its rigid nature also adds to the structural integrity of the building and E84 fire-rated versions are available. The closed-cell also acts as a vapor barrier, so water and moisture will be less likely to get inside the home, and the foam itself is unharmed by water damage.