Open Cell vs. Closed Cell

How to choose the right foam for your portable spray foam equipment

When determining which type of polyurethane spray foam insulation to install, careful consideration should be placed on which type of cell is appropriate for the application. SprayWorks portable spray foam equipment is designed to accommodate both open cell and closed cell foam insulation.

There is no difference in quality, as one is not “better” than the other, however the varying physical properties between the two types of insulation mean open cell may be the better option depending on where the spray foam is being applied, or vice versa. When the foam is applied, “cells” form as the foam expands and cures, and whether air remains trapped inside these cells determines whether the foam is open or closed cell.

Learn about Closed CellLearn about Closed Cell 3

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open cell spray polyurethane foam works best in interior projects, as it’s less dense and requires less material to cover an area. Gas is not trapped in the cells during application, leaving openings in the structure of the foam, in which other cells can connect and interlock, and these openings are filled with air from the surrounding environment. Open cell spray foams are porous, so they aren’t water-resistant rendering them useful above grade or where moisture isn’t likely. However, they do enhance sound deadening on interior walls and generally have an R-value of 4.3 at one inch of foam.

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Closed cell spray foam is comprised of tiny bubbles of gas that are suspended during application and curing. The trapped gas from the propelling agent adds an extra layer of insulation, making the typical R-value at one inch around 6.0. Closed cell foam works in both interior and exterior applications, and can increase the structural strength of the wall being insulated. Additionally, the strength and reinforced nature of the bubbles allow closed cell foam to resist water and retard vapors. Though because of the structure of the foam, it is denser, therefore requiring more material to cover the area.

Insulation Equipment for Sale

Whether you’re looking for portable spray foam equipment or a quality polyurethane machine for sale, SprayWorks has what you need. Our equipment is industry standard, and can accommodate any type of spray foam insulation project you have, whether closed cell or open cell. Check out our wide selection of equipment, from spray foam rigs to mobile trailers, and see how SprayWorks can make your next insulation project simpler and more efficient.

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SprayWorks Equipment Group is a business development support and equipment supply company at the center of polyurethanes and the polyurea industry. SprayWorks' team is certified to help businesses like yours and its members have over 100 years of combined spray foam, polyurea, and construction experience.


  1. I’ve been wanting to have an open cell foam insulation installed in my attic area because I heard that this is beneficial in terms of keeping the home cold during the summer season. It’s great to learn that open-cell spray foam is easier to install since it requires fewer materials. Also, I never knew that this is also beneficial in terms of enhancing sound deadening.

    • It’s absolutely a great product, whether you’re doing open cell or closed cell. They are both great. Foam, in general, has been used for several decades to reduce noise. We highly recommend having a spray foam professional install spray foam for you. It’s definitely worth the investment. Thanks for visiting our website! All the best to you!

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